Traveling with Special Items
Traveling with outdoor gear, guns, and most camping items are permitted. Outdoor enthusiasts should carefully prepare and pack to avoid removal of prohibited items from checked baggage or surrendering prohibited items at the security checkpoint. Here is a specific list of all permitted and prohibited items. Below is information specific to traveling in pursuit of outdoor activities.
Firearms and Ammunition
Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts may only be transported in checked baggage. Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are prohibited from carry-on baggage.
There are certain limited exceptions for law enforcement officers (LEOs) who are authorized to fly armed by meeting the requirements of 49 CFR § 1544.219.
Following is a summary of key regulatory requirements to transport firearms, firearm parts or ammunition in checked baggage:
- All firearms must be declared to the air carrier during the ticket counter check-in process.
- The firearm must be unloaded.
- The firearm must be carried in a hard-sided container.
- The container must be locked.
- The passenger must provide the key or combination to the screener if it is necessary to open the container, and then remain present during screening to take back possession of the key after the container is cleared.
- Any ammunition transported must be securely packed in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
- Firearm magazines/clips do not satisfy the packaging requirement unless they provide a complete and secure enclosure of the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
- The ammunition may also be located in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it is properly packed as described above.
- Black powder and percussion caps used with black-powder type firearms are not permitted in carry-on or checked baggage.
The regulations are strictly enforced. Violations can result in criminal prosecution and the imposition of civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.
Air carriers may have their own additional requirements on the carriage of firearms and the amount of ammunition an individual may place in checked baggage. Therefore, travelers should also contact the air carrier regarding its firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
If you are traveling with a gun or ammunition, please read our information on traveling with these items for more information. Traveling with Firearms and Ammunition.
Bows and Arrows
Bows and arrows are prohibited from carry-on luggage. These items should be packed in checked luggage. Any sharp objects packed in checked luggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security screeners.
Chemical repellants can be carried in checked luggage if the volume is less than 4 ounces and has less than a 2% active ingredient. Most bear repellants exceed these limitations. We suggest buying such items at your destination and leaving them behind upon return.
Hunting Knives and Tools
Hunting knives and certain tools are prohibited from carry-on luggage. These items should be packed in checked luggage. Any sharp objects packed in checked luggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security screeners.
Compressed Gas Cylinders
If you plan on traveling with a compressed gas cylinder such as carbon-dioxide, please read our information on traveling with these items. Transporting Compressed Gas Cylinders
Fishing Rods are permitted as carry-on and checked baggage. However, please check with your air carrier to confirm that it fits within their size limitations for carry-on items. Ultimately, it is the carrier's decision as to whether or not it can be transported as carry-on baggage.
Spear guns are prohibited from carry-on luggage. These items should be packed in checked luggage. Any sharp objects packed in checked luggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security screeners.
Sharp fishing tackle that may be considered dangerous, such as large fish hooks, should be sheathed, securely wrapped, and packed in your checked luggage. Like other high-value objects, you may wish to pack expensive reels or fragile tackle that does not pose a security threat (small flies) in your carry-on baggage.