Transporting Firearms and Ammunition Aboard Commercial Air Carriers
PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Dept. of Game, Fish and Parks and the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are reaching out to hunters, gun dealers, sports associations, law enforcement organizations and others to help get the message out concerning the rules for transporting
firearms, firearm parts and ammunition.
"For two years, TSA has been aggressively pursuing public education on shipping prohibited items, yet firearms enthusiasts still have issues with properly transporting guns and ammunition aboard commercial air carriers," said GFP Regional Law Specialist Marty Pennock of Sioux Falls. "In recent months, reports have included at least three or four gun incidents each day across the country. Checkpoint screeners have done an excellent job in detecting the weapons and keeping them off airplanes, but each situation
causes delays in the screening process."
Another related cause of delays is the frequent occurrence of weapons not properly declared and packed. Baggage screeners often find guns-loaded and unloaded-amidst clothing and other items in checked bags. Since most instances involve travelers who are not aware of the gun transport rules or who have unknowingly presented the weapon at a checkpoint, the TSA hopes a massive public information campaign will help reduce the number of incidents and resulting unnecessary delays.
The federal requirements regarding travel with firearms and ammunition aboard commercial air carrier are listed below. For additional information, visit the TSA Website at www.tsa.gov/public.
* Firearms are prohibited from carry-on baggage.
* Firearms must be checked with the air carrier as luggage.
* Firearms and ammunition must be declared orally or in writing in
accordance with the air carrier's procedures.
* All firearms must be unloaded.
* The firearm must be carried in a hard-sided container.
* The container must be locked and only the passenger may retain the
key or combination.
* Ammunition is prohibited from carry-on luggage.
* Ammunition may not be carried loose.
* Ammunition must travel in the manufacturer's packaging or other
packaging suitable for transport.
* Ammunition may be packed in the same hard-sided, locked case as the
firearm as long as it complies with packaging requirements as stated above
and the air carrier permits it to be packed with the firearm.
* Firearm parts may not be transported in carry-on baggage.
Pennock noted that travelers may want to check at their local airport to ensure no other requirements need to be met in regards to firearms/ammunition prior to the arrival at the airport.
Failure to fully comply with these requirements may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.