Questions on Air Travel with a Airgun
Could anyone tell me what is the current TSA rules pertaining to carrying pellets on the plane. Are they allowed to be in the case with the rifle or must they be separated. Can the pellets be in my carry on? I have travel two times by air with my air rifle in a approved airline case but the rules seem to change over time. I learned from my trip to AZ in 2017 that I need at least 2 TSA locks on my case which I didn't need when I traveled by air to Oregon in 2012. Also can you carry a GPS on the plane or do you need to check it in with you baggage? Any help is appreciated.
I've flown one time to the Cajuns. On the trip there I had my pellets in with my rifle under the foam. No problems. On the return trip I had them in my carry on. It was a problem. They took me aside. Even though I told them they were pellets, they confused that with airsoft. After they talked to a few different people they let me on my way. Not sure what the correct procedure is but I don't think that I, myself, will carry them on.
They confiscated all our carry on pellets last year going to the EBR. No problem going with air tanks. Coming home just the opposite. They wanted the tops taken off our air tanks. I refused and it became a shit storm of attitude. I showed them how I could push the valve so there was no pressure. They thought they could have drugs inside. It got a little ugly as I tried to explain we followed all TSA guidelines getting there and wanted to know why the return was different. We were about to miss the flight and they handed me my bottles and said take them as carry on. What? So locked in the checked gun case was less safe than over my head??? The only good news was they had confiscated the international travel air bottles and ended up giving me too many back.
So I wouldn't carry on pellets.
It is safest to put pellets in a checked bag. It is best to avoid the hassle with a scope or pellets in your carry on. Ammo is not supposed to be in the rifle case and you can argue that pellets are inert, etc. but again, best to avoid the hassle if you can. Some checkers will tell you no problem, others will call security for a decision. I've been to the basement area of several airports, not my favorite trip memories.
I'll Parrot the suggestion on putting your pellets in with your checked luggage. Another thing not mentioned; when asked if you have any ammunition your answer is NO! Don't mention you have pellets in your other checked bag it doesn't matter as they aren't explosive rounds. So again when asked if you have any ammunition the answer is No.
I used regular brass luggage locks and while I had to pen them for customs going both ways I don't consider it a hassle as it didn't delay me and ensured I was present during inspection. Will I be using TSA locks this year? Yes. I'm flying into England and don't want to hazard the hassle. Having no locks seems a folly as theft would be simpler. As for what's in the regulations and what's law due diligence is your best friend. research and print out whatever laws and sections of them that pertain to your travel items and have them immediately available at any point during your flight.