Concealed Carry Travel Tips: Hotel Firearms Policy and More

  • by Casy Smith
Concealed Carry Travel Tips: Hotel Firearms Policy and More

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“Do I have everything?”

When you pack for a trip, you may ask yourself this question a few times to ensure success. From attire to toiletries to your favorite neck pillow, you want to ensure you’re ready for anything during your travels. 

If you have a concealed carry license, you need to know if your firearm will fit into this crucial checklist. You commit to daily carry during your normal routine, so it makes sense to review your travel options. When traveling with a concealed carry firearm, it’s best to ask early and plan accordingly. You don’t want a lack of foresight to put you in a sticky situation and ruin your trip.

Whether you’re catching a plane to go across the country or have a rental for a work trip one state over, it’s essential to research and prepare when traveling with your firearm. CCW license reciprocity, transportation rules and your hotel’s firearm policy are all things you need to review and plan for before heading to your destination.

Why Concealed Carry Travel Prep Is Essential

When you apply for your concealed carry license, you must learn your state’s firearm law inside and out, become adept at concealing your firearm and develop self-defense skills. While these responsibilities can be challenging at first, you adjust in your daily life. However, when you travel, you are thrown into a new set of circumstances that can put you in a tough spot if you are unprepared. Creating a plan for transporting and storing your firearm during your trip can help you keep your trip as smooth as possible. 

Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Knowing your destination state’s reciprocity for your concealed carry license should be the foundation of your concealed carry plan. If the state does not honor your license, the rest of your travel plans won’t matter. You can still transport your firearm through a non-honoring state, but it’s a good idea to visit the local law enforcement agency’s website or give them a call for more information.  

As you check off your list, let’s take a closer look at some of the potential transportation rules you may encounter before traveling. 

TSA Gun Rules and Other Transportation Guidelines

Respecting Protected Spaces: Airports and Airplanes

Firearms are an absolute nonstarter on planes and in most parts of an airport. In our previous article covering firearm bans and unlawful carry, we briefly discussed the “sterile areas” of airports (the TSA check and beyond) where firearms are strictly prohibited. 

If you put your firearm in your carry-on bag or have it on you when going through the TSA check, this can result in hefty fines and a visit from local law enforcement. Don’t be one of the more than six thousand passengers who left their firearm in their carry-on last year. 

You can legally transport your firearm via airplane by putting it unloaded in a secure box in your checked bag. The TSA considers a firearm loaded when there is a live round of ammunition in the chamber or in a magazine in the gun. Double-check your firearm before going to make sure it’s unloaded. You must declare your firearm before checking it for your flight. 

While airports and airplanes tend to have the most strict rules on firearms, it’s also essential to know the policies of any grounded transportation you plan to use during your travels.

Are Guns Allowed on the Bus?

If you’re looking to travel by bus, it’s a great idea to check their website or call ahead to make sure you understand their rules and policies. Many large bus lines, like Greyhound and Jefferson Lines, strictly prohibit firearms in their vehicles. 

What About My Rental?

When you rent a ride, you may be allowed as much freedom as traveling in your own vehicle, depending on your rental service. However, it’s important to remember that a rented car is the private property of the company. It’s a good idea to review the terms and conditions or talk with a representative of your rental company when questions arise. 

Always double-check when you turn in your rental car. The last thing you want to do is leave your firearm in the car. Not only is this irresponsible, but it may also be illegal, as many states have strict rules against leaving a firearm in an uncontrolled space. 

Once you get your transportation situation squared away, ensure you know the hotel firearm policy before checking in. 

What’s My Hotel’s Firearms Policy?

Regardless of the state’s reciprocity, your hotel is a private business that can develop guest firearm rules. Some hotels allow guests to carry firearms if they have an honored CCW license. Others may ask for your firearm to be securely stored before checking in. Some hotel websites may have policies listed, while others require checking with a staff member. 

There is variance from hotel to hotel, so it’s essential to do your homework before you finish packing your bag.

Give Your Firearm the Perfect Home While You’re Away

While it’s great to have your concealed carry weapon on you when you can, having a discreet, locked space you can utilize when you can’t carry is great. The concealment flags, decor and wall art at Liberty Home Concealment are handcrafted to do just that. Not only can you keep your gun secure, but you can keep it encased in a stunning piece of craftsmanship. When you’re at home or away, the concealment products at LHC have you covered. 


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