Travelling to Scotland with firearm


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I usually drive to Scotland each year for my annual stalking trip what would be the procedure to fly to Inverness with my rifle
Any help would be great


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Not sure from your part of the world but if it is using Easyjet it will cost you per gun both ways (shocker, though I once successfully argued that they were wrong as they didn’t charge per ski!) Gun(s) must be in an approved locked case, ammo and bolt in a separate locked box (I use an ammo tin with a riveted hasp). All need to be checked in as hold baggage and the boxes will be scanned ( in case you have firearms or bullets in them!) and you must have your fac with you to present to those nice Easyjet people. Relatively simple except you may find that Easy doesn’t fly to Inverness as is the case from Belfast so for me it is either Glasgow or Edinburgh. Good luck.


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Think you can fly direct from Luton, Gatwick, or Heathrow with Easyjet. Last time I flew with them was a few years ago, but the rifle had to be in a locked case, with the ammunition in factory boxes, and in a separate locked case. Checked-in as special baggage (with the associated extra fee, of course) and firearms declaration forms filled in triplicate for both flights - one with the rifle, one on your person, and one to the check-in staff.

Just be certain your rifle case is up to par. Mine was brand spanking new, attwap returned to me looking as though it'd been kicked down a flight of stairs :mad:


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This from EasyJet website.


Handguns, automatic weapons, munitions, ammunition, (including blank cartridges), pistol caps, fireworks, flares, pyrotechnics, smoke canisters and crackers, are not permitted for carriage on easyJet aircraft, with certain exceptions, as detailed below.
Sporting and competition firearms listed in this Article and their ammunition are permitted for carriage provided that they are securely packed or boxed. Please read the specific requirements below and call our Customer Service Team to inform us that you are travelling with a firearm or ammunition. Please note that different firearms policies may apply to flights to/from Berlin Tegel operated by our partners - please contact our Customer Service Team for details.

All passengers intending to travel with firearms or ammunition must ensure they have the required:

a) documentation and licences;
b) export/import licences; and
c) authorisation from local and national authorities.

Please note that some types of firearms are not permitted in certain countries and easyJet is unable to accept firearms for carriage to and within such countries. The passenger is solely responsible for requirements (a) – (c) above being correct and up to date for any firearm(s) or ammunition. The passenger must also produce a valid identity document (e.g. passport).

Please make sure you arrive at the bag drop desks at least 90 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your flight in order that we can carry out all the necessary checks. If you arrive after this time you may not be permitted to fly.

Please note that the following types of firearms are permitted:

  • Sporting shotguns with barrels of longer than 24 inches (60cms).
  • Sporting rifles (including Air Rifles) of any calibre, but not semi-automatic weapons with a larger bore than .22.
  • Sporting single shot handguns with a calibre of .22 or less.
  • Any rifles and handguns with a calibre of .22 or less.
Firearms must be unloaded and properly packed in a suitable gun bag. A maximum of 5kgs of ammunition is permitted per passenger and it must be packed securely, ideally in the manufacturer's container. The ammunition may be packed with the firearm, providing it is securely boxed. Ammunition with explosive or incendiary projectiles is prohibited.

If you travel with sporting or competition firearms you must be over 18 years of age, or accompanied by someone over 18 years of age. If you wish to travel with sporting or competition firearms you are charged an additional sports equipment fee per firearm per flight.



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Unfortunately all the airlines do it differently, as do some airports.

So probably going to be EasyJet or BA for you?

If you can, go EasyJet as they have it down to a T. You can select a firearms option on the website and they know how to process it when you get there. The upside is that you can avoid going the queue and just go to the "Premium" (or whatever its called) check-in desk as that is where they have their senior staff. If the queue manager stops you just tell them you have a firearm and that's where you want to go.

BA now have software that allows them to check it in BUT they need to get G4 to bring the security ticket before they will check it in. If you are at LHR that can take ages. I was the first person to do through that process at LHR and it took 2 hours ! Hopefully they will have sorted it out by now, lots of software bugs. Check their website for any forms you need to take with you.

Inevitably it takes more time, as there is paperwork, maybe someone who does not know what to do or how much to charge (BA anywhere), and an additional process of checking contents and secure handover. So give yourself plenty of time.

There will be a guy turn up at baggage reclaim with the gun who checks the paperwork then escorts you out the door of the airport. In theory. Check the carousel, it wouldn't be the first time it has just come out there.

Never been through Gatwick so no idea how that goes.

Could be worse, Flybe in Birmingham get the anti-terrorist cops to check the firearms so 2 of them escort you to the other end of departures in the full gear.

Ammunition, I always found to be a pain in the proverbial. Quite expensive and packaging requirements are strict. Most of the time I was taking a shotgun so maybe different with rifle ammo amounts.


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I usually do.

The one time I flew (never again) I got "caught" on the return leg; passing through the detector with the bolt on my hip.
Dragged back through (which was not only embarrassing but annoying in that I had to take my boots off all over again).

It used to be that they wanted the rifle and bolt separate but now (at time of my offence incident) they want the bolt in the hold with the rifle.

Although the drive in a 110 can be Biblical - no worries about luggage restrictions, bolts on hips, blah blah blah.

Truck every time.


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I would drive having flown a couple of times the booking in process is a nightmare and police got involved in one journey to get airport security to accept my rifle


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Yep. Always hit and miss though I found Edinburgh security almost non-existent. Last time I was walking towards the pickup point just as our two gun cases were being brought to it by a security guy. I was the only one walking towards the office as was he and he shouted “hey pal, are these yours?”, I said yes and he thrust both cases at me muttering darkly about how heavy they were and away he went in the middle of the arrivals hall! What paperwork??
I thought it wise not to show him the wheels and handles on each case!


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I would drive having flown a couple of times the booking in process is a nightmare and police got involved in one journey to get airport security to accept my rifle
I had that at Manchester once. All down to some useless bloody specimen who didn't know her own company policy. Got the airport police involved who then decided to give me the third degree. I was bloody furious


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I will be driving up again to Scotland 2 weeks Red Stag stalking, back end of September, it’s easy to say it’s 8-10 hours driving versus flight is 1 hour, however when you factor in how early you have to get to the airport for all the firearms bit and how long you are in the airport the other end getting bags and rifle plus you have no vehicle at the other end, driving is the plan


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I once caught the overnight train from Kings Cross to Edinburgh armed with a 243, 80 rounds of Federal Premium and a LARGE hunting knife. From there I jumped on buses and finally a taxi from Kirriemuir to Prosen.

Fun and uninhibited days!



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I flew up LGW to Inverness no prob. Easy process and staff at Inverness well drilled and helpful. Coming back lost 3 hours as big issues at LGW and thet lost my rifle. Long story short is rifle was just left alone in main baggage hall! Not happy and raised compliant. No one interested or took responsibility. Drive everytime now. 12-13 hours door to door for me but worth it. Plus unlimited kit and plenty of veni comes down the road too. Perhaps I was unlucky but overall travel.times similar for where I go.

Heym SR20

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If you want to fly but don’t want to carry rifles, probably simpler to send them RFD to RFD. Cost would be similar to what an airline charges.

But truth be told if you have time to spare go by air. Load up the car and drive. If you don’t want traffic go and night.

might be worth avoiding the not so smart bit of the M6 between Birmingham and Manchester though.


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I have flown many times with BA and Easyjet but have been driving the last few years and find it much more pleasurable and not much longer time wise. Last time I flew BA temporarily "lost" my rifles in Inverness and I had to go back to Heathrow the next day to collect!


Site Staff
I have many clients come up to Scotland every year with me.
Easyjet is the best airline to fly with.
Arrive 3 hours before departure. Make sure the airline knows you are carrying a sporting weapon. Locked hard case, bolt removed and in the case. Ammo in a small metal box in your main luggage. The ammo must not exceed 5 kilo. It will be weighed by airport staff.
You will be accompanied by Easyjet staff to security, rifle case will be xrayed, as will ammo. You will then be taken to Customs. They will want to check the rifle against your FAC.
Airport security then put the rifle on the plane, you get on the plane.

At Inverness you will need to go to the main desk in the middle of the airport. The rifle will be unloaded of the plane and delivered to the desk. They check your seat ticket against the rifle case. Off you go.

The process is repeated when you leave Inverness, but with a lot less fuss than London as a rule. On arrival in London you will need to go to the red channel at customs and they will require you to open the case, check the rifle on your FAC.

That's it.

I have driven for the last 33 years up to areas past Inverness. Driving takes about 12 to 14 hours. This year I am stopping half way. At least in your own car you can take what kit you want. And as some members on here have posted, you will have trouble bringing a nice stag head back with you on a plane.
Mind, many, many years back we drove home in a white Ford Orion, with a full stag carcass tied to the roof rack, head on as well. We did get some odd looks driving down the M6 and M1. The green plastic sheet didnt quite cover it.
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Nothing like a bit of ingenuity to bring the beast home. Coming from NI to stalk in Perthshire several trips per year I this friend of mine used to put all my his clothing/gear in a small rucksack then put it into a large otherwise empty case which went as hold baggage. On return I he carried everything in my his rucksack as cabin baggage and the large case, much, much heavier than the outward flight went again as hold baggage. Did it for many years without mishap, so much for security scanning all baggage. I suppose you could also say I he “carried” his prize much further than most.
I like my friend though he did occasionally stink of fresh gore when he rushed off the hill to the airport without changing, allegedly…….