Who Is Allowed to Fly with Loaded Firearms?

For most gun owners, a trip to the airport means removing ammo and stowing your firearm in a special container. However, some people may actually be able to skip these steps. Depending on your circumstances, you may be allowed to bring your gun with you while you travel. The firearms education experts from Gun Safety Training Pros, your top choice if you’re interested in taking a firearms safety class online, explain what you need to know about flying armed.

Law Enforcement Officers Can Fly with Loaded Guns

The only individuals who are allowed to bring loaded guns on planes are law enforcement officers. To qualify for this privilege, you’ll need to be a full-time commissioned officer who has completed an appropriate “Flying While Armed” training program. Only officers who are specifically authorized by their employers can bring weapons on planes, and they need to have justifiable reasons for why they need accessible weapons while flying. Uniformed officers can keep their firearms on their persons, while those not in uniform can conceal carry or keep their weapons somewhere within immediate reach.

All Other Individuals Are Prohibited from Bringing Loaded Guns on Planes

Other than full-time active-duty law enforcement officers who have a need to carry loaded guns for work reasons, no one else can bring a loaded gun on a plane. This includes private citizens, retired law enforcement officers, and members of the military. For all these people, regular TSA guidelines will apply. To travel with a firearm, you’ll need to unload it and place it in a locked hard-sided container. You’ll need to check the firearm and declare it when you present it for check-in. Any ammunition also needs to be checked, and you can put it in the same container as your gun.

You Have to Notify the Airport before Taking a Loaded Gun on the Plane

If you’re authorized to carry a loaded gun on a plane, you have to follow several safety guidelines. Your employer will need to submit a National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) message to the airport beforehand. When you arrive, you’ll need to present your picture, signature, authorizing signature from your employer, and possibly your NLETS confirmation number an hour before departure.

When Flying on Private Planes, You Don’t Have to Follow Federal Guidelines

Keep in mind that all these rules about notification letters and special locked containers only apply when flying commercially. When you’re flying in a private plane, none of the TSA rules about handguns apply. Instead, private planes are treated like any other private property. The owner of the plane can decide how handguns are treated and whether they’re allowed. However, certain airports might have their own guidelines, so check the rules for any airport you plan on flying into or out of.

If you’re getting ready to travel by air with your gun, it’s essential that you understand and follow all applicable gun laws. Gun Safety Training Pros is dedicated to providing the finest firearms training available. If you need help finding information on gun laws or you’re looking for a high-quality handgun safety course online, we have everything you need. Contact us today at [email protected].

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