AIR TRAVEL WITH YOUR AIR GUN
Flying these days is a hassle. Flying with an airgun can add to the hassle from officials who are not familiar with current TSA regulations. Plan on arriving at the airport several hours before your flight to allow time to mitigate any possible complications.
Always declare your airgun when checking your baggage, otherwise you are risking it being found during an x-ray or search of your luggage. This could result in you missing your flight and you could be facing arrest.
Always carry a copy of the TSA Permitted and Prohibited Items (section regarding Airguns and Firearms) on your person. Place a copy of it in your 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 be easily confirmed by airline personnel or at the TSA website.
We also recommend 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 (i.e.: the competition you are attending), and an operating cell phone number that will immediately reach you if there are any questions.
While not technically a firearm, we recommend that you follow the firearms regulations 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 other sources.
An additional airgun concern when flying is detachable compressed air or Co2 cylinders. Many airguns come from the factory with two cylinders, one attached to the gun, and one spare. It’s assumed you should take both cylinders with you when travelling. However, the spare cylinder will sometimes be questioned by the TSA.
The TSA regulations regarding air cylinders state that Compressed Air Guns ‘Including paintball markers, may be carried in checked baggage without compressed air cylinder attached.’
TSA regulations require that cylinders be empty when travelling, hence they should be drained of propellant (compressed air or Co2) prior to packing.