Florida airports are often crowded, busy places and you may have experienced a time or two when you barely boarded your flight on time because of delays at the check-in counter or security checkpoint. When you're trying to reach your destination on time, you may get a little stressed and start to worry whether you've remembered to pack your essentials, labeled your bags properly or remembered to bring your passport if you plan to leave the country.
If one of the items you packed in your luggage happens to be a firearm, you obviously want to research the strict regulations for doing so ahead of time or you may wind up in a heap of trouble at the airport. In addition to the rules at a particular airport facility, you also need to look into gun laws of the state and local government where you'll be landing.
Knowing the facts ahead of time may help prevent trouble down the line
Transporting firearms and ammunition is no small matter. The following information may serve as a helpful reminder the next time you plan to enter an airport with a gun:
- Whether taking off, landing or picking someone up at the gate, you are obligated to comply with all existing firearms laws at all times, even if such laws vary from one place to another.
- You may have a concealed carry license, but if your plane lands in a place that prohibits concealed carry, you will be breaking the law the minute you step off the plane.
- Most airports require you to pack your unloaded gun in checked luggage only. It's also usually required that you pack your unloaded gun in a solid container.
- You can pack a rifle scope in your carry-on bags, but not your ammunition, clips or magazines.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to pack your ammunition inside the same hard-sided container in which you packed your gun. It depends on the caliber of the ammunition. It is up to you to declare your firearm at the appropriate checkpoints throughout your travel. It could be quite embarrassing if you settled into your comfortable window seat only to have a flight attendant and airport security guards ask you to step back off the plane because you packed ammo in your carry-on luggage or appeared to be violation of some other airport gun regulation.
Misunderstanding gun laws may not only cause you to miss your flight, it might actually land you behind bars. If you seek clarification of all regulations ahead of time, and do your best to adhere to them, you should be okay. It's also not a bad idea to carry the contact information of an experienced attorney with you when you travel, just in case a problem arises.