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Posted on January 8, 2009
U.S. DOT Clarifies Big-Bore
Over the past few years, big game hunters and shooters who use
large caliber firearms have had problems traveling by air, due to
an incorrect interpretation of the laws governing ammo that is
permissible to include in checked baggage. (See ILA Report, Sept.
A U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) website stated that
only ammo .50 caliber or smaller could be transported.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners sometimes
cited that information to confiscate ammunition for some big game
rifles. In addition, the web page stated that "home made"
ammunition was also prohibited, an interpretation that could have
prohibited hand loaded ammunition as well.
A careful reading of the laws and regulations revealed that in
fact, ammunition up to 19 mm, or .75 caliber, may be transported in
checked baggage. NRA-ILA worked with the Bush Administration to
correct DOT's error. The DOT website (http://safetravel.dot.gov/index_ammunition.html )
now correctly states that small arms ammunition not exceeding .75
caliber may be transported by air. Additionally, the prohibition on
"hand made" ammo has been replaced with specific prohibitions on
certain ammunition components such as powder, primers, or
To avoid any confusion at the airport, hunters or shooters
traveling with large caliber firearms should print the SafeTravel
web page and bring it along for the trip.
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