Can You Take Hunting Knives On A Plane?

Hunting Knife

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What do you like to do during your free time? Are you the kind of person who loves relaxing at home in front of the TV or playing with the kids at the playground? Or, are you the type who takes the family on a hunting trip? There are lots of things involved with hunting, but their hunting knife is generally the most important. Hunting knives could be used for more than just hunting, such as survival and self-defence.

However, if you don’t like traveling a lot, you won’t have any problem, but if you have to make frequent international travels, you need to know the law. We have encountered cases where travelers are sued for possessing hunting knives against the TSC regulations. So, the question is, can you take hunting knives on a plane?

What is a hunting knife?

Well, you may have encountered some other types of knives such as pocket knives, chef knives, or ordinary knives, but what exactly makes hunting knives different from all those other types? Hunting knives are designed for hunting, and they are mainly useful in performing boning and skinning tasks. In many cases, you’ll see them having a curved blade with a one-sided sharp edge.

You can use hunting knives for skinning with the curved edge while the straight edges can be used for cutting. In most cases, you’ll realize that hunting knives are often passed from one generation to the other, and they are always stronger. If well taken care of, they may last longer than you can imagine.

So, besides their hunting task, they may also have an emotional attachment to a family member who used them in the first place. So, having hunting knives made out of string materials can be ideal. I didn’t think you would be willing to leave your hunting knives behind when flying on airplane.

Hunter knife stuck in a tree

Regulation on carrying hunting knives on a plane

Before any law is passed, you’ll realize that various factors fueled the motion. And trust us when we say these laws are meant to protect innocent citizens. Carrying your personal belongings isn’t bad, but what you carry when traveling with people can jeopardize anyone’s safety on the plane. When you watch Passenger 57 (1992) movie, you’ll know the main reason why the authority has to regulate what gets into the airplane. So, different law enforcement agencies have different rules; let’s check some of them.

Transport Security Administration (TSA)

TSA is a body that controls all the airlines that operate within the USA territories. The only knives they allow on the plane are plastic and round butter knives on the hand luggage. However, if you have other knives like the hunting knives, you have to pack them safely in your checked baggage. There is no knife type banned by the TSA. If you are traveling to the USA and intend to carry your hunting knives, ensure you pack it on the checked luggage. 

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

This is a worldwide body that controls almost 82% of the air traffic. IATA knife regulation prohibits onboard passages from carrying any knife on their hand luggage. However, you can carry any knife type, including the hunting knives on your checked baggage. The move is intended to safeguard the onboard passage and minimize criminal activities in the airplane. 

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

CAA, a body, operating with the UK jurisdiction, permits pocket knives (penknives) designed with less than 6cm blade in your hand luggage. However, you cannot have multitools, even those with a blade length of less than 6cm. On the contrary, you can pack all the knives types, including a hunting bag, on the checked luggage. To be safe and protect those who will be handling your luggage, ensure you perfectly organize your knife. 

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA)

If you are traveling by air to Canada, you’ll have to follow Canadian law. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the hand of the law enforcement agencies. Hunting knives may have longer blades, which may be a problem when you get to the airport. Generally, the knives allowed on hand luggage should have less than 6cm blades. However, passengers can pack any knife types in the checked luggage.

Civil Aviation Safety Administration (CASA)

It doesn’t matter where you’ll be coming from, but as long as you will use airplanes controlled by the CASA in Australia, you’ll need to adhere to their rules. According to their regulation, they do not allow any knife on the hand luggage. On the other hand, they will enable you to pack any knife on the checked luggage.

Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)

CAAC is a body that controls all airlines that operate in China. Unfortunately, CAAC has banned most knives even on the checked luggage. If you have a pocket knife or kitchen knife, you won’t encounter any problem with authority. However, to be safe, we suggest checking on the restricted knife. 

Is it legal to carry a knife?

The Second Amendment to the US constitution states that citizens have the right to bear arms. So, it won’t be a criminal offense when you carry your hunting knife to the airport. But it’s also ideal for checking on other rules regarding the international airport authorities. 

What happens when the hunting knife violates the regulations?

Well, carrying your hunting knife doesn’t portray you as a criminal, so don’t be afraid to carry your knife with you. However, if you haven’t gone through the airport regulation, and you are stuck at the airport because your hand luggage contains a hunting knife, then don’t worry. Various things will happen. First, you’ll be advised to take the knife back to your luggage or give it to whoever sees you off. Alternatively, you can be asked to mail it or take it to your car.

Must you declare your hunting knife in checked luggage?

When you are in the USA, you are not obliged to declare your hunting knife. The reason is because hunting knives are categorized as sharp objects, it’s only large contents of medication and Firearms that you expected to declare to the TSA agents. Suppose you are flying internationally, then it’s better to declare your hunting knives at the check-in desk. In most counties, they expect that your knives to be declared. 

Modern Airport

How can you safely pack your hunting knife?

You understand that your luggage has to be inspected at the check-in desk. Now imagine an officer going through your luggage and they are hurt by your hunting knives you didn’t pack well; do you know that you can be sued for that? Well, the fact is that hunting knives need to be securely wrapped or sheathed to avoid injuries. Furthermore, it would help if you packed it so that the inspecting officer will not have to open the luggage after when screening it. The knife will be easily visible. You can pack your knife on a wooden/metal container and use a TSA-friendly lock. If you can’t get a container, then taping the blade using duct or scotch tape can still prove to be fruitful.

Do I need an attorney for hunting knife possession?

At some point, you don’t, and at some point, you do need a lawyer. Criminal charges sometimes can be very hard to deal with, especially when you aren’t familiar with the laws regulating knife possession. Many travelers have been charged for assault with a knife or knife possession, and they end up facing a lawsuit because of a lack of information.

However, hiring a lawyer can help you solve the case and clear your name from a criminal record. Since lawyers are familiar with laws and have access to a network of law enforcement officers, they can always defend you when you need them most. A personal injury attorney can prove useful in circumstances where a knife injures your loved one. 

Do you have to pay the extra cost when you travel with knives on a plane? 

There is no charge or extra cost if you travel with knives. Most of the authority expects you to ensure you don’t hurt anyone on the plane or the service crew. Therefore, as long as you’ve booked your ticket and paid for your luggage, there will be no extra cost for those who carry hunting knives.

Difference between carry-on luggage and checked luggage

The passage cabin is designed for people, and we don’t expect that you’ll be getting in with the luggage. The fact is that you’ll have to keep the heavy luggage in the luggage cabin. So, whenever you get into an airplane, you’ll have that luggage in your hand and those you’ll keep in the luggage cabin. Your hunting knife can be safely kept in your checked buggage but if the rules allow, then have it on your hand/carry-on luggage.

Final verdict

We have established the importance of having hunting knives and time they can act as your self-defence tool. Leaving it behind is like living the only tool that can give you a chance to save yourself in case of an enemy attack. With a hunting knife, you can also chop fruits and cut meat if you go hunting. Unlike the past, when the rules concerned with carrying a knife on a plane were too strict, today, many of us can comfortably travel with our hunting knives.


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