Is a municipal airport treated like a normal public place which requires signage or registration with a no-carry list to ban firearms from being carried on the premises, or...

... is a municipal airport treated like a government facility such as a courthouse, post office, or DMV office?

Or is there some other rule regarding guns that are loaded, holstered or otherwise carried on or about a person?

Airport terminals designed primarily for part 121 airline operations which are actively screened by the Transportation Security Administration are beyond the scope of this question.

Laws vary from state-to-state, so if carry is not legal in those states, then this question is not being asked in regards to those states, obviously.

Related: Are US pilots permitted to carry & use their firearm in countries where guns are illegal?

  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, I do know people who have taken their guns out for a fly, so at least some airports allow them. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2016 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ @SMSvonderTann I have read in the past that it is legal, but I was hoping for something a little more solid. I wonder if landing in a state where it isn't legal that one had intended to fly-over, but due to an emergency had to stop, would get someone arrested. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2016 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ There is no rule. With the exception of military airfields, regular airports are not owned by the federal government, nor are they federal property in any way. State laws apply. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2016 at 7:46
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    $\begingroup$ I've landed at an airport in Texas that had a sign on the terminal door positively encouraging you to bring your gun... I believe the FBO sold ammo $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2016 at 8:16

1 Answer 1


As you hinted, it depends on the state. And the airport.

Some states allow travelers to carry their hunting rifles or pistols aboard general aviation planes. It is recommended that they buy the ammunition at their destination, if they can, for safety reasons.

Best answer I have is this:

Any private pilot desiring to transport a firearm, weapon, or similar device must review the appropriate regulations and should contact the local airport management or law enforcement authorities for approval to land at any airport if any firearm is on board.

Source: AOPA

Another way to look at it, if you have your own private airstrip, who's to stop you? Just contact the local authorities of your destination before heading out.

For unconcealed firearms in a public airport:

44 States allow lawful carry of firearms in the common terminal and baggage claim areas of airports.

Source: Florida Carry and CBS News (2008)

Disclaimer: contact local authorities before trying it, aka don't try this at home.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the contribution. I'm thinking more in terms of holstered-carry, loaded firearms. I updated to reflect that. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2016 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Fantastic! I would say that it pretty decisive in demonstrating that airports are not covered by a blanket rule that bans them in any unusual way compared to other public places. The only thing that I find unusual is that states that I know for a fact do not generally permit concealed or unconcealed carry (like Maryland except for a very small number of permits) are showing that it isn't banned in that map. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2016 at 20:19

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