Laws & Regulations for Hunters Traveling with Firearms and Ammunition or Bows and Arrows

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Laws & Regulations for Hunters Traveling with Firearms and Ammunition or Bows and Arrows

Laws and regulations from countries and airlines pertaining to traveling with weapons are constantly changing, therefore this article is full of links to send you directly to the source rather than supply you with information that could be out of date.

Traveling to Africa usually requires taking at least a couple of different airlines as well as departing from several countries. All having their own rules, regulations and laws for which it is your responsibility to be aware and in compliance with all of them.

Travel agents specializing in sending hunters to Africa
Using a travel agent who specializes in sending hunters to Africa and other remote international destinations can alleviate a lot of the burdens you will encounter when it comes to travel. They should be familiar with routes and used to working with these airlines and have knowledge of the particular laws and regulations you will face. Additionally, specialty travel agents can often get better deals than you can find on major websites or through regular travel agents. I highly recommend Travel Express, hunting travel specialists, they are the company that I personally use. Lori Spears can help you, she is very knowledgeable and a hunter herself. She can assist you with all aspects of your hunting travel planning from airfare, lodging and car rentals to entry visa's, firearm permits, etc... Click here to visit Travel Express website www.travelexpressagency.com.

Need help traveling to or through South Africa with your guns?
South Africa is the number one hunting destination in Africa and most safari hunters will at least transit through South Africa even if they are not staying in the country to hunt. That's why the services of riflepermits.com are so valuable. They can help you navigate the stressful and cumbersome process of transiting or importing your guns into South Africa making it easy and less time consuming.

riflepermits.com work hand in hand-in-hand with the South African Police Services (SAPS) to provide import/export or in-transit permits for your firearms before you even arrive in South Africa. They will hand deliver your pre-authorized permit to you on arrival and also guide you through the procedure at the SAPS Permit Office making it as hassle free as possible.

They also have rifle storage facilities for those who just want to do a bit of traveling or sight seeing in South Africa as well. They can help make your hunting safari a great experience from start to finish!

For more information visit their website at www.riflepermits.com.

Airline regulations concerning luggage
Luggage regulations and rules vary from airline to airline so it is a necessity that you check with each airline you will be using, or your travel agent, to know what is allowed and required of you especially regarding traveling with firearms.

You need to find out about total weight limitations, per bag weight limitations and size limitations, gun case regulations as well as the number of bags allowed. Many airlines allow hunters to check a rifle or bow case for free and do not count it as a piece of luggage, but may impose maximum weight limitations. However, you will still need to check to see if the airline(s) you will be traveling with counts the weight of your weapon(s), if they have weight limitations for weapons and if the airline(s) counts it as a piece of luggage. Below you will find direct links to the rules and regulations page for most of the major airlines that travel to or inside of Africa.

tip Should you be traveling as a couple, it is a good idea to take two smaller bags rather that one larger piece of luggage and to split your belongings evenly, including ammo, between the two bags in case of delayed or lost luggage and to distribute the weight of the ammunition so as not to go over weight.

Luggage on small/short commercial flight
If you will be taking a small/short commercial flight to or between hunting areas check with the airline what type of aircraft that it is and if you are allowed to check in your firearm(s). Aircraft types that allow access between cabin and hold whilst the aircraft is in flight are forbidden to carry firearms.

Luggage on charter flight
If you will be taking a charter flight by light aircraft to or between hunting areas, check with the charter company first as their luggage rules and allowances are usually much more strict and limiting than those of the major airlines. A soft bag, such as a duffel bag, will usually be required as small luggage compartments require flexible baggage, hard sided luggage may not be allowed for safety reasons as well.

You may be required to leave your airline approved hard rifle case and large or inflexible luggage in storage (most hotels or air charter companies can store these bags for you). You may have to transport your gun in a soft case or sleeve when taking it on a light aircraft, so it is important to be aware of what is required by the charter company prior to your departure from home so you can be prepared. An additional seat may sometimes be purchased in advance to accommodate extra luggage.

Most light aircraft in Africa restrict each passenger to approximately 26 to 33 pounds (12 to 15 kg) these guidelines vary, so please check with the company you decide to go with.

tip Be aware that some air charter companies in Africa do not transport firearms at all, so you may wish to ask your hunting outfitter for air charter company recommendations as they are usually quite familiar with the local companies.

Luggage weight limits when departing from Africa
When departing from Africa, airlines are more likely to make you pay for overweight luggage or enforce other rule violations (this is their last opportunity to squeeze a few more dollars out of you and it can be very costly). Be aware that what may have been acceptable luggage weight or size when departing from the US or Europe may be unacceptable on the exact same airline when departing from Africa. If you intend to bring souvenirs or gifts back with you, it's a good idea to plan for space and weight prior to leaving on your trip.


TSA guidelines for hunters traveling with weapons

Your travel agent may be able to assist you concerning your regular baggage; however I feel that it is important to familiarize yourself with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for hunters who plan to travel with weapons.


TSA carry-on baggage guidelines for hunters

You may only transport firearms, ammunition, firearm parts (such as rifle bolts) and bows and arrows in your checked baggage. Those items are prohibited from carry-on baggage. Click here to go directly to the TSA page with the regulatory requirements for carry-on baggage regarding transport of firearms, firearm parts, ammunition and bows and arrows.


TSA prohibited item guidelines for hunters

Hunters should carefully prepare and pack to avoid having to surrender prohibited items at the security checkpoint. To find a specific list of permitted and prohibited items and information for those traveling in pursuit of outdoor activities, please click here to visit this page directly.


TSA guidelines for traveling with special items

Special items include alcohol, currency, medication, camping items, hunting, fishing and sporting equipment, etc. Click here to visit this page directly.

Firearm importation and transit procedures
The topic of firearm importation into the country you will be hunting in as well as transit procedures for countries you may be passing through or be visiting but not hunting in can be complex and deserves it's own page. Click here to visit our Importation or Transiting Procedures Through Countries with Weapons & Ammunition page.

Laws for hunters entering foreign countries
All countries have their own laws and regulation regarding transportation and possession of firearms and ammunition or bows and arrows as well as other items hunters may bring in. To check with the authorities at your destination about their laws and requirements call or email their embassy or consulate. Click here to find a complete list of Embassies & Consulates with contact information.

Airline regulations for hunters
Certain airline regulations go further than TSA regulations, for example some airlines won't even allow you to take your rifle scope in your carry on luggage. It is important to know that airlines have their own requirements or restrictions on the carriage of firearms and the amount of ammunition or bows and arrows as well as other items a hunter may carry. You should always check with your airline(s) for information regarding their firearms and ammunition and bows and arrows carriage policies.

Some regional airlines, as well as air charter companies in Africa do not transport firearms at all, for example Nationwide Airlines in South Africa, so if you are connecting to a different airline, ensure that they will transport your firearms.


Airlines in U.S., Canada & Europe

For your convenience, below you will find a list of direct links, where possible, to the individual airline rules and regulations page regarding transportation of firearms and ammunition or bows and arrows. As well as a link to the airlines home page, should there be no direct link or it be broken. It is also wise to contact the airline(s) by phone and speak to a representative in person to cover your bases as some smaller airlines might not update their web site information frequently.


Air Canada
- http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/airport/baggage/hunting_equip.html
or www.aircanada.com


Air France
- http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/...airfrance.htm
or www.airfrance.us


Alaska Airlines And Horizon Air
- http://www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/hel...latedItems.asp
or www.alaskaair.com


American Airlines
- http://www.aa.com/content/travelInfo...firearms.jhtml
or www.aa.com


British Airways
- http://www.britishairways.com/travel...t/public/en_us
or www.britishairways.com


Continental Airlines
- http://www.continental.com/web/en-US...FCE4318C2AA589
or www.continental.com


Delta Airlines
- http://www.delta.com/traveling_check...oods/index.jsp
or www.delta.com


KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines (Holland)
- http://www.klm.com/travel/nl_en/trav...gage/index.htm
or www.klm.com


Lufthansa (Germany)
- http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...nodeid=1769649
or www.lufthansa.com


Northwest Airlines
- http://www.nwa.com/travel/luggage/specialitems.html
or www.nwa.com


Southwest Airlines
- http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/guns.html
or www.southwest.com


Swiss International Air Lines
- http://www.swiss.com/web/EN/services...g_weapons.aspx
www.swiss.com


United Airlines
- http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1035,00.html
or www.united.com


US Airways
- http://www2.usairways.com/awa/conten...cialitems.aspx
or /www.usairways.com


Airlines in Africa

For your convenience, below you will find a list of direct links, where possible, to the individual airline rules and regulations page regarding transportation of firearms and ammunition or bows and arrows. As well as a link to the airlines home page, should there be no direct link or it be broken. It is also wise to contact the airline(s) by phone and speak to a representative in person to cover your bases as some smaller airlines might not update their web site information frequently.

Namibia

Air Namibia
- http://www.airnamibia.com.na/cargo
or www.airnamibia.com.na

Benin

Benin Golf Air
www.benin-golf-air.com

Botswana

Air Botswana
www.airbotswana.co.bw

Burkina Faso

Air Burkina
www.air-burkina.com

Cameroon

CamAir
www.camair.com

Ethiopia

Ethiopian Airlines
www.ethiopianairlines.com

Mozambique

LAM Airlines
www.lam.co.mz

South Africa

South African Airways
- http://www.flysaa.com/za/en/flyingSAA/baggage/firearms_new.html
or www.flysaa.com

Tanzania

Air Tanzania
www.airtanzania.com

Zambia
proflight Zambia.jpg


Proflight Zambia
www.proflight-zambia.com


Zimbabwe

Air Zimbabwe
www.airzimbabwe.com
 
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TOM

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Awesome information.
 

Hank2211

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I am considering using Lufthansa this year to fly to Africa with firearms. I have never used them before. The new rules about transmitting through Frankfurt make this possible.

Is anyone familiar with Lufthansa? Easy or hard?
 

BRICKBURN

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I am considering using Lufthansa this year to fly to Africa with firearms. I have never used them before. The new rules about transmitting through Frankfurt make this possible.

Is anyone familiar with Lufthansa? Easy or hard?
Two years ago they were partnering with AC and it was no real issues.
Declare beforehand. Standard stuff.
The Frankfurt Permit WAS required then.
Now it should be simple.
If you are not stopping in Frankfurt it should be a breeze.
Depends on the final destination on the details for the stay in Frankfurt.
Storage, etc. while waiting for your connecting flight.

I have not heard of any major changes. As always visit the airline web page.
 

Hank2211

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Thanks Brickburn. I had a look at the Lufthansa website and as far as firearms are concerned it's among the least helpful I've seen.
 

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And you can be virtually assured that central reservations has no idea what the answer is.
 

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And you can be virtually assured that central reservations has no idea what the answer is.
Without a doubt.

I just got into it with the desk staff here in Vegas: Bullet vs Case vs Cartridge.
Two are not Ammunition and I informed three of them to get stuffed. Very politely.
 

Hank2211

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Always wondered what to say to Canadian customs!
 

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Always wondered what to say to Canadian customs!
Disclosed the Duty Free Amount on the proper form.
CSB Officer: Where are you coming from?
Me: Vegas
CSB Officer: What did you buy, just cloths and Souvenirs?
Me: Basically...
CSB Officer: Have a nice evening.

I am now the proud importer of 5 boxes of Barnes 250 grain TTSX .375 souvenirs.
Which I hope to distribute liberally.
 

Hank2211

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They taught us in law school to answer the questions you're asked. And just the questions you're asked.
 

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They taught us in law school to answer the questions you're asked. And just the questions you're asked.
Yes Sir! It is the same in every country.
 

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BRICKBURN

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Thanks for the update Mike.
 
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ArmyGrunt

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Disclosed the Duty Free Amount on the proper form.
CSB Officer: Where are you coming from?
Me: Vegas
CSB Officer: What did you buy, just cloths and Souvenirs?
Me: Basically...
CSB Officer: Have a nice evening.

I am now the proud importer of 5 boxes of Barnes 250 grain TTSX .375 souvenirs.
Which I hope to distribute liberally.
Semantics. A truly beautiful grammatical tool. I'm always happy when someone give me a simple answer to a simple question.
 
D

Deleted member 15212

I just learned that Comair, which operates through British airways, will not transport firearms. I went through a lot of trouble getting a different flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth because I just assumed and didn't know... I ended up picking up a South African flight there and back that way I can bring my own firearms. which will then save me money so I don't have to rent the outfitters rifles. plus im a way better shot with MY rifles than others' rifles. but just my input.
 
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Odinsraven

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Just back from RSA flew lufthansa from Iceland thru Port Elizabeth .....excellent no hassles and my gun case weighted 22kgs on way home due.to local gun store.

A380 out of joberg. Very pleased. .booked for next year.
 

Wildside Outdoors

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So what's the regulations on traveling from the US to SA with a suppressor on your rifle?
 

BRICKBURN

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So what's the regulations on traveling from the US to SA with a suppressor on your rifle?
I would be concerned about any intermediary/transit countries.
There are some countries where suppressors are illegal. e.g.. Canada.

I would query the US State Department about exporting those components/parts.
 
 

 

 

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