How To: Protect Your Luggage by Flying with a Gun (Legally)

Protect Your Luggage by Flying with a Gun (Legally)

Did you know you can help protect yourself when traveling with a gun? No, not like that; and not in any way that's going to land you in prison. Simply by packing a gun, you can ensure that not only will your luggage be safer, but that the airline will make certain that it reaches its destination.

Photo by Alamy

A writer at Pixiq got this tip from a photographer who routinely travels with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of camera gear.

How It Works

It's a commonly known fact that no airline in its right mind is going to let you travel with a loaded firearm. But what you might not know is that most allow you to pack a small firearm, minus the ammunition of course, as long as you declare it and allow a TSA employee to inspect your bags.

Photo by Joel Franusic

What happens here is that because it is such a headache for everyone involved if a gun goes missing on an airplane, the airline will actually specially tag and track your bags through the luggage systems. This should give you some peace of mind knowing that your luggage will meet you at your destination; and if not, at the very least the airline will know exactly where it is.

In addition, it is TSA policy to require your luggage to be unlocked, or equipped with a lock that a TSA employee can open if an inspection is deemed necessary. Interestingly though, if your luggage contains a firearm, it's mandatory that it be secured with a lock that only you can open. The TSA staff will still check your bags by hand or x-ray, but will require that the luggage be locked afterwards. This will help deter theft, as now your entire bag must be stolen for anything to go missing; and since the airline is now monitoring it, that would be much more difficult to do.

Being Smart About It

What the photographer recommends is traveling with a cheap "starter pistol," which is the type of handgun used at the start of track-and-field races. A starter pistol is classified as a firearm, but isn't illegal anywhere and can be purchased for as little as $50.

Photo by Northland Dog Supply

Now obviously you will be looking at a longer bag-check process, but for those traveling with a lot of expensive belongings, it might very well be worth it.

Just make sure to check ahead of time if your airline allows unloaded firearms, and absolutely declare it well before that TSA agent checks your bag.

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