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Tips for carrying your firearm while traveling domestically in 2022

Empowerment through preparation when traveling with your firearm.

Spring is upon us and spending time with family and friends, traveling to national parks, amusement parks or even a staycation builds amazing memories. As you prepare for spring and summer vacations, (these tips are great for fall and winter travel as well) with all the craziness going on in the world you’ll be your family's ultimate protector.

Should you decide to carry your firearm while vacationing, these tips are for you!

Tip #1 - Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is being aware of who and what is in your immediate vicinity and the danger it may pose to your health and safety. Situational awareness is crucial to your safety plan and is self-training skills learned through repetition. Know entry and exit points as you enter unfamiliar places, predict the actions of others and trust your instincts, practice critical observations and stay vigilant.

Tip #2 - I strongly recommend that you carry these documents on your person regardless of your mode of travel

Be mindful that the legal age to carry or be in possession of a firearm varies from state to state [18 U.S.C. § 922(x)(2)]. [18 U.S.C. §§ 922(b)(1) and (c)(1)].[18 U.S.C. § 922(x)(1)].

Tip #3 - Airline Travel

Make sure to abide by the safe handling and storage of your firearms as outlined by TSA and any secondary requirements from your chosen airline as each airline has their own.

You are required to declare your firearms with the agent during your initial check in. Your unloaded firearm must be housed in a TSA compliant hard sided and locked container. Do not share or leave your key or combination with any airline personnel, don’t worry, If they want to admire your firearms, they will call you to open the case, lol just kidding but if there is any concern with your firearms you will be contacted so give yourself plenty of time between check in and take off to ensure a stress free and successful flight. Firearms are not allowed in carry on luggage.

United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44, firearm definitions includes: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.

For the most accurate and up to date information on traveling with your firearm via airline visit: Transporting Firearms and Ammunition | Transportation Security Administration (

Tip #4 - Private Vehicle Travels

Copies of the S.618 - Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act which speaks to the lawful interstate transportation of firearms. Text - S.618 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act | | Library of Congress

Printed copies of reciprocity maps for each vehicle traveling with your caravan, make sure the map contains information for states you will be traveling through and to your final destination and which states recognize and honor your firearms permit. USCCA Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & U.S. Gun Laws | USCCA (

First aid kit

Items should include warm clothes and blankets for every traveler extra food and water including energy bars, trail mix fruit and nuts, water, band aids in several assorted sizes, sterile gauze pads, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, tweezers, a needle, tourniquet, 2 chest seals, quik clot to stop bleeding, burn cream, instant cold pack plenty of moistened towelettes, Thermal blankets antiseptic, and a thermometer

Vehicle emergency kit

Car flares, tools, fix a flat, jumper cables, flash lights, emergency whistle, digital tire gauge, reflective triangle, a multi tool, rechargeable led headlight, paper maps with a list of urgent cares and emergency rooms, portable batteries to recharge cell phones. Tablets and other electronics.

Tip #5 - Now that you know where you are going and how you are getting there, Where are you staying?


Your hotel room should be equipped with electronic locks as the codes are changed frequently, a dead bolt and a peep hole. Most hotels are independently owned, and you may want to check if firearms are welcomed, if yes use your own safe as hotel staff has access to the hotel safe, if you don't have your own safe the hotel’s is better than nothing at all.

When staying at a hotel a good rule of thumb is to ask for rooms on floors 4-6 as you are high enough as you are less susceptible to break ins and emergency ladders can still reach you. Staying on a mid level floor assists with your safety efforts.

Hotels often have bars in the lobby, you would want to know the laws regarding guns and places that serve or sell alcoholic beverages as you could find yourself breaking the law in many simply by walking through or sitting in the bar.

The USCCA state gun law and reciprocity map webpage has detailed information for each state.

Family/ Friends

Out of respect for your family members or friends home, make them aware that you will be traveling with your firearms for protection and respect if they ask you not to bring your firearm into their home for whatever reason, remember the recommendations for hotel stay above (wink), Should you chose to stay and keep your firearm in your car that put you at a level of risk, be careful.

Hey life happens, Right!? And so do felonies, make sure any family member or friends are not in danger or violating any laws regarding being around firearms whether they know you are in possession or not.

If allowed to have your firearms with you make sure to lock it in a safe when not on your person to keep out of unauthorized hands. Handguns peak curiosity, and curious untrained persons lead to tragedy.

My favorite safe for home and travel are made by Vaultek as they are always on the cutting edge of technology, they have biometric, combination and key access all in one safes

The following Valutek models are perfect for travel:

Now that you are armed (pun intended) with information, tools and resources, have an amazing time!

What other questions do you have about carrying your firearm while traveling? ask in the comments

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