Coffee Date: Traveling with a Firearm

The coffee date series on SMT is probably one my favorites (hello, because coffee is life) and one that continues to evolve in terms of the content. However, it’s purpose for being started remains the same. It’s a way for us to connect further through virtual conversations. So at the beginning, coffee date was all about the q&a. Then it moved to interviews with awesome women in the industry. Now it’s about taking action, being accountable, and continuing to build a community of women who want to be self-reliant.  I wanted to take a step back and talk with you guys open and honestly about the SMT lifestyle.

So grab that hot cup of joe and let’s chat about traveling with your firearm.

— Traveling with a Firearm —

Since we are in summer and it’s that time of year when a lot of us travel with our families it’s a good time to revisit traveling with your firearm. At the beginning of my journey into firearms there is one thing I never thought I would ever have to think about or consider and that would be driving and flying with my firearm. It’s one of those things that I now realize comes with the lifestyle.

It’s really not that difficult of a process and I would be lying if I said the first time I flew with my firearm I wasn’t extremely nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, I was afraid that I didn’t have the “rules” right, and that I would do something wrong. However, it went smoothly and nowadays while I still get a little anxious when checking a firearm overall it’s pretty easy.

Some may wonder why would one fly with a their firearm and for me it’s usually for two main reasons – there’s a training I’m attending or I want to be able to have my firearm so I can carry.

After having several flights with firearm under my belt I wrote a pretty extensive post about what you need to do, bring, and how to pack. A few high level takeaways from that post:

  • Before You Travel: I can’t stress this enough but do your research on the state you are going to and what their rules are in terms of laws and reciprocity (especially if you plan on driving across multiple state lines). Also, the airline you are flying will have their own set of rules too. Doing your homework ahead of time will help to make the next few items a lot more simple.

  • Securing Your Firearm: It’s imperative that your firearm be secured properly in your checked baggage. Yup, no firearms are allowed in your carry on. As part of this lifestyle, you need to procure a good hard-sided case, locks, and locking cables.

  • Packing Your Firearm & Ammo: This can be a bit tricky depending on your airline but I’ve always followed that the firearm must be unloaded, the magazine removed and emptied. Ammo should also be stored separately in your checked bag separate from your firearm.

  • At the Airport: Always always arrive earlier than you need to be there because you have to “declare your firearm” with the airline and check-in with airline agent. That means you can’t use the easy kiosks - you unfortunately have to wait in line as you just never know how long that line will be and depending on the agent checking you in, it might take a little while.

Be sure to read my detailed post about flying with a firearm; you can read that here and as always let me know if you have questions.