Traveling with Firearms – Is It Worth It?

November 3, 2020
Kevin "KJ" Jarnagin

Paid promotional consideration courtesy of Springfield Armory.

It happens every night before a flight. I sit by the bed and debate whether or not I need to pack the pistol. I float out all the scenarios why I wouldn’t bring it, and decide life’s too important. It’s coming with me. Even worse, when I decide I need to pack it along which one should I bring. Here are a few factors that help me decide why I need to bring the sidearm and what I’m packing.

Traveling with firearms is easy. If done right, you can make it to your final destination without issues.

IT’S 2020

That in itself is reason enough to pack a couple guns. But, in all seriousness look at what is going on in this crazy year. We’ve got a load of protests and riots that pop out of nowhere, random acts of violence supplanted random acts of kindness and our kids need a father in their lives now, more than ever. I can’t afford to risk leaving my kids fatherless in this world. Granted, when it is my time and the good Lord punches that card then it is time.


Traveling with a firearm is easy. However, you need to understand the carry laws within the states that you will be traveling. Check USA Carry for a complete rundown of each states concealed carry laws. CLICK HERE

Don’t worry about navigating airports. All the different airlines seem to have different operating standards when it comes to traveling with guns but ask for a firearms declaration form and that begins the conversation. Also, keep ammo in the original box. I keep a couple separate boxes of ammo just for traveling. If you are wondering, it’s two boxes of Black Hills HoneyBadger on standby.

Hold onto those factory boxes from your ammo manufacturer. That is what is widely accepted when traveling with ammo for your carry gun.


The gun is obvious, but you need a quality safe to stow those firearms. I’ve been carrying the same safe for years. The Liberty Safe HD-90 safe is keyed and compact. I can throw in my pistol along with holster and spare mag. It all fits nicely away in any checked bag that I have for the trip. I secure the safe inside my bag rather than have the gun safe floating freely. The HD-90 comes with a wire that secures the safe by tethering the safe to a solid object. As long as it is attached to my bag, it works for me.


Comfort is king when traveling, but I don’t shy away from carrying my every day carry. The gun you travel with should be the same firearm you carry on a daily basis. Maintaining familiarity while traveling is paramount. Many of us, me included, live our lives in a pretty tight bubble. We don’t take many adverse risks, but when we travel the unknown is closing in around us. So, keeping the familiar feel of your carry gun, holster, and ammo gives EDC folks a little sense of normalcy.

I consider the Springfield Hellcat OSP (Optical Sight Pistol) a great travel companion. The gun holds 13 rounds with the extended magazine and having a red dot on your carry gun is the only way to go. I’ve been carrying the gun quite often and am sliding into a great routine with the gun. The Shield RMSc micro red dot is second nature now, giving me added confidence.

A red dot on a carry pistol is standard, but what it does for you is extend your effective range. The Hellcat is capable of making shot out to 70 yards if needed with that little red dot. The hard part of is whether or not you are capable. That is why we preach from the mountain tops more training.

Consider packing a gun that is small and comfortable. The Hellcat holds enough rounds to make it through any of the trips I take (13+1). If you tend to travel more in the spring and summer months, your carry gun needs to reflect the clothing you’ll wear. No need to go out packing a full size when it’s a shorts and t-shirt kind of trip.


Honestly, I can’t think of a good reason during these times not to travel with my carry gun. I get lazy every once in a while, but when I arrive I always wish I had it with me. We get caught up in taking the easy route. Instead, I should leave a little earlier and anticipate the unexpected. Stay vigilant and prepare early. ~ KJ

Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.