Planning a vacation for your summer holidays? Before you start researching plane tickets, take some time to review these very important regulations when flying with a firearm. Missouri law prohibits carrying a firearm in any place where it is prohibited by Federal Law, as well as prohibits carrying a firearm in any area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons.
If you plan to fly with your firearm, make sure your firearm is properly secured for transport. The TSA offers a helpful guide online. Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only.
Firearm parts including magazines, clips, bolts, and firing pins are prohibited in carry-on baggage but may be transported in checked baggage. Replica firearms including firearm replicas that are toys may be transported in checked baggage only.
Rifle scopes are permitted in both carry-on and checked baggage. Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on baggage but may be transported in checked baggage. Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.
Small arms ammunition including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber and shotgun shells of any gauge may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm. When flying with a firearm, the most common mistake people make in the airport is not declaring their firearm even though it is placed in their checked luggage. When you enter the airport, proceed to the baggage counter and make sure you tell the baggage agent that you are checking your firearm in your checked luggage. If you forget, you may be charged with a criminal offense. Remember that state laws differ on possessing a firearm in any area of the airport. I recommend keeping your firearm secured in your luggage at all times when in the airport.
A friend of mine flew from Florida to New York with a firearm in his checked baggage. Once he arrived in New York, he retrieved his firearm, secured it in a holster on his waist, and went to the security desk to ask if he was following the proper procedures. He was immediately handcuffed, arrested, and charged with a felony.
Flying with a firearm can be perfectly safe, but make sure you know and understand the law first. For any more questions concerning securing and transporting firearms when flying, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.