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Thread: Carrying a Firearm in an Aircraft

  1. #1
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Carrying a Firearm in an Aircraft

    I generally don't fly with a firearm in my airplane, but there are occasions in which I do. For example, when I fly into the mountains of Montana and Idaho I carry my S/W 44 cal Mountain Gun. Tuck Barrett, my mountain flying mentor, told me to carry a 44 always so that if I had to put it down in the trees "No bear is gonna gnaw on you!". Nuff said. I went out and bought a Mountain Gun.

    Living in a very xxxx, xxxxxxx state, I decided many moons ago to get my permit to carry card. Through the process of gaining the same I learned much about the state to state variations in the legalities of open/concealed carry laws, and the implications these have on traveling across state lines with a weapon.

    I just read an article in Midwest Flyer magazine that is quite informative, thought I'd share it with you. Here it is...

    https://midwestflyer.com/?p=15245

    Hope this helps.

    Randy
    Last edited by WindOnHisNose; 03-11-2022 at 08:02 PM. Reason: changed the words to protect those whose feelings might be hurt
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    My enhanced carry permit covers all but the bluish of blue states. My sidearm is part of the tool kit that goes with my cub. Fits in the zippered pocket on my seat that I can access readily.
    My brother was in law enforcement in ND for 34 years and the firearms instructor for the state. He told me that your chances of ever being checked are pretty much nil, but in case you are.....
    and in a state whereby you cannot legally carry ( again not counting the libtard states) they will most likely give you a warning or take your firearm and send it back to an FFL in your city.
    Mr. Worthington's habit of carrying unloaded in a duffel bag defeats the purpose of your ability to utilize your weapon in my opinion.
    My carry is a small frame hammerless .357. When out of the aircraft it fits in my back waistband.....unnoticeable with a loose shirt, sweater, or jacket.
    Should my life be threatened anywhere I will deal with the consequences of the carry laws vs. the alternative......but this is my personal decision. To each their own.
    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"

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    Our state and New Hampster have CC, so no issues here. We are very careful about making sure we are "clean" before crossing over into Massachusetts.

    How ironic that we have arrived at a point in American history where the State that gave birth to the revolution that ultimately defined our inalienable rights is also the same state that allows armed drug couriers to pass freely through its borders on a daily basis whilst subjecting the occasional forgetful New Englander who accidentally left a .22 target pistol in the back seat to months of incarceration and horrific expense at the hands of feckless prosecutors.

    A very sad, sad state of affairs. So, do not crash land on MA soil while carrying a weapon on board, for whatever reason.
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    40m's Avatar
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    As a Vermonter I can "by right" carry open or concealed in State, however it creates an issue for me when it comes to reciprocity of participating States not having a physical permit. Well intended freedoms can some times have unintended consequences. Going west is a no-no, south a big no-no, north well how do you say jail in French?

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Carrying a firearm carries with it serious responsibilities. Here’s a news flash:

    The TSA said it seized more than 5,900 guns at security checks in 2021, 1,500 more than the previous record set in 2019. Most of those firearms, 86%, were loaded, the TSA said”

    If you’re going to carry a firearm in an aircraft, you MUST have a plan to secure that firearm when you leave the plane, ie: Either carried on your person or securely locked up.

    What is scary about the TSA note is that literally thousands of people were apparently numb above the neck, and walked up to a known firearms prohibited area while carrying a loaded firearm.

    Dont be that guy.

    MTV
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    flybynite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    state to state variations in the legalities of open/concealed carry laws, and the implications these have on traveling across state lines with a weapon.

    Good justification for a national CC (constitutional carry)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Carrying a firearm carries with it serious responsibilities. Here’s a news flash:

    The TSA said it seized more than 5,900 guns at security checks in 2021, 1,500 more than the previous record set in 2019. Most of those firearms, 86%, were loaded, the TSA said”

    If you’re going to carry a firearm in an aircraft, you MUST have a plan to secure that firearm when you leave the plane, ie: Either carried on your person or securely locked up.

    What is scary about the TSA note is that literally thousands of people were apparently numb above the neck, and walked up to a known firearms prohibited area while carrying a loaded firearm.

    Dont be that guy.

    MTV
    Small airplanes don’t normally deal with TSA. Unless the airport you are at has airline service, they will be nowhere to be seen. With the exception of an accident, you are unlikely to ever see law enforcement at a small airport.


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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    Small airplanes don’t normally deal with TSA. Unless the airport you are at has airline service, they will be nowhere to be seen. With the exception of an accident, you are unlikely to ever see law enforcement at a small airport.


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    Dan, so you never walk away from your airplane? Like, to a restaurant or bar or bank, many of which prohibit firearms.

    My point has nothing to do with TSA, other than that it’s illustrative that last year alone, at least 5900 gun owners were found to be singularly irresponsible by entering an area that EVERYBODY knows you don’t take a gun: at TSA checkpoints.

    How many folks carrying firearms also walked into banks, restaurants, bars, or businesses which prohibit guns on premises?

    My point was, don’t be LIKE those 5900 dumb asses that walked through the TSA metal detectors while armed.

    MTV
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    TSA agents don’t all know the regulations. Some fraction of those 5900 were seized illegally. I’ve only flown commercial with a gun a couple of times, and I was very careful to do everything by the book. I still got harassed in Indianapolis. In Phoenix, they couldn’t have cared less.

    I don’t carry in my airplane because I have enough to worry about without a gun complicating life. I’ve been thinking about a takedown rifle or something, but they’re unobtainable at the moment, so it isn’t worth pondering too hard.
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    These days I always bring a weapon when I travel.

    In response to reports of hunters and other gun owners being arrested while transporting their firearms through states with tight gun control, Congress passed Senate Bill 2414 as part of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act (“FOPA”). This law, often called the
    McClure-Volkmer Rule, provides protection for gun owners transporting firearms through restrictive states, subject to a few requirements.

    When travelling through restricted states (i.e. states that do not honor your concealed firearm permit) you can still have your firearm in your vehicle, but you need to abide by 5 specific rules: (1) You must be traveling FROM a place where you may lawfully possess and/or carry the firearm TO any other place where you may lawfully possess and/or carry that same firearm; (2) The firearm(s) must be unloaded; (3) The firearm(s) and ammunition must be stored separately (i.e. separate containers); (4) The firearm(s) and ammunition must be stored so they are not readily or directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle, and (5) In order to guarantee federal protection, your transport through the state should be continuous and uninterrupted.

    To deal with our patchwork mess of gun laws I use a quick reference App to look up the gun laws of the state(s) I'm traveling to. One of my favorites is Legal Heat.

    Carrying a weapon is a pain in the ass and a big responsibility. In fact it is like flying in a lot of ways; you should
    take it seriously, get the proper training, and maintain proficiency. I would also strongly suggest you take just a little time to understand our laws surrounding lethal defense and understand how to handle communication with the police after a shooting, unless you don't care about losing most of your savings in a wrongful death claim.

    Hope that helps.
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    “been thinking about a takedown rifle or something”

    camping in remote areas I take my Savage
    .22/.410 O/U. Assembles in five seconds. A 357 or 44 it’s good for protection but pretty useless for obtaining food

    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdrvr View Post
    “been thinking about a takedown rifle or something”

    camping in remote areas I take my Savage
    .22/.410 O/U. Assembles in five seconds. A 357 or 44 it’s good for protection but pretty useless for obtaining food

    I have an old Mossberg 350 that, to be honest, I'd pretty much forgotten about. Maybe I should start carrying that in the baggage. It isn't a takedown, but it's free to me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB View Post
    These days I always bring a weapon when I travel.

    In response to reports of hunters and other gun owners being arrested while transporting their firearms through states with tight gun control, Congress passed Senate Bill 2414 as part of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act (“FOPA”). This law, often called the
    McClure-Volkmer Rule, provides protection for gun owners transporting firearms through restrictive states, subject to a few requirements.

    When travelling through restricted states (i.e. states that do not honor your concealed firearm permit) you can still have your firearm in your vehicle, but you need to abide by 5 specific rules: (1) You must be traveling FROM a place where you may lawfully possess and/or carry the firearm TO any other place where you may lawfully possess and/or carry that same firearm; (2) The firearm(s) must be unloaded; (3) The firearm(s) and ammunition must be stored separately (i.e. separate containers); (4) The firearm(s) and ammunition must be stored so they are not readily or directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle, and (5) In order to guarantee federal protection, your transport through the state should be continuous and uninterrupted.

    To deal with our patchwork mess of gun laws I use a quick reference App to look up the gun laws of the state(s) I'm traveling to. One of my favorites is Legal Heat.

    Carrying a weapon is a pain in the ass and a big responsibility. In fact it is like flying in a lot of ways; you should
    take it seriously, get the proper training, and maintain proficiency. I would also strongly suggest you take just a little time to understand our laws surrounding lethal defense and understand how to handle communication with the police after a shooting, unless you don't care about losing most of your savings in a wrongful death claim.

    Hope that helps.
    What’s the app?


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    My side arm is like my iPhone. It's part of my every day routine and I feel naked without it. If I am in my personal airplane, it is with me. I will also leave it in my locked airplane while I am away just like I would leave it in my locked truck or home. Not sure I follow the logic there. . . . .

    If I am scheduled to go somewhere that does not allow it, I reschedule and move the work elsewhere if at all possible. It's crazy that the laws vary so much state to state. I've spent thousands on training, practice, subjected myself to additional scrutiny etc. I train more than all LEO I know.

    With that said- I fly commercial as an absolute last resort. I'd rather charter, carry, and pay 10x more.

    As for the rise in TSA findings at airports, its not a surprise that we have a rise. New gun owner numbers are up 2.4 million in 2019, 3.8 million in 2020, and 1.7 million in 2021. I'd guess folks that did not grow up around guns may not be as fluent as those that did. Total gun ownership is estimated at 393 million in the US. I'd wager that the vast majority of those fall in to 2 categories:

    1) Accidental- where the firearm is inside a bag that may double as a range, camping, backpack bag etc. and a mistake was made.
    2) Checked bags where one is not educated about the requirements for travelling with a firearm.

    MTV- The article does not say that "5900 people (Dumb Asses) walked through TSA Metal Detectors While Armed". It said that 5900 firearms were seized at "Security Checks". There is a very big difference in those 2 statements.

    My point is that while the number is high, it warrants further analysis into the causes. We have to look at the big picture.

    I am not in any way saying it is ok, I am saying we need to peel the onion a bit before we jump to conclusions.

    I'll volunteer to analyze the dataset and present it here if someone can provide it.

    Carry on-
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    As far as TSA, they allow people to carry full back packs of pot through as carry-on, without letting anyone know or adhering the the federal ban on flying it, but yet think that everyone with a firearm is a criminal...

    Vote folks.
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    I carry a gun every time I’m flying a plane. You as the pic are responsible for the well being of your passengers. Where I fly, if you happen to have to put the plane down off airport, the first thing on the scene, might be there to eat you...
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    I hear where I live in Vermont is as open to carry as most anywhere, except for out onto the ramp at my local airport.
    Regards, Charlie
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    It is a requirement in Alaska!
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroeric View Post
    My side arm is like my iPhone. It's part of my every day routine and I feel naked without it. If I am in my personal airplane, it is with me. I will also leave it in my locked airplane while I am away just like I would leave it in my locked truck or home. Not sure I follow the logic there. . . . .

    If I am scheduled to go somewhere that does not allow it, I reschedule and move the work elsewhere if at all possible. It's crazy that the laws vary so much state to state. I've spent thousands on training, practice, subjected myself to additional scrutiny etc. I train more than all LEO I know.

    With that said- I fly commercial as an absolute last resort. I'd rather charter, carry, and pay 10x more.

    As for the rise in TSA findings at airports, its not a surprise that we have a rise. New gun owner numbers are up 2.4 million in 2019, 3.8 million in 2020, and 1.7 million in 2021. I'd guess folks that did not grow up around guns may not be as fluent as those that did. Total gun ownership is estimated at 393 million in the US. I'd wager that the vast majority of those fall in to 2 categories:

    1) Accidental- where the firearm is inside a bag that may double as a range, camping, backpack bag etc. and a mistake was made.
    2) Checked bags where one is not educated about the requirements for travelling with a firearm.

    MTV- The article does not say that "5900 people (Dumb Asses) walked through TSA Metal Detectors While Armed". It said that 5900 firearms were seized at "Security Checks". There is a very big difference in those 2 statements.

    My point is that while the number is high, it warrants further analysis into the causes. We have to look at the big picture.

    I am not in any way saying it is ok, I am saying we need to peel the onion a bit before we jump to conclusions.

    I'll volunteer to analyze the dataset and present it here if someone can provide it.

    Carry on-
    Every one of those 5900 guns may represent a nail in the coffin of our rights. I’m not defending TSA, I’m saying that many….not all by any means……but many gun owners need to be a wee bit more conscious of their surroundings.

    Hey, I always carry a folding knife in my pocket…..a few years ago, I ferried a plane…..with that knife in my pocket. I had to rush to make a commercial flight, and as I walked up to the screening point, I remembered the knife. So, who was the dumb ass there? Me. I did not walk through the scanner, and the very nice lady TSA person said I could give the knife to someone, or do whatever. Janitor may have got a nice but well worn knife.

    You can pick at the “data” all you like, I could care less. I carried as an LE, and I’ve seen a lot of pretty sloppy gun handling, by citizens and LEOs.

    So, I’ll say it again…..carry a firearm if you wish and are legally able to do so. Just be careful with it. I am a gun owner, and I sometimes carry, and I would hate to lose that ability because of sloppy gun owners.

    MTV
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    40m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    I hear where I live in Vermont is as open to carry as most anywhere, except for out onto the ramp at my local airport.
    Charlie this is the only limitation I find regarding Vermont right to carry law at Rutland Airport.

    • Sterile areas of Airports -An individual may not have a weapon on or about the individual’s person or accessible property when entering or in a sterile area of an airport or when attempting to board or onboard an aircraft for which screening is conducted.

    From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be
    found in all corners of the earth."

    Then he made the earth round... and He laughed and laughed and laughed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post

    Hey, I always carry a folding knife in my pocket…..a few years ago, I ferried a plane…..with that knife in my pocket. I had to rush to make a commercial flight, and as I walked up to the screening point, I remembered the knife. So, who was the dumb ass there? Me. I did not walk through the scanner, and the very nice lady TSA person said I could give the knife to someone, or do whatever. Janitor may have got a nice but well worn knife.
    I did that approaching a federal courthouse. I had emptied my pockets in the truck beforehand, but forgot about the narrow lock-blade in my hip pocket.

    I put it in a planter near the entrance and hoped for the best. It was still there when I walked out 2 hours later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Hey, I always carry a folding knife in my pocket…..a few years ago, I ferried a plane…..with that knife in my pocket. I had to rush to make a commercial flight, and as I walked up to the screening point, I remembered the knife. So, who was the dumb ass there? Me. I did not walk through the scanner, and the very nice lady TSA person said I could give the knife to someone, or do whatever. Janitor may have got a nice but well worn knife.
    I did that once out of PAFA. Luckily they’re prepared for that and the nice folks at the baggage check counter have a stack of knife-sized boxes that they’ll slap a free checked-bag tag on.

    I got my knife back at the carousel at my destination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flybynite View Post
    Good justification for a national CC (constitutional carry)
    Isn't that the 2A?

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    I carry a handgun on 100% of my flights. Sometimes a long gun, too. I guess I’m happy to live in a place that supports my chosen lifestyle. Or maybe my lifestyle is the result of the place. I wouldn’t live in many of the places some of you do for any amount of money. Life’s too short.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I carry a handgun on 100% of my flights. Sometimes a long gun, too. I guess I’m happy to live in a place that supports my chosen lifestyle. Or maybe my lifestyle is the result of the place. I wouldn’t live in many of the places some of you do for any amount of money. Life’s too short.
    While I don't carry on every flight, I sure as heck have never given a second thought to putting a firearm (or two...or three) in my plane. This whole thread is completely foreign to me.
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    I usually have at least one gun in the plane in Alaska. Grew up on a farm and always had guns around. A lot of my life spent traveling around the US, Europe, Mexico and other places without a gun and I did just fine. Pay attention to your surroundings and don't be an Ass ya get by just fine. I don't limit my travel life in most of the world just because I can not pack a gun in parts of it. If you do carry just pay attention to the local laws like Mike and Randy said, it really is not that hard. I remember the days when I could get a plane in first class with a folding buck knife on my belt and no one even noticed.
    DENNY
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    Hey, I always carry a folding knife in my pocket…..a few years ago, I ferried a plane…..with that knife in my pocket. I had to rush to make a commercial flight, and as I walked up to the screening point, I remembered the knife. So, who was the dumb ass there? Me. I did not walk through the scanner, and the very nice lady TSA person said I could give the knife to someone, or do whatever. Janitor may have got a nice but well worn knife.
    MTV
    Once upon a time I was going through security at KFLL. The person in front of me emptied his pockets into the tray, handed it to the attendant and passed through the detector where he was handed back the contents of the tray. In the tray there was a folded pocket knife. I asked the attendant why he gave the knife back. He said as long as it wasn't more than 4" it was OK. He used the width of his palm as a measure. Apparently a 4" knife was not a security threat? This was prior to 911.
    N1PA
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    i went to a vikings game in minneapolis to see the stadium, i like engineering stuff, had a 4 inch pocket knife in my pocket that my grandpa had givin me,my dumb, guy at the door said nope, thought of the planter somewhere deal, but 2000 people behind me so i gave it to him, he threw it in a bucket with all the other stuff he was collecting and took it home to add to his garage full collection, smiling all the way. i will never go to a vikings or any football game again, im hoping this fuel deal will kill the nfl-nba. but nice stadium. just cant fathom how they get the roofs on those buildings?? unreal. just remember what state your in if you have a mind slip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40m View Post
    Charlie this is the only limitation I find regarding Vermont right to carry law at Rutland Airport.

    • Sterile areas of Airports -An individual may not have a weapon on or about the individual’s person or accessible property when entering or in a sterile area of an airport or when attempting to board or onboard an aircraft for which screening is conducted.

    One would think the GA area of the ramp would or could be more relaxed than being near the Red Box of the TSA which is only active 3 hrs a day. But KRUT is under the same security as Logan airport where that C 402 flies to three times a day. There is plenty of drug trafficking here, I bet they carry, but heck they are approved to do their task.
    Regards, Charlie
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    ..... Where I fly, if you happen to have to put the plane down off airport, the first thing on the scene, might be there to eat you...
    Puts a whole different spin on "first responder".
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    KevinB thanks for the heads up on the app Legal Heat. Answers to many questions under one roof.


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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    i went to a vikings game in minneapolis to see the stadium, i like engineering stuff, had a 4 inch pocket knife in my pocket that my grandpa had givin me,my dumb, guy at the door said nope, thought of the planter somewhere deal, but 2000 people behind me so i gave it to him, he threw it in a bucket with all the other stuff he was collecting and took it home to add to his garage full collection, smiling all the way. i will never go to a vikings or any football game again, im hoping this fuel deal will kill the nfl-nba. but nice stadium. just cant fathom how they get the roofs on those buildings?? unreal. just remember what state your in if you have a mind slip.
    Keep an eye on your state government surplus auction site. Here in Montana TSA gives the knives to the state who in turn auctions them off. You might get lucky and see hour knife come up.

    https://m.publicsurplus.com/sms/all,...&search=Search
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  33. #33
    krines's Avatar
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    Went up to the airport once to fly down to a pals ranch to shoot prairie dogs. Pulled the plane out of the hangar per my usual routine and then transfer my gun to the plane from my truck. When I looked across the airport I noticed Obama was in town and the snipers I assume from the secret service where on top of some buildings about 400 yards away. Kind of had to smuggle the gun to the plane. Luckily did not get shot in the process.

  34. #34

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    M Pence comes and goes through Krut, They do not always announce his presence but I do not like it when I am just getting a Young Eagles event up to speed and all the guards and SWAT teams are getting perched on the roof tops. They let us continue at least. Just another day of hosting events.
    It also appears they setup more than one airport as decoys.
    Regards, Charlie
    Super Coupe E-AB build in process

  35. #35
    Doug Budd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    One would think the GA area of the ramp would or could be more relaxed than being near the Red Box of the TSA which is only active 3 hrs a day. But KRUT is under the same security as Logan airport where that C 402 flies to three times a day. There is plenty of drug trafficking here, I bet they carry, but heck they are approved to do their task.
    Yep it is crazy. My Uncle flys for the government hunting coyotes. Him and the government trapper/gunner got out of the cub at the airport with a bunch of empty shells and a shot gun. There was some very unhappy people. And the puddle jumping airline was no where around. And this is at a very small airport.
    It was a case of people taking their authority way too far.


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  36. #36
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Budd View Post
    ....It was a case of people taking their authority way too far.
    There's a lot of that going around.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  37. #37
    Eferr's Avatar
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    In the lower 48, has there been a time where discharging a firearm was necessary, in the context of aviation “periops”? It’s probably safe to say that even in ID/MT, the last thing you need if going down in the sticks is a firearm. If you survive the crash, your best bet is that 406 and satellite communicator.


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  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eferr View Post
    In the lower 48, has there been a time where discharging a firearm was necessary, in the context of aviation “periops”? It’s probably safe to say that even in ID/MT, the last thing you need if going down in the sticks is a firearm. If you survive the crash, your best bet is that 406 and satellite communicator.


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    Better to have one and not need it, than to need one and not have it.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    Better to have one and not need it, than to need one and not have it.
    This

  40. #40
    Eferr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    Better to have one and not need it, than to need one and not have it.
    That’s exactly my point. It’s important to identify logical fallacy as to the context of preparation. When one thinks of being prepared for going down, a firearm is generally quite low on that “necessary” list. In AK and Canada, that equation likely changes. However down here, it’s not necessary. That is, unless your goal is to deter people. That opens a whole different bag of worms.


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