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Flying with your Rifle

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) put out a Travel Tips Video to help inform individuals who are planning to Fly with their Hunting Rifle or other firearms.

Traveling with Firearms and Ammo

Laws on the possession of firearms differ between states and countries. Please check the requirements of your destination before you travel. Contact Reservations for international travel requirements and if any portion of your trip is operated by another carrier.


Within the U.S., you can only travel with firearms and ammunition, including pellet and BB guns, in your checked bags if you’re over 18 years old. You must check them with an agent at check-in and declare that you’re traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Firearms must be:

  • Unloaded

  • In a locked hard-sided container where the firearm is totally inaccessible

  • Rifle cases require locks on each end

Ammunition must be: 

In the original packaging from the manufacturer or in packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition (made of fiber, wood, or metal), with a maximum of 11 pounds (5 kgs) per container or customer. Ammunition is not accepted loose or in magazines or clips.


There is no limit to the number of items you can carry in your rifle, shotgun, or pistol case, but bag and oversize / overweight charges may apply.


Loose ammunition, magazines or clips and firearms are not accepted when traveling to or from Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago (POS). 

Firearms are not allowed in carry-on or checked bags on Landline motorcoach connections. 

Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed

All Law Enforcement Offices (LEOs) flying armed are required to check in with an American Airlines agent at the airport before boarding the flight on which they will have their weapon accessible. State, local and territorial LEOs flying armed must submit a National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) message during airport check-in to the American Airlines airport agent. The NLETS message sent by the employing agency replaces the original letter of authority, signed by the chief or agency head, required under 49 CFR 1544.219. Once the NLETS message is received by TSA, a return NLETS message will be sent to the employing agency with an eight-character unique alphanumeric Identifier for verification at the airport on the day of travel. The current procedures for federal LEOs flying armed remains unchanged.

*Please confirm the current rules by visiting American Airlines website directly prior to your packing and arrival. Rules can change due to current conditions and security level threats.

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