Saturday, August 29, 2015

Flying With Loaded Magazines

The last time I checked a handgun, TSA insisted that ammunition in magazines was not allowed in the locked firearms case, only stored in a ammunition box.  This meant discarding a bunch of JHPs, and going the a bit of work reloading at the far end.  This time, I am including a copy of TSA's web page:
Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. Firearm parts, including firearms frames and receivers, must also be placed in checked baggage and are prohibited in carry-on baggage.


  • Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.
  • Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber for rifle or pistol and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as described in the packing guidelines above.

Is this clear enough?

It appears some airlines have additional silly rules:
Ensure small arms ammunition is packed in the manufacturer's original package or securely packed in fiber, wood, plastic or metal boxes and provide separation for cartridges.

What are they worried about?  EMP?


  1. I'm not an expert, but I'm betting there are DOT regs in effect as well and that ma be where the origonal package etc. comes from.

  2. The airline in question is probably just using the old rules from TSA. Several years ago I flew with a handgun, and the rules were quite different from the current rules. Plus, I learned that a number of airline employees have no idea what the rules are.

    I concluded that it was best to take a current set of TSA rules + a current set of rules specific to the airline, as they are not always the same, as you learned.

  3. I wish someone would Impress this POINT on Agent Patrick Peralta of the TSA who was at Austin Int'l Airport a few years back. I had an interaction with him, on this EXACT POINT. As a reTIRED Federal Agent, I have carried my Browning HiPower with me, for DECADES, in a LOCK HARD-SIDED Pistol Case inside one of my checked Bags. Never a Question, always passed Inspection when asked. But not with this TSA Bully JackBooted Thug. I even wrote an Official Complaint, to TSA after the Incident. Not even a single response, Nada, Nothing.... The Austin Police Officer that came, to take Possession of my JHP Ammunition that was in excess of the Ammo boxes in the GunCase, just smiled, and I told him I hope he had a good time, at the Range shooing up my custom loaded Ammunition. I even gave him all the Loading Data for those shells, on the back of my Business Card. Got a nice note from him a couple of weeks later....

  4. Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.

    Let's say that I go to visit my friend Joe, and as a gift I bring a firearm and several after-market magazines for it in an after-market case. But Joe says he doesn't like that brand of magazine or that case. So I want to take them home.

    Would it be illegal to transport the magazines in the "hard-sided case" when it is not "containing an unloaded firearm"?

    1. Not sure. But since you've already committed a felony for completing an ?nterst