We just learned that Delta Airlines has just recently adopted some new procedures for any passengers who wish to travel with firearms in their checked luggage.

If you wish to bring your firearm with you while you travel, your checked bag will receive a special tag. The tag is intended to let baggage handlers know not to put the bags carrying firearms on the carousels with the rest of the luggage.

Instead, according to sources, the checked bag containing your firearm will go directly to a baggage service agent, who will require you to 1) show proof of identification to pick up your bag; 2) the baggage service agent will secure the bag with zip ties before releasing the bag; and 3) at least at some airports, a police officer will be at the location when the passenger picks up his/her bag.

Delta’s full requirements for the procedure are listed below:

Shooting Equipment

Shooting equipment is allowed as checked baggage only. It must fit within the very specific criteria that we outline below.

  • Declare to the Delta representative that you are checking a firearm.
  • Declare the existence of a firearm to security personnel if there’s a security checkpoint before the Delta counter.
  • All firearms must be declared by the passenger to a Delta representative at the main ticket counter.
  • Present firearm(s) unloaded and sign a “Firearms Unloaded” declaration.
  • Firearms must be packed in a locked manufacturer’s hard-sided container specifically designed for the firearm, a locked hard–sided gun case or a locked hard-sided piece of luggage. Handguns may be packed in a locked hard-sided gun case, and then packed inside an unlocked soft-sided piece of luggage. However, a Conditional Acceptance Tag must be used in this case.
  • Maintain entry permits in your possession for the country or countries of destination or transit.
  • Ensure small arms ammunition is packed in the manufacturer’s original package or securely packed in fiber, wood, plastic or metal boxes and provide separation for cartridges.
  • You are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with all Federal, State or local laws regarding the possession and transportation of firearms. For more information about this regulation you can visit the TSA website.
  • If you are transporting a firearm to the United Kingdom, a permit from the United Kingdom is specifically required. You must contact the United Kingdom for more information about securing this permit.
  • Until further advised, passengers departing Brussels, Belgium are not allowed to check weapons including, antique, sporting, hunting or toy rifles in their checked baggage.
  • All firearms checked as baggage must be picked up at the Baggage Service Office upon arrival.

The following types of ammunition are not accepted:

  • Gun powder; such as Pyrodex or Black Powder
  • Ammunition with explosive or incendiary projectiles
  • Ammunition, including case, exceeding 11 pounds (5 kg) gross weight per passenger

Pistols and accessories must be included in one case and contain:

  • Pistol telescopes
  • Noise suppressors
  • A small pistol tool case
  • No more than 11 lbs. (5 kg) of ammunition, including case

Rifles and shotguns must be packaged as follows:

  • One hard sided case containing up to four rifles, shotguns, shooting materials, tools
  • The case must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. All areas designed to be locked must be locked.
  • Locked cases that can be easily opened are not permitted. Be aware that the container the firearm was in when purchased may not adequately secure the firearm when it is transported in checked baggage.
  • One hard sided case containing up to five handguns, one scope, tools
  • One bow and quiver of arrows and maintenance kit enclosed in a case or container strong enough to protect the bow and quiver from accidental damage
  • No more than 11 lbs. (5 kg) of ammunition, including case

An excess baggage fee will apply if checking more than one gun case.

Image courtesy wikimedia

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  • scott

    Sounds fairly straightforward to me…

  • Pistolero

    Let’s look at all of the wrong things going on here.
    *A special tag goes on the outside of the bag. This signals to everyone “there is a gun in this bag that you can steal.”
    *The bag will be zip tied closed when it is returned to you. Unless you are carrying a knife or a multi tool, how are you going to open your bag when you leave the airport? Oh, wait. You can’t carry one of those things because you were on the plane.
    * At some airports a police officer will need to be present. And if an officer isn’t immediately available when your luggage arrives, you will just wait until one decides to show up.
    Sounds like they are sending a message: If you want to travel with a gun, fly Southwest.

  • Jim Coffman

    Title 18 U.S.C., Section 922(e): “No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.” In other words, don’t write “Guns inside!” on your baggage and don’t let the airline do it either.