Doug Richards for U.S. LawShield of Colorado. I want to talk to you today about traveling with your firearm, and not traveling in the way we’ve talked about in the past. This time I want to talk about going to the airport.
TRAVELING TO THE AIRPORT
Let’s start with when you’re leaving your house. Now, if you’re leaving your house and you’re driving to the airport, all of the other rules, regulations, and safety protocols put in place in your day-to-day life would be present. Make sure you’re following Colorado law all the way up until the point when you’re parking your car because when you’re on the property at the airport, you’re still within the guidelines and jurisdiction of Colorado state law.
PACKING YOUR FIREARM
Once you leave your vehicle and head into the airport, the firearm must now be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container. You’ll need to retain a key or combination for the lock in case TSA requests that you open the container. Also, be sure that any ammunition you have is also in your checked baggage; that cannot go in your carry-on. You will face the possibility of being charged with a felony offense if you violate any of these rules.
LONG GUN REQUIREMENTS
There really is no difference between transporting a handgun or a long gun when you’re going into and from an airport. Both types of firearms need to be packed within a case. You’ll want to also check the TSA website regularly because the TSA frequently changes their requirements on how they want firearms packed and how they want travelers to present those firearms when they arrive at the airport.
Now, if you are trying to travel, for example, for a hunting trip, and you have your shotgun or your rifle with you, that is certainly something that you can do. You don’t need a specific license to travel with it, although you would need to make sure that you obtain the proper hunting licensure where you’re actually going to be hunting.
FINAL DESTINATION ARRIVAL
Finally, if you are going to carry a pistol with you in your final destination, you want to make sure that you are aware of the concealed handgun license laws in that destination. Be sure to check either the U.S. LawShield website or contact one of the Independent Program Attorneys in your state, or the state that you’re going to be visiting, to make sure that there is reciprocity and ensure you understand all of the laws that are applicable to gun owners.
Feel free to call me at my office, I’m always happy to talk to US Law Shield members.