Last Thursday afternoon was a busy day at the Greater Binghamton Airport! After our first press conference with County Executive Debbie Preston, we had TSA representative, Lisa Farbstein discuss the proper ways to travel through an airport with (properly packed) firearms and ammunition. Recently, there has been a 35% (national) increase in the number of firearms brought to airport checkpoints. Lisa spent the afternoon telling the group the right way to pack a firearm, and the most important part goes back all the way back to kindergarten; always do your homework!
Most travelers don’t realize, but you can actually travel with a firearm – however, you have to make sure you read up on rules, regulations and fill out all of the proper paperwork. In addition you must always pack your gear correctly in your checked bag. Lisa provided us with a few pictures of the wrong and right ways to pack a firearm which are shown below. Packing your firearm is easy and surprisingly inexpensive. You can find a case for your next trip at a sporting goods store like Dicks. They start as low as $10 and go up in price, depending on what you’re comfortable paying for.
Properly Packing Your Firearm: NEVER pack your firearm in carry-on baggage, always ensure that it is packed in checked baggage. Open your case, lay the UNLOADED gun in the case, with the ammunition placed next to your firearm. Your ammunition must be in the case that you bought it in. If you no longer have that case, wait to buy your ammunition when you arrive at your destination, otherwise you will run into checkpoint issues at the airport. Another important element to remember is, make sure you don’t have any loose ammunition lying about; this will slow down your travel process. Then simply close your case, lock it with a key-controlled lock and you are ready to go!
At The Airport: Travelers bringing a firearm with them to another state must know the laws of the jurisdiction you are flying to and from. This is unbelievably important, so do your homework and read, read, read! When you arrive at the airport bring your case inside your checked bag (or just the case for long guns) to the airport check-in counter. Tell them you will be flying with a firearm and ask for the appropriate forms. At the airport you will fill out your forms, hand them in and you’re ready to fly!
Flying with firearms and ammunition is a surprisingly simple process, as long as you read up on the rules of the state and airport you are flying to and from, as well as the airline you are traveling on. Not properly packing your firearm in checked baggage can result in a slow travel process, potentially being issued a ticket and charged, and in some states you could end up getting arrested. So make sure you’re packed correctly in checked baggage, have all of your permits, and you’re ready to roll with all of your papers! Safe travels! And don’t forget to #FlyBGM!