Airsoft guns and air travel


PDA






wannabeagunsmith
May 1, 2012, 04:35 PM
I understand airsoft guns are NOT firearms, but I would rather ask you guys this question than the various airsoft forums where the average age is 14....

I will be taking a trip by air to basically the airsoft capital of the US and I am hoping to bring an airsoft replica firearm home with me. I understand they have to be in checked luggage, non-carryon but do airsoft guns have to be in a locked hard-sided case like real guns? Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about "Airsoft guns and air travel" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Dr.Rob
May 1, 2012, 04:36 PM
Ship it home via UPS. There's no good reason to hassle yourself at the airport.

Robert
May 1, 2012, 04:41 PM
What Dr. rob said. Or check with the TSA before you go and maybe get something in writing or see if their regs cover it.

tyeo098
May 1, 2012, 05:21 PM
Not a firearm.
Mail it like it was a brick. Heck, mark it "machine parts" :rolleyes:

TurtlePhish
May 1, 2012, 06:17 PM
Just curious, wannabeagunsmith, where is this airsoft capital you speak of?

I've been known to partake of airsoft now and then. :cool:

wannabeagunsmith
May 1, 2012, 06:31 PM
Just curious, wannabeagunsmith, where is this airsoft capital you speak of?

I've been known to partake of airsoft now and then. I'd tell you, but my personal op-sec says no....ok, heck I'll PM you....

Jenrick
May 1, 2012, 07:47 PM
It's not a firearm, so you don't have to deal with any of the TSA BS regarding flying with one. However, good luck convincing the TSA of that. The simplest thing as noted would be mail it to yourself. Barring that, I'd pack it in it's original box, sealed, etc. in your checked baggage.

-Jenrick

ken grant
May 1, 2012, 07:58 PM
The USPS claims an AirSoft
pistol is the same as a handgun and can't be mailed

TurtlePhish
May 1, 2012, 08:04 PM
The USPS claims an AirSoft
pistol is the same as a handgun and can't be mailed

I've received a couple of airsoft pistols via USPS. :confused:

9mmepiphany
May 1, 2012, 08:06 PM
Technically, you can just throw it in your luggage...heck you could even put it in your carry-on...but, I'll lay you long odds (very long odds) that:

1. Screening will stop you
2. They'll have no idea how airsoft is different than a real gun
3. You're likely to have to leave it, if you haven't left enough time to retrieve your check in luggage and still make your flight.

I'd even say that having it in your checked luggage will cause a problem, as it looks just like a gun in the x-ray scan.

As stated earlier, the easiest thing is to just mail it to yourself. Go to the post office and throw it in a flat rate box...you don't have to tell them anything or label it in any special way...just make sure you've drained it of all gas.

If I had to guess, I'd guess that the airsoft capitol of the US is in Alanta

9mmepiphany
May 1, 2012, 08:08 PM
The USPS claims an AirSoft
pistol is the same as a handgun and can't be mailed
I'm pretty sure the last package I received from AirSoft Atlanta came via USPS also

hso
May 1, 2012, 08:09 PM
I'd ship it insured so you don't have to lug it, but if you want to bring it back with you keep it in the box and put it in your checked baggage to avoid any conflict with TSA over having something in the cabin with you that could be used to bluff others into thinking you have a real firearm.

tyeo098
May 1, 2012, 08:12 PM
The USPS claims an AirSoft
pistol is the same as a handgun and can't be mailed
I'm interested too.
Cite your source?

Jorg Nysgerrig
May 1, 2012, 08:35 PM
heck you could even put it in your carry-on
I'm not sure about that. Realistic replicas are prohibited in carry-on baggage and most of the airsoft guns I've seen (except the clear ones) look pretty realistic to me.

Gtimothy
May 1, 2012, 08:47 PM
With all of the hullabaloo that the TSA has generated recently, I don't know why you would even consider trying to go through an airport with anything resembling a gun. :what: :eek:

Air soft guns are toy guns that shoot plastic BBs, I get that, but the TSA seems to need very little provocation to flex their muscle. If you are going somewhere to purchase one to play with while you're there, then just ship it back via UPS and be done with it. No need to spend the extra bucks for a locking case to bring it on an airplane.

I'm just tired of turning on the news and seeing TSA stupidity! :banghead:

TurtlePhish
May 1, 2012, 08:57 PM
the TSA seems to need very little provocation to flex their muscle.


The TSA actually has very little power other than not letting you board the plane. They can't really do anything besides that other than call and wait for local police.

9mmepiphany
May 1, 2012, 09:26 PM
I'm not sure about that. Realistic replicas are prohibited in carry-on baggage and most of the airsoft guns I've seen (except the clear ones) look pretty realistic to me.
Sarcasm...forgot the smilie :p

EvilGenius
May 1, 2012, 09:41 PM
The TSA actually has very little power other than not letting you board the plane. They can't really do anything besides that other than call and wait for local police.
They can put you on a list to have your pilot/mechanic/etc. certs revoked with little to no recourse.

We aviation folks dont like 'em much either.

mp510
May 1, 2012, 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by ken grant
The USPS claims an AirSoft
pistol is the same as a handgun and can't be mailed



Are you sure about that? The most recent USPS regulations clearly say something else

Other Restricted and Nonmailable Matter
12.1 Firearms
12.1.1 Definitions
[1-22-12] The terms used in this standard are defined as follows:

a. Firearm means any device, including a starter gun, which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or any destructive device; but the term shall not include antique firearms (except antique firearms described under 12.1.1c and 12.1.1d).

b. Firearm frame or receiver is the part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.

c. Handgun (including pistols and revolvers) means any firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand and subject to 12.1.1a, or a combination of parts from which a handgun can be assembled.

d. Other firearms capable of being concealed on the person include, but are not limited to, short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles.

e. Short-barreled shotgun means a shotgun that has one or more barrels less than 18 inches long. The term short-barreled rifle means a rifle that has one or more barrels that are less than 16 inches long. These definitions include any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches. A short-barreled shotgun or rifle of greater dimension may be regarded as nonmailable when it has characteristics to allow concealment on the person.

f. Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) manufacturer, dealer, or importer of firearms means a manufacturer, dealer, or importer duly licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under Chapter 44, Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.).

g. Curio and relic collector means an individual licensed by ATF to transfer or receive only those firearms defined as curios or relics by ATF under Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 478.11.

h. Antique firearm means any muzzle loading rifle/shotgun/pistol, which is designed to use black powder or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition (except those that incorporate a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof); or any firearm (including those with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured on or before 1898, or any replica thereof, if such replica:

1. Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition.

2. Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

i. Air gun means a gun that fires a projectile by means of compressed air or other gas (including paintball and pellet guns).

12.1.2 Handguns
Handguns and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are nonmailable unless mailed between the parties listed in 12.1.3 and 12.1.5 after the filing of an affidavit or statement required by 12.1.4 and 12.1.6, and are subject to the following:

a. Firearms meeting the definition of a handgun under 12.1.1b, and the definition of curios or relics under 27 CFR 478.11 may be mailed between curio and relic collectors only when those firearms also meet the definition of an antique firearm under 12.1.1h.

b. Firearms meeting the definition of a handgun under 12.1.1b which are certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest may be accepted for mailing without regard to 12.1.3 through 12.1.6.

c. Air guns that do not fall within the definition of firearm under 12.1.1a that are capable of being concealed on a person are mailable; but must include adult signature service under 503.8.0. Mailers must comply with all applicable state and local regulations.

d. Parts of handguns are mailable, except for handgun frames, receivers or other parts or components regulated under Chapter 44, Title 18, U.S.C.

e. Mailers are also subject to applicable restrictions by governments of a state, territory, or district.

rodregier
May 2, 2012, 11:54 AM
TSA seems to treat airsoft similar to firearms

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#5

Guns and Firearms (includes):

Compressed Air Guns (to include paintball markers) - Carried in checked luggage without compressed air cylinder attached.

The only good news is that for compressed air guns you don't have to perform the TSA tag ritual used for "real" firearms.

wannabeagunsmith
May 2, 2012, 01:12 PM
Hey all, thanks for the tips! the TSA seems to need very little provocation to flex their muscle.Yeah, like that girl they barred from her flight cause a pin on her purse looked like a revolver so therefor it was a "replica". LOL.

SeawolfIV
May 3, 2012, 10:06 PM
Just registered to provide an answer from a buddy on my airsoft boards...


"I travel with firearms all the time...and airsoft quite a bit. You do not need TSA locks for a firearm and it's actually discouraged. If TSA wants to inspect a bag designated as a firearm they will contact the passenger for the combination. Use combination locks not keys you will inevitably misplace a key. Have a couple of spare locks in the box for when they are damaged in transit...you can't get your bag back on the airplane for the trip home without locks and finding locks as you rush to the airport is a pain in the ass.

Don't buy a $12 gun box and expect it to pass inspection. If it's too flexible and can be significantly separated even with the locks on; they will reject your firearm for transport. It needs to be pretty rigid...ask around and see if you can borrow a Pelican box or something for transport.

It is a very straight forward process at the airport. Shooting equipment is accepted as checked baggage. All your other gear INCLUDING BBs should also go as checked baggage. Your bayonet in checked bag, no problem, your BBs, no problem, DO NOT bring stuff like fake grenades and mines these are a problem. Fake grenades I won't travel with at all, they are a pretty big grey area that I don't want to have to be the Supreme Court test case on. Don't plan on bringing anything airsofty in carry on baggage...when you are tired or late you will make a mistake and end up with some 'splaining to do.

The airline you are flying has firearms requirements listed on their websites. Don't bother telling them its airsoft, just declare it as a firearm and do the process...its easier than explaining what airsoft is with 1000 people eyeing the apparent "guns" your transporting. You can have the batteries in the case, I just recommend that they aren't in the gun...it looks funny on xray and they are more likely to want to dig around in there. The "process" entails you opening the box to show the lady at the counter that its a firearm telling her it is unloaded and mostly likely telling her that she needs to give you one of the day glow orange tags behind the counter to fill out since she may or may not know. Then you put the tag in the box, lock it up and tell her you'll stand around until TSA clears your bag, if you don't have to bring it to TSA yourself of course...this also depends on the airport. DO NOT let them tell you the firearms tag goes on the outside of the bag, it does not, it goes on the inside.

BBs show up as metal due to the barium in them...put these on top of any luggage you have them in so that TSA doesn't have to dig through everything to find them. Over-pack your BBs in a zip-lock bag so that if/when the crappy bag they came in bursts at the seams you don't have BBs all over the inside of your luggage. Do not transport your magazines with BBs in them...especially drum magazines...guess what they look like on xray!

Have your name, address and phone number on the inside the case as well as on the outside of the case so there can be no question who they should need a contact for a stray bag. Lastly, I very much recommend putting a piece of duct tape on your bag(s) and in big sharpie put the destination airport code on there. Yes, the bag tag has it too but it can be torn off. Doing that has gotten sensitive equipment to the right airport for me on more than one occasion; after that its just a matter of going to the airline office at your arrival airport and saying where's my "lost" bag. This is much easier if it's not at DCA when you are in SFO.

Your gun box will sometimes though not always show up at the special bag pick up, not the carousel. It really depends on the airport.


So to sum up when checking a firearm, you must:
Declare to the representative that you are checking a firearm (If a Security Checkpoint is prior to the ticket counter, you must declare the existence of a firearm to security personnel.)

Present firearm(s) unloaded and sign a "Firearms Unloaded" declaration. Basically just a little Orange tag that goes INSIDE the box. Do not let them tell you it has to go on the outside, it does not.

Lock the firearm(s) in a hard-sided, crush-proof container."

wannabeagunsmith
May 4, 2012, 12:14 AM
Hey thanks a lot....yeah I might just mail it home in a box, instead of all that....but thanks! :) And welcome to THR!

Ben86
May 4, 2012, 12:21 AM
I wouldn't try to bring it through airport security, unless getting molested via the TSA was my kind of fun. Just mail it like others have suggested.

It would still be interesting to know TSA's stance on airsoft guns.

Panzercat
May 4, 2012, 12:44 AM
Technically, you can just throw it in your luggage...heck you could even put it in your carry-on...but, I'll lay you long odds (very long odds) that:

1. Screening will stop you
2. They'll have no idea how airsoft is different than a real gun
3. You're likely to have to leave it, if you haven't left enough time to retrieve your check in luggage and still make your flight.

I'd even say that having it in your checked luggage will cause a problem, as it looks just like a gun in the x-ray scan.

As stated earlier, the easiest thing is to just mail it to yourself. Go to the post office and throw it in a flat rate box...you don't have to tell them anything or label it in any special way...just make sure you've drained it of all gas.

If I had to guess, I'd guess that the airsoft capitol of the US is in Alanta

1) We don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter-- It even profiles as a gun, it stops.

2) A lot of us do. Most of us know the guts of a real firearm versus airsoft/nerf/nintendo gun etc on an Xray, but see bullet #1. The front line has zero leeway regarding the matter.

3) Maybe. Maybe not. Local police determine if it's ultimately real or fake and the TSA has some say in it. Between the manditory stop and two authority organizations involved, I'd just say save yourself the trouble and recommend against a carry on.

As far as checked baggage, the airline has just as much say in how it goes as the TSA, so check with them too. But again, unless you have a burning need to have it on site the moment you step off the plane, I'm thinking UPS is less of a hassel. Sure, you'll pay, but I wouldn't want to pay the price of running afoul some policy or human error with my expensive gear.

Quiet
May 4, 2012, 04:26 AM
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

TSA treats airsoft as firearms.

Same rules that apply to firearms, also apply to airsoft.

If you enjoyed reading about "Airsoft guns and air travel" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!