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Traveling with a Firearm Safety and Policies

COVID-19 and travel at SEA Airport More Information

Prohibited items included weapons like firearms, knives, brass knuckles, that cannot be in carry-on luggage. If found it will be taken for destruction for TSA. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. 

Travel safe while at the airport and follow the guidelines when traveling with a firearm:

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policies

TSA No Firearms Sign
Image Courtesy of TSA

TSA is looking to prevent firearms and explosives. To transport firearms, they must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container as checked baggage only. You must declare the firearm and/or ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter. Make sure the container is secure from the firearm being accessed. Locked cases that can easily be opened are not allowed. Please contact TSA with any questions regarding TSA firearm regulations on what or may not transport in your carry-on or checked luggage.  

Traveling with firearms 101

  • Check with your destination’s local, state, and international governments on firearm possession laws 
  • If you're traveling internationally with a firearm in checked luggage, check the Department of Homeland Security website for travel requirements 
  • Declare every firearm each time you transport them as checked luggage. Make sure to ask your airline about limitations or fees. 
  • Remember firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked luggage online. Only the firearm owner should have the key or combination to the lock unless TSA requests the key to open the container to ensure compliance. You may use any brand or type of lock to secure your firearm. 
  • Bringing any firearm to the security checkpoint carries a penalty, including significant fines, learn more about Civil Enforcement 
  • All firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts, and firing pins, are not allowed in carry-on bags and must be checked 
  • Firearm replicas including toys must be in checked luggage 
  • Riflescopes are permitted in carry on luggage 
  • Do not attempt to go through TSA with the firearm, make sure to check all luggage for any forgotten weapons  

How to transport ammunition 

  • Ammunition can not be transported in carry-on luggage, but it can be in checked luggage 
  • Small firearms ammunition (up to .75 caliber and shotgun shells of any gauge) must be packaged in fiber (like cardboard), wood, plastic, or metal box specifically signed to carry ammunition must be declared to your airline 
  • Ammunition may be transported in the same hard-sides, locked case as a firearm if it has been packed as described above 
  • You cannot use firearm magazines or clips for packing ammunition unless they completely enclose the ammunition. Farm arm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be boxed or included with a hard-size, locked case. 
  • Check with your airline for quantity limits for ammunition. 

Airlines’ Policies  

Please check with your airline’s policy on checked luggage containing firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition.  

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) enforcement 

Upon discovery of a firearm, TSA notifies the Port of Seattle Police Department, which responds to the security checkpoint. Travelers will be interviewed and likely cited on state charges for RCW 9.41.300(1)(e) regarding firearms in prohibited places. Firearms are likely to be confiscated.  

In addition to potential arrests and charges, you may miss your flight and experience delays with your travel plans.  

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