When you got into the Airsoft sport, you probably build kind of passion for it. So even when you are on holiday you probably would like to take your Airsoft replica with you on a plane to your destination. At least I would have done this… Till this awkward moment on the Airport…
So can you take your Airsoft replica on a plane? Yes you could. Airsoft guns are perfectly fine to transport in your checked baggage. There is no need to declare them as you would a real firearm.
But it’s probably not the only Airsoft equipment taken with you. How do you treat your other gear? The same as you do with your Airsoft Replica?
The Danger of Replica’s On a Plane
Airsoft replica’s are a look alike of a real gun. They actually look alarmingly realistic to real fire guns. No doubt about that. So traveling with an Airsoft replica might cause incident an delay on your fellow passengers.
The fact that Airsoft replica’s are alarmingly realistic is a reason why Airsoft replica’s are prohibited from the aircraft. This is because they are easy accessible while you’re on the plane. You cannot get your Airsoft equipment until you wait for your bag to show up in baggage claim at the airport. Simple is that!
With an Airsoft replica in your hand luggage, you can easily grab it if you want. Your fellow passengers might think it’s a real firearm which cause panic and commotion. So it’s better to take it with you in your checked in baggage.
How To Get Through Customs?
The Airport is strictly secured these days. You probably are still wondering if your Airsoft replica is going to get through X-ray right? Well, most Airsoft replica’s aren’t going to look like a real gun through an X-ray. But, keep in mind that people who work on the security department may not be gun experts. And that can cause a lot of trouble. Some even don’t know that Airsoft exists..
So what can you do to avoid trouble? Always check the policy of the airline you are flying with. Also check their policy on transportation. As I were you, make sure that you declare that you are packing an Airsoft replica. Maybe you read their policy and it became not clear to you what to do. Avoid trouble on the Airport and contact your airline.
When arrived at the airport you need to go to the baggage drop. Immediately tell them that you’d be checking in an Airsoft gun. Local port Authority police will inspect your Airsoft replica and after that it have to be cleared for flight and checked as a firearm. You then probably will be prompted to the Delta Kiosk assistance area where a Port Authority Police Officer have to clear it for a flight. Lastly you have to fill out a firearm unloaded tag.
So traveling with an Airsoft replica will be different and you have to be prepared!
What About Other Equipment?
Can you take other equipment with you on a plane? Do we have to declare those items?
If you like being in the role of a grenadier for example, you would probably take grenades and mortars with you. And the problem is, they look realistic too. Well, TSA advise you not to carry these items in carry-on as well as checked baggage. Well I thinks it’s kind of logic that it’s not allowed. Think about it for a minute. Those items contain gas and so flammable. So if they get in contact with fire (unlikely to happen..), they cause explosions and create panic and commotion. We don’t want that, do we? Besides that, they can easily used as a weapon.
Not only grenades and mortars, also compressed gas cartridges, CO2 canisters, Airsoft 40mms, imitation, flashbangs and smoke grenades are prohibited. Furthermore I assume mines and Claymores also prohibited.
If you have an CO2 gas replica, the CO2 cartridges are only permitted with life vest and mechanical limbs. Check the this website for safe packaging.
Always check the laws of your host country before even planning your trip. State and local laws could be different!
How To Take a Replica With You
Carrying an Airsoft replica in public may be legal but don’t! It can cause panic and commotion so always transport your Airsoft replica with you in a case. There are many great Airsoft gun cases which are really great to have. Check my recommended product page for the best practical Airsoft gun case!
An Airsoft gun case is a must as in many countries / states a replica must be transported in a locked case. The case must have a 4 seal minimum, and a non-tsa lock. The law in most countries stated that an Airsoft replica needs to have a notable orange tip, is unloaded and no batteries in the gun. You have to keep your BB’s separate from your Airsoft replica.
Always arrive at the airport with your hard case already locked. Also be sure that you have the locks/key combination on your person. I advise you to keep an extra set of keys with you. You can put the other set in your carry-on. That is because you may pack the gun and magazine in the same case.
Can you take your Airsoft replica to the Airport? Yes you can. But if you want to carry your Airsoft replica in public an take it to the Airport then NO! You can take it to the Airport in a locked case. This is not cheap, low quality case but should be a lockable and hard plastic case.
Can you take BB guns on a plane? Like Airsoft replica’s, BB guns and pallet guns are perfectly fine to transport in your checked baggage. There is no need to declare them as you would a real firearm.
Can I ship my Airsoft replica to another country? Some countries have special restrictions for shipping Airsoft replica’s. Maybe it’s an idea to ship your Airsoft replica and your gear to an Airsoft field abroad so that you don’t have to go through customs? Anyway… Always check with your local authorities.
Here’s a list of Major Airsoft countries with special restrictions when shipping to that country*:
Canada: If the Airsoft replica shoots between 366-500 FPS with a .20g BB it is legal to sale/import in Canada. The minimum is 472 FPS with .12g BBs
France: Laser and night visions are prohibited. Airsoft replica’s may allowed to shoot max 464 FPS with .20g BBs. Otherwise they are qualified as firearms.
Germany: The German Police Authority needs an import permit prior to the import of the shipment. The possession of lasers and lamps, but also a device mounted on airsoft replica’s is illegal.
Italy: The importer must obtain a import permit from Italian Police Authority. The Airsoft replica must contain a red tip when it’s imported.
Netherlands: Laser vision and/or night visors are prohibited. All players who wish to purchase an Airsoft replica must be registered with a certified Airsoft organization.
Spain: Laser vision and/or night visors are prohibited. Since December 2012 Airsoft replica’s are considered 4th category weapons.
United Kingdom: Be sure the person you sent to is over 18 years old! You need a UKARA number for shipment.
United States: When shipping your replica to US you will need a orange/bright color muzzle tip on your replica and when shipped to California a permanent orange/bright color over trigger guard and lower pistol grip.
If your read those restriction I hope you will check them with the country you live. If I can add some information that is helpful the I certainly will!
So always check the law and be informed before you go travel with your Airsoft Replica! (laws change from time to time…)
Please be aware that this is not legal advice. If you want real legal advice, talk to an attorney or contact local Government.
*Source: crownairsoft.com and TSA.gov