Flying with a Firearm

How to fly with a gun

We get it, you want to travel with your firearm and take it wherever you are going. Perhaps you are reuniting with your friend across the country to visit the shooting range together. Whatever your reason may be, here is how you fly with a gun.


How to pack your gun/ammunition


You need a hard case with hard to open latches. The hardtop container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. You most likely cannot purchase a firearm and then try to pack it even if it has not been opened before. It needs to be transported in a specific TSA-approved gun case.


  • You need to be the only person with access to either the key to the said case or the combination.
  • The firearm must be unloaded, secured, locked in a hard container, and transported as checked baggage only.
  • Absolutely do not bring a loaded firearm to the checkpoint.



How to fly with ammunition:

Ammunition is absolutely prohibited in carry-on baggage but may be transported via checked baggage. Check with your airline for limits in quantity for ammunition. Ammunition must be transported in checked baggage or can be in the same container as a firearm.

TSA-approved locks:

What are TSA-approved locks? Locks that are approved by the TSA which means they need to have the appropriate Travel Sentry® symbol. The TSA approved the Travel Sentry symbol because it shows the lock is to remain just that, locked.  

If you are using a TSA-approved lock, they have no reason to need to cut open your lock and bag to view its contents. Use the TSA-approved lock and save yourself the heartbreak.


TSA-approved gun case- A hard-sided case with hard-to-access latches including a lock either TSA-approved or not TSA-approved locks, locks are non-negotiable.

Registering/Declaring your firearm:

It should be a fairly simple process. When you go to check your bags make sure you have your unloaded firearm safely secured in a hard-to-open case. Depending on the airline you are flying out of, you may need a separate case for ammunition.

Then once you’ve packed your unloaded firearm into its case you take it to the check-in counter, where. Where you would usually check all your baggage before your flight. You will also have to write out a declaration slip. For this entire process, we would recommend arriving an extra hour or two before your flight if you have firearms.

See the full list of TSA guidelines here: 

Major Airline Firearm Restrictions

The top 6 Airlines and their rules for flying with a firearm and ammunition.

Southwest Airlines              


-Firearms will: 

-Count toward the two-piece free baggage allowance for each passenger.

-Be allowed to be transported in multiplicity inside one firearm hard-sided case.


-Ammunition will be:

-Permissible in checked baggage only

-May be placed in the same container as the firearm and must be securely packed in cardboard (fiber), wood, metal boxes, or another packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.   

-Customers are limited to 11 pounds (ammunition plus container)


See Southwest’s full requirements here:           



Delta Air Lines



-Small arms ammunition is accepted up to (5kg) per person in checked baggage only.

-Gunpowder is never permitted.



American Airlines  


-Firearms must be: 


-In a locked hard-sided container where the firearm is completely inaccessible

-Cases require locks that only one owner has a key and or code to


-Ammunition must be:

-in the original packaging from the manufacturer

-in packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition (fiber, wood, metal)

-Maximum 11 lbs.

-NOT accepted in a loose form or in magazines or clips


See the full list of American Airlines requirement here: 



United Airlines    



-Will be accepted by a customer who is 18 years or older.

-Curbside check-in is also not permitted.

-International firearm regulations and laws carry by destination and country. Check per destination to ensure the safe arrival of both passengers and belongings.

-The firearm must be locked at the time of acceptance, key or combination must remain in the customer’s possession.

-Customers must sign and date a firearm declaration tag claiming the firearm is not loaded.




JetBlue Airlines


-Firearm: one piece of shooting equipment will count as a

checked bag.

-Pistol cases may be available for purchase for $55 as a nonrefundable fee.



-Must be in a separate container from the firearm.

-will not be permitted in carry-on or checked baggage on international flights.


See the full list of JetBlue requirements here: 



British Airways        



-Must contact the airline within 72 hours before the flight to request approval and to comply with any government restrictions. If there is no contact you will not be allowed to bring equipment on board.

-Provide adequate licenses and documentation authorization for firearms and ammunition from local and national authorities.




Flying with a firearm is not an easy process but this should aid in traveling. Make sure to check with federal and state laws to stay legally compliant. Some states have different laws about carrying firearms when you arrive at your destination. Don’t fly into trouble and make sure you are staying safe from your friends at Lockdown.


Here are some of our products we know you’ll love: