Flying with Ammo

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by RolandtheHeadless, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. RolandtheHeadless

    RolandtheHeadless AH Veteran

    Sep 3, 2015
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    I'm flying Alaska Airline from Anchorage to Seattle, Emirates Airline to Dubai, and then Emirates again to Johannesburg. To minimize pieces of luggage, I'd like to put my Pelican ammo case in one of the suitcases. The airlines don't seem to have a problem with this arrangement, but will the SAP give me a hard time on arrival? Would I have the chance to remove the ammo case from the suitcase before going through Customs?

  2. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    May 27, 2012
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    USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
    Check all the way through and you're fine. In my experience anyway it is only within Africa that they make you have ammo in a separate locked case. What you want to do is what I've done on the way over.

  3. 375 Ruger Fan


    Jun 14, 2015
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    Houston, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, DSC
    Namibia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY, Canada (Yukon)
    I agree, I think you'll be okay. When you clear your rifle(s) you might be asked to pull your ammo case out of your checked bag. I realize you are not flying on South African Air, but their website provides some good instructions on what is required on the ground in RSA.

    According to South African Air website:

    Ammunition must be separated from weapons and although permissible to be packed within checked baggage under aviation regulation, SHOULD be packed as a separate piece of checked baggage in a secure lockable container or ammunition case. No ammunition may be packed loosely in checked baggage, or within the same case as firearms.

    We strongly recommend that ammunition be packed in lockable cases which can be handed in as loose items at the firearm counters to avoid possible delays during checked baggage screening.

    All firearms and ammunition must be declared to the airline check-in agent at the time of check-in. Undeclared firearms and ammunition within checked luggage will result in such baggage being rejected during mandatory checked baggage screening, and will result in the passenger being required to open such baggage for further inspection and safe handling, or the confiscation of such items for further processing and forwarding on a subsequent flight.

    Check-in agents will issue the relevant baggage tags and will then direct firearm owners to the appropriate firearm desk for inspection and processing of firearms and ammunition for secure handling to the aircraft.

    During the acceptance process at the appropriate firearm desk, the following will be conducted:

    • The owner of the firearm will be required to produce a valid license or temporary import permit for the firearm(s) and ammunition.
    • The owner of the firearm(s) will be required to make and declare the firearm(s) safe and unloaded for carriage.
    • Security staff will request the firearm owner to open his/her checked luggage to verify that ammunition is securely packed and that the total weight of ammunition per license holder does not exceed 5kgโ€™s in weight.
    • The owner of the firearm will be required to complete a firearm register for handover to security staff, who will ensure the secure loading of such items.
    • The staff at the firearm desk will send a pre-advise notification message to the receiving station, advising them of details and loading positions of firearms.
    • Checked baggage containing ammunition will be affixed with a special tag, indicating that such bag was already subjected to inspection, to avoid screening authorities from delaying or confiscating such bag for further security controls.

    International (All SAA flights departing from outside the Republic of South Africa, arriving in South Africa)
    Standard legislation pertaining to the carriage of weapons and ammunition for each destination will apply. It is therefore the travellerโ€™s responsibility to verify and ensure compliance with local laws on the possession and carriage of weapons.


    Passengers should not pack any firearms within checked baggage. Firearms must be packed in suitable lockable firearm cases or bags.

    Where possible, declare firearms and request the airline to place a firearm identification tag on such items, as this will assist in the correct loading and delivery handling on SAA flights arriving in South Africa.

    Where passengers originate their journey on South African Airways, we request that you declare the firearms and any checked baggage containing ammunition to check-in staff for appropriate handling and labelling.

    Ammunition may be carried within checked luggage, provided that it is securely packed in a lockable or secure container, and that the total weight does not exceed 5kgโ€™s of ammunition per passenger carrying a firearm. (In general, most airlines allow the carriage of ammunition in terms of the dictums of ICAO Dangerous Goods Standards and associated airline processes followed in terms of IATA requirements/guidance).

    DO NOT pack ammunition loosely in checked baggage.


    Upon arrival in South Africa, all declared or identified firearms may be collected directly from the firearm office just after immigration. Any firearms either not declared upon departure, or not identified by an appropriate label will be delivered to the normal baggage carousal for collection.

    After collection of checked baggage containing ammunition, you are required to proceed to the SA Police Firearm Office, where all necessary import permits and other documentation will be finalised.

    Passengers with onward domestic flights:
    Passengers with onward domestic flights must clear firearms and ammunition at the SA Police firearm office before proceeding through customs and will then be required to follow the process as described for Domestic flights above for onward and return journeys.

    Passengers with onward international flights:
    Passengers with onward international flights may have their firearms and ammunition through checked to the final destination. Do however note that such firearms and ammunition may be blocked by airport baggage screening staff for inspection, which will require the airline to page each passenger to proceed to a designated baggage reconciliation area, where you will be required to open any bags containing ammunition for inspection.

    We urge passengers to declare baggage containing ammunition to the SAA handling agents at the point where you originally join SAA flights to avoid delays during the transfer process.

    Passengers with onward international flights who have not through checked firearms and ammunition will be required to clear all firearms and ammunition through the SA Police firearm office, before proceeding to International check-in for onward connection check-in. The requirements for domestic flight departures as documented above will apply to all firearms and ammunition carried in this manner.

  4. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

    May 5, 2016
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    Alberta, Canada
    Member of:
    SCI, Wild Sheep Foundation, AFGA
    Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Argentina, Canada, USA, Russia
    International flights in and out of Jo'berg can have ammo in luggage but domestic flights within SA in must be separate. I'd do yourself a favour and use a meet and greet service in Jo'berg. It will save a lot of hassle and stress.

  5. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

    Jun 9, 2015
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    just got back from rsa less than 1 week ago. I agree use a meet and greet and let them get rilfe permits for you. used adele at riflepermits Africa she was great met us on the way in jnb to and wisked us right thru and also met us on out way home. literally took minutes to clear rifles on the way in at jnb and on the way out. USE A SERVICE BEST 130 I EVER SPENT! as regards ammo previous post correct if you fly domestic in rsa ammo must be in a separate locked box and checked separate from other bags. then when we reclaimed in jnb we just tossed locked box back into checked bag for the ride back to usa. gave some security guy $10 who was checking rifles on way out and he was happy camper, said he put on plane himself!

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