Anyone who has ever flown knows what a mess it can be. Between customs restrictions, lost baggage, and confusing airports, many find it overwhelming. Now imagine navigating the ins and outs of air travel while carrying high-powered weapons. That’s exactly what I went through when traveling to New Zealand on my last hunting trip. Thankfully, I learned a few important lessons along the way that we here at Mounting Solutions Plus hope will save you some time and effort on your next trip, while ensuring safety and efficiency in the airport!
Prepare your 4457
Download customs form 4457 and fill it out before you arrive at the airport. Write the serial numbers of every piece of gear on this form. Not only does this speed up the customs process, but it also proves that the gear wasn’t bought overseas. That means no duty taxes!
Bring two TSA approved locks
The TSA has recently said that all gun cases must be locked with two locks. I recommend using combination locks so that you don’t have to keep up with any extra keys. The extra lock helps protect your gear in case one breaks. Bringing two locks is a must because, in case you haven’t noticed, TSA agents don’t freely hand out locks in the security checkpoints.
Keep your ammo and boots front and center
Have you been in a security line at the airport, then suddenly realized that your inconvenient little bag of hair products has magically receded into the depths of your carry on, never to be seen again? This is kind of like that, but way more illegal.
Before heading to the airport, make sure that your ammo and boots are in a very easily accessible part of your bag. Customs agents will ask to see all of your gear, and nothing is more embarrassing or inconvenient than ripping your luggage apart in the middle of an airport. Also, always make sure your bag is clear of cartridges and knives. A slip up like this could land you in a foreign jail.
Call the airport police several days before your flight and find out which, if any, extra forms you might need. This will give you plenty of time to get all of your paperwork assembled, and save you from racing across the airport trying not to miss your flight.