Can you bring firearms on a private jet flight? It sounds dangerous and illegal, especially since there’s no doubt bringing weapons onto a commercial flight is a tricky endeavor. But the answer to this question is not as simple as you might think.
Access Jet Group receives a number of requests each year from travelers embarking on hunting and fishing trips, especially in the fall months. Bringing your firearms, knives, and ammunition along is a natural expectation. Our concierge team navigates the complexities of traveling with weapons, a process that would otherwise be prohibited or extremely complicated with commercial air travel.
Traveling with firearms can be a legal and common practice, depending on where you are and the firearm in question. For example, most firearms are generally legal in the United States, but not in Canada. There are regulations that govern how firearms can be transported and stored on a private jet. Let’s look at some specifics.
What the Law Says About Weapons on Aircraft
The short answer is yes, you can bring firearms and weapons on board a private jet charter. But there’s a right way to go about it, and you’ll want to follow the law to a T to avoid risks and legal implications.
First and foremost, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says that travelers may only transport unloaded firearms. These firearms should be stored in a locked hard-sided case that must be checked and stored in the luggage hold of the aircraft. In other words, you cannot have your firearm accessible to you in the cabin. Also, you may not carry any related firearm components with you into the cabin, including receivers, clips, magazines, ammunition, or firearm frames.
However, private jet charters add a little bit of flexibility for their passengers. You can receive permission from the charter operator to bring your firearm on board the aircraft and be exempt from the above TSA regulations, although you will still be subject to regulations set forth by the FBO or airport.
This means informing your charter operator of your desire to travel with your firearm. Advanced notice can mitigate potential delays in your flight service. Keep in mind that your firearms will be subjected to the laws of the state or country to which you are flying. Access Jet Group offers support in helping you plan for potential barriers or challenges like firearms laws before you fly.
Best Practices for Traveling with Firearms on a Private Jet
One of the many benefits of choosing a private jet charter is the ability to get closer to your end destination. Most commercial flights stop at larger, metropolitan airports, which means having to take extensive ground transportation to your desired hunting zones. Flying into smaller, more remote airports eliminates much of this time and hassle. Plus, it’s easier to transport your hunting weapons and gear without jumping through countless hurdles.
Still, it’s wise to follow these best practices to ensure a safe, seamless private flight:
Bring a Copy of Your Gun License
If you’re traveling to another country, customs officers will likely want to check your gun license. Having a copy within arm’s reach can reduce waiting time for your departure or arrival.
Unload Your Firearm Prior to Departure
Remove all ammunition from your firearm prior to arriving at the airport. Also, keep your ammunition separate from your firearm when storing and transporting it. Ideally, avoid bringing any ammunition at all and instead purchase it when you arrive at your destination.
Choose a Case that’s Easy to Open and Carry
Your firearms will need to be inspected before boarding. Choosing a case that’s easy to open can reduce the time it takes to conduct the inspection.
Label Your Gun and Gun Case
In the event your gun and case were to be inspected in a separate room, labels ensure you can easily identify your belongings when they’re returned to you. It also helps your crew identify your guns when loading, storing, and unloading all of your luggage together.
Ensure the Safety is On
Even though your firearm should not be loaded during the flight, locking the trigger adds an extra layer of safety.
Let Access Jet Group Know Your Intentions
Local, state, and national laws will apply when you’re traveling with firearms. It’s important that you know your rights according to where you’re traveling, as well as any local regulations. Access Jet Group can also support you by helping you navigate the complexities that vary with each destination. Let us know that you intend on traveling with a gun and we’ll work with the operator to make sure everything is good to go. We’ll help you set the right expectations for the process and do everything within our means to make it as stress-free for you as possible.
Book Your Private Flight in Advance
Reserving a private charter in advance allows us to not only secure an aircraft that meets your needs but also plan for special circumstances in advance. Traveling with firearms certainly counts as a special circumstance and requires extra consideration. We will inform all involved parties of your intentions and ensure all the correct procedures are followed.
Can I Bring Firearms On An International Flight?
Generally speaking, domestically transporting firearms on a private jet is a fairly simple process as long as the right precautions are taken. International flights create additional considerations, especially when transporting firearms.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the best resource to provide guidance. They can advise on which countries permit weapons, as well as the regulations on transporting the weapons into and out of the country legally.
Similar to domestic flights, you’ll want to unload the firearm prior to arrival, store ammunition separately from the firearm, clearly label your weapons and cases, and place all weapons and accessories in checked baggage.
You should also take care to learn about the local and national laws regarding firearms in your destination country. Some types of firearms, such as automatic weapons, may be completely prohibited.
And in some cases, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website, you may require an ATF permit. However, you should not need an ATF permit if you are returning with the same weapons you left with, as long as you can prove it. The website also advises you to register your firearms and components to any CBP office prior to leaving the United States.
One of the advantages of partnering with Access Jet Group is that we help you prepare for any and all circumstances to make your travel seamless. We remove the guesswork on your behalf so you can prepare accordingly and enjoy uninterrupted travel. Contact us for pricing and availability today.