Both the TSA and FAA agencies that are in charge of travel safety and travel regulations have very specific rules in place when you travel with your gun equipment, airsoft included! Airsoft guns are treated with the same level of regulation as a live fire weapon and failure to secure and claim your weapons to security can cause some serious penalties- they may even confiscate your gun!
Before traveling, go onto the TSA and FAA websites to get the most up to date information on regulation laws since they decrease or increase with threat levels and can cause some of the gun travel rules to change or be temporarily suspended. You should also check the rules of your airline if you are traveling outside of the U.S. and the rules of the country you are traveling to as many countries do not allow the import of airsoft equipment of any kind. Some airlines impose taxes or prohibit airsoft guns from being sent through their company. Countries like Canada, Thailand and Singapore prohibit airsoft guns of any kind from crossing country lines so make sure you are aware of the airline and country laws before traveling.
PACKING YOUR GUNS:
Ensure that you pack and lock your gun in a secure box so that it doesn’t jostle or shake around during flight and make sure you alert the airline staff that it is packed within your bags and is easily identifiable there is a firearm of some sort within.
No guns will be allowed to travel inside a soft suitcase, duffle bag or other soft gun bag. They must be transported in a hard case or molded gun case that secures the equipment within. It is also necessary that your gun case have a lock of some soft on the case. You must provide either the key or the combination of the lock to the security officer just in case they need to open it. Ask the airline official or security officer if they will need to open your bag so you can be present while they search your bag and get your key back when they are done. If you don’t stick around while they search your gun case, you run the risk of not getting your keys back. They are mandated by law to make a “reasonable attempt” to reach you, but if they can’t get ahold of you, they will not put your gun case on the plane.
Gun bags that do not have a locking mechanism on them will not be allowed to be transported. Make sure your gun case is in good condition and that the lock works before you leave home.
PACKING YOUR AMMO:
Check with the airline to determine the amount of bbs that you will be allowed to transport. Airsoft guns that have bbs loaded into the chamber will not be allowed to fly. All bbs packed in suitcases must be stored in a cardboard, metal or wooden box, or a container specifically designed to carry bbs. Be sure the contained is the right size for the amount of ammo you’ll be sending.
If you plan to store the bbs in the same case as your gun, make sure it is individually packaged and there aren’t any bbs lying around your case. Keep all magazines out of your gun and packed separately or within an additional contained if you plan to pack your gun and magazines together.
If you are traveling internationally, check with the arrival country for their requirements and laws on airsoft ammunition as some countries may only allow the import of a certain number of bbs or not at all.
Happy trails and Safe Travels!