Have Gun Will Travel – Packing

Have Gun Will Travel - Packing
Have Gun Will Travel - Packing
Have Gun Will Travel - Packing
Have Gun Will Travel – Packing

I am very excited to be planning a summer trip that will involve a fair amount of shooting. Therefore, for the first time, I will have to fly, with a weapon. I will also be outside my home state (with my weapon) and handling weapons that belong to others.

I have asked some experts and have already received some advice, but I still have tons of questions left to research, so as I discover the rules and solutions, I will share with you, my process.


One thing I know for sure, is that guns are not allowed in my carry-on. So I have set aside the funds to check a bag (both ways). A few professional gun women have informed me that I need a lockable box but I’m a details girl so this advice leads me to questions…

  • Must the box be metal or can it be plastic?Tsa approved gun case
    My airline’s documentation states that the case must be locked, hard-sided and specifically designed for gun storage. Since the gun case that my gun came in is kind of flimsy I will invest in a steel “TSA” approved box. it just seems like the smartest way to go.
  • What else can go in the box with the weapon?
    Scopes, suppressors, tools and maybe a few other related items, but everything must be in one gun-case (or they will charge me more)
  • What else can’t go in my carry on? (ie. holsters & speed-loaders, magazines & parts, tools etc.)
    The airline’s site repeatedly states that gun-related items “will be accepted as checked luggage.” So just to be on the safe side, my carry-on will only contain flight essentials.
  • Should the weapon be disassembled?
    not necessary

Next up: Flying

Then: Carrying, Driving, Staying while away from home.

Image by dan taylor

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I like this topic. I’m anxious to see the next installment as well. I think the only thing that caught my eye in this one is when you mentioned the possible inclusion of suppressors (not that you’re personally using one). My only caution here would be to include a strong warning that your origination site may allow for certain things but your destination site may well not. I know that here in California (and many other jurisdictions) such items can land you in jail right on the spot. After nearly 30 years of law enforcement, I’d hate to see anyone get into trouble. I’m sure Gabby concurs. So be sure to know the precise “can and cannot” rules of your destination spot in addition to what the airlines allow, BEFORE you pack your firearm case.


Well thought out, written and helpful advice.
Good article with lots of really helpful info for those of us who have not flown w/ firearms before. Congrates on busting through that ‘glass ceiling’! Good luck!


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Remember to check the airline policy for your ammunition. Some limit the number of rounds and others limit the weight. Most want the cartridges in a factory or similar box.

If your itinerary passes through a weapons unfriendly state, plan for what happens if you become stranded overnight. Claiming a bag containing a weapon in some cities might put you in a bad situation. Examples, New York, Chicago, Newark. Better yet avoid changing aircraft in those cities when feasible.

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