Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tactical Gear and Airline Travel

Going on a west coast hunting trip and live on the east coast? Chances are you're flying. You need to know how to get all your tactical gear there safely, legally, and in one piece. In this article we'll look at the TSA rules for traveling with some of your higher-profile gear.

Tactical Gear
According to law, when you travel you must transport firearms, ammunition and firearm parts in checked luggage only. They must be declared during check-in at the airport ticket counter, unloaded, and in a hard-sided, locked container. Ammunition must be packaged in cardboard (or cardboard-like) material at a minimum. It may not be transported in clips or magazines. Refrain from brining black powder or percussion caps -- they're prohibited. For incident-free travel with your tactical gear, contact the airline you're traveling with before you pack.

Flare Guns
Many people going to remote locations have flare guns at the top of their packing lists. There's no better way to mark your location in case of emergency. TSA travel restrictions are the same for these as with regular firearms. They must be unloaded and in a locked container for travel. The actual flares must be purchased when you arrive at your destination -- they are prohibited on flights.

Knives and other Sharp Tactical Gear
Do yourself a favor -- plan on checking these items, but call your airline to make sure. For the most part, any tactical equipment in this category you might take (multi-tool, knife, hatchet, utility knife) needs to be part of your checked luggage.

Self Defense Tactical Gear
Common items in this category are batons, stun guns, and mace or pepper spray. All must be included with your checked luggage when traveling. Mace and pepper spray is limited to one 4 Fluid Ounce container per checked bag, and it must be equipped with an accidental discharge safety mechanism.

Bottom line, when traveling with tactical gear, make sure you have enough room in your checked baggage, and make sure you contact your airline beforehand to iron out the details.

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