Federal law prohibits the carrying of any firearm, concealed or unconcealed, on or about the person or in carry-on baggage while aboard an aircraft. Unloaded firearms not accessible to the passenger while aboard the aircraft are permitted when:
- The passenger has notified the airline when checking the baggage that the firearm is in the baggage and that it is unloaded.
- The firearm is carried in a hard-sided container.
- The baggage in which the firearm is carried is locked and only the passenger checking the baggage retains a key. Moreover, the passenger should remain present during airport screening to provide the key, if necessary, and to lock the case afterward.
- Ammunition must be securely packed in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed for small amounts of ammunition.
Violations of transportation regulations may result in criminal prosecution and civil penalties up to $10,000 per violation. Because air carriers may impose additional requirements on the transportation of firearms and ammunition, the Transportation Security Administration advises travelers to check with specific air carriers to find out any additional transportation policies.