Flying with a suppressor

About once a month I receive a call or email asking about the legality and process of flying with a suppressor.

Invariably, I am asked whether or not the suppressor can be transported in carry-on luggage since it is merely a tube of metal incapable of doing anything by itself.

The answer is … NO!  You cannot transport a suppressor in carry-on luggage!

Pursuant to 18 U.S. Code § 921(a)(3), a firearm is defined as “(A) 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; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.”

This is the definition the TSA incorporates in their regulations and enforcement actions, and it most definitely does include suppressors.

Therefore, you should plan to declare your suppressor and transport it in a locked hard-sided container inside your checked luggage.  See the linked page on the TSA website for more details about flying with firearms and ammunition.

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