Air Travel with an Airgun
Flying these days is a hassle. Flying with an airgun can add to the hassle with complications from officials who are not familiar with the current TSA regulations. Plan on arriving at the airport several hours before your flight, to allow time to mitigate possible complications.
Always declare your airgun when checking your baggage, otherwise you are risking it being found during an x-ray or a search of your luggage. This WILL will result in you missing your flight and possibly facing arrest.
Always carry a copy of TSA Permitted and Prohibited Items (section regarding Airguns and Firearms) on your person. Place a copy of it in the case with your gun for reference when dealing with airline or TSA personnel. This section clearly shows what the current TSA regulations are regarding traveling with airguns and can easily be confirmed by airline personnel at the TSA website (www.TSA.gov).
It is also recommended that you place a letter addressed to the TSA inside your gun case with the airgun. This letter should state who you are, where you are going, why you are going (the competition you attending), and an operating cell phone number that will immediately reach you if there any questions.
While not technically a firearm, it is recommended to follow the firearms
regulation which require firearms to be inside a locked case. If you
don't have such a lockable case, they are easily found at Wal-Mart and
An additional airgun concern when flying is detatchable compressed air or Co2 cylinders. Many airguns come from the factory with two cylinders, one attached to the gun and one spare. It is assumed that you should take both cylinders with you when traveling. However, the spare cylinder will sometimes be questioned by TSA personnel.
The TSA regulations are contradictory regarding cylinders. The one attached to the gun is OK, since it is attached to the TSA permitted airgun, but the spare cylinder is not. Cylinder failure is extremely rare, so most athletes choose to leave the spare cylinder at home rather than face the hassle if it is denied by TSA.
TSA regulations require that the cylinders be empty when traveling, hence, they should be drained of propellant
(compressed air or Co2) prior to packing.
Vogel USA, Inc.
P.O. Box 85
Monteagle, TN 37356