Letter: Flying


I have to fly to the east coast soon for work. I am already feeling naked with the thought of not having a good pocket knife and pistol on my person. Is there a good tactical pen or something along that lines that I can legally carry on a plane? Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks! – M.B.

Hugh Responds: The airlines will let you fly with both pistol and knife in your checked baggage. Check with each airline for their requirements. Usually, it consists of a checked, hard-sided, and lockable case. You are not required to have TSA locks, but be available to the TSA to unlock your case because they will probably want to inspect it. Needless to say, you will have to declare it to the airlines at check in, and you should allow yourself some extra time to get through the TSA inspection and security.

Don’t forget to check the applicable laws in the state where you are traveling to. You may need special permits, and you might not be able to carry, depending upon the local laws of the state you are traveling to.

You may also expose the serial number of your firearm to law enforcement record-keeping. (This is something that bothers alot of people.)

I have flown several times with both pistol and AR-15. Do not have the ammo loaded in the pistol. You can have the ammo and pistol in the same box usually but not in a loaded condition. The ammo usually has to be in an original packaging container or similar purpose-designed holder. I have had problems with loaded magazines, too. You just never know. You will end up with totally clueless people looking your rigs over, and if you get a gun control freak as an inspector, you may have issues. If that is the case, keep calm and make sure you have met all of the airline’s regulations, and you will make it through.

Jim Adds: That has been addressed several times in the blog. Just search on “traveling and tonfa”, with our search box.