The gun case wheels wobbled unevenly as I approached the counter, expecting trouble. It’s safe to say that all airline gate agents at various airlines aren’t the same. Through years of travel, I’ve encountered every scenario known to man when traveling with firearms. Here are a couple problems and how to fix them when jet-setting with firearms.
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Problem: Completely unprepared upon arrival.
Solution: First-time travel with firearms is crazy intimidating, but it makes you ready to encounter anything. I was on my way to Canada with two guns. I spent hours, days, researching and contacting Canadian officials about procedures and laws. At first, it seemed overwhelming, but the closer the trip came, the more at ease I felt. On a separate trip, I was completely caught off guard when the airline workers questioned me.
The big difference between the two is the importance I placed on one trip over the other. Take every trip seriously so you don’t encounter problems on the road.
Problem: Left the important stuff at home.
Solution: Rushing out the door, the documents I’d prepared for the flight sat on the kitchen counter. I arrived at the airport without knowledge of the airline’s policies. Yes, each airline is different when it comes to transportation of firearms. Some gate agents aren’t clear on their airline’s policies, so you should come prepared. Prime example: I got to the airport and encountered a brand-new agent. I was upfront about what I was carrying but didn’t have their policies. I was carrying a Pelican long-gun case with four hasps for locks. I had two locks in hand, and that wasn’t kosher with the new agent.
The agent was under the impression that every hasp needed a lock. This was where I wished I had the airline regulations because it took 30 minutes to get an answer. Turns out, I was right all along. Moral of the story—print the regulations out for any airline, even if you travel with them often.
Problem: Upon arrival, gun case is a mess and the gun is scratched.
Solution: This is a self-correcting problem. I assumed that I had enough foam in the case, but it turns out baggage handlers are rough on gear. This whole incident prompted a quick trip to a gun shop for the purchase of a Pelican Storm case. Since the purchase, I haven’t had any issues with guns getting damaged. Don’t underestimate the value of a quality case. I also purchased a small Pelican case for transport of my EDC guns. The value of a Pelican case can’t be praised enough. They are simply workhorses that give peace-of-mind. BUY here.
Problems arise when traveling with guns, but solutions are in place to make it easy. Prepare, arrive early and don’t forget a quality case that allows firearms to arrive in the same condition as when you left home. Do this and you’ll find safe travels on the horizon. ~ KJ
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma, but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter, and knows his way around a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.