0286 – If You are a Shooter, Check Your Carry-On Bags When You Travel

I’ve talked quite a bit in the past about air travel with firearms.  It is a practice that I engage in often.  If my destination is a gun friendly place I take my pistols.  This is true if I am traveling for business or for pleasure.  It is never a requirement for me to have a gun.  Even when I am teaching, a friend, family member, host or student typically has a spare that they are willing to loan me for the duration of my stay for carry and for use on the range if need be.  None the less, I like to carry my own.  So, sometimes, I don’t travel with a gun when I fly.  When you are a shooter, and you fly whether you take your guns or not you need to pay particularly close attention to your carry on bags.


    • Jamie Onion Western Reserve Tactical, Combat Focus Shooting May 19 and 20

Shooters and Ammunition

They kind of go together don’t they.  Folks that do a lot of shooting typically have a lot of ammunition.  If your not careful, you can find that you begin to treat that ammunition like spare change.  This is probably not the best case situation.

  • Ammunition is expensive
  • Ammunition needs to be stored properly
  • There can be consequences to carrying ammunition in places where it is prohibited

TSA Regulations

Another View of the Regs from TSA

Don’t be this guy!

Consequences of having Ammunition in your Carry-On

It is listed pretty clearly that violation of carrying ammunition in a carry-on bag can be fines of up to $10,000, but I think you would agree that there are consequences that are much more likely and problematic just the same.

  • Embarrassment
  • Delays
  • Loss of ammunition
  • Interaction with TSA Supervisors
  • Interaction with LEO at Airport
  • Follow up investigation

What You Can Do to Reduce the Risk

  • Store ammunition properly.
  • Don’t travel with bags you use to store ammunition.
  • If you do travel with range bags, check, recheck, check again.
  • If you are traveling from the range to the airport, check your person as well.


3 replies
  1. BalloonGoesUp
    BalloonGoesUp says:

    I “know a guy” that once flew from Charlotte to his office in Philly and discover a loaded magazine full of Speer Gold-dots in a mag pouch.

    Not wanting to test his luck, he threw the ammo away and fed-exd the gear home to himself.

    After returning home and opening the box he looked at the contents of the box and thought “If it was a double mag pouch, why was there just one magazine?”

    There wasn’t. He had flow from Charlotte to Philly with 2 loaded magazines and back home with 1. They were in the bag because of a switch of carry guns on a trip to Ohio and they weren’t removed.



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