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Can You Bring a Paintball Gun on an Airplane?

The short answer here is: Yes! You can bring your paintball guns and other compressed air guns on a plane ride with you. But it’s not as simple as you think.

You can’t simply walk into an airport with a paintball gun in your carry-on and not expect to be stopped by the staff.

Bring a Paintball Gun on an Airplane

While airports DO allow paintball guns onto flights without needing any permits, there are a few conditions that have to be met by passengers who decide to bring them.

If you’re planning on traveling with your paintball gun, this article is definitely for you!

Let’s talk about what these conditions are and some effective paintball gun packing tips for a headache-free flight.

Tips and Tricks To Legally Pass the TSA With Your Paintball Gun

to legally pass the TSA

Paintball guns and other compressed air guns have the green light when it comes to plane rides as they are not identified by the TSA as firearms.

You won’t have any issues bringing your paintball gun into the airport if:

  1. The valves/compressed air cylinder is completely disconnected from the rest of the gun
  2. Declare that you have a paintball gun with you at the customer service agent at the ticket counter
  3. The TSA screeners can visibly see that the cylinder is completely empty
  4. Make sure to pack your paintball marker in a checked bag

Pretty simple and straightforward right? Unfortunately, many passengers still forget one of these steps and end up clogging up the screening sections at the airport.

For example, keeping your cylinder loaded can get you in a ton of trouble if you forget to completely empty it out. You see, a loaded air tank can turn into a bomb when you take off, and no one wants that to happen!

Plus, bringing a potential bomb onto a plane is illegal and can get you arrested.

So, empty it out before you pack it for your trip!

But of course, we also promised to give you tips for a headache-free flight with your gear, so here are a few more general, but easily overlooked TSA tips!

TSA application

  1. Print out the TSA regulations from their official website for the state and/or country you are flying into for your trip. You don’t want any nasty surprises on the day of your flight or when your plane touches down at your destination.
  2. Make a list of everything you are bringing that is related to your paintball gear. This is more for safety than anything else. Making a list and/or taking photos of your bag’s contents will alert you if any of your items are missing.
  3. Bring magazine snippets of your paintball gear, marker, and other useful information about your items. Doing this will help inform the airport officials that you are bringing official paintball gear.

There you go!

Now that you know how to smoothly pass through TSA with your paintball gun, let’s get to handy packing tips that will keep your precious gear safe!

How to Pack Your Paintball Gun for a Plane Ride?

Unlike real firearms, replicas and compressed air guns like your paintball gun do not have to be stored in hard cases.

If you pack your paintball gear right, you can pretty much get away with storing your things in any type of luggage.

But of course, that paintball gun is your prized possession. You wouldn’t just settle for dumping the parts in a random duffle bag.

So here are a few handy tips on how you can safely pack your paintball gun!

Pack Parts Separately

to pack paintball gun parts seperately

You may feel tempted to store your paintball gun and its components in the same hard case, but this might not be as safe as you think.

Packing your paintball gun’s parts separately prevents dings and scratches. For example, your electronic hopper is the most important piece of your gear, so it’s crucial that you store it safely in a good-sized container.

Take Out the Batteries

Another tip that we all easily forget is to take out the batteries. Taking out the batteries of your electronic hopper will prevent any leaks from happening during your flight.

Use a Hard Case

Plano All Weather Tactical Gun Case

If you want to keep more important pieces like the marker or the electronic hopper in your carry-on, you can opt for the specialized hard cases available on Amazon.

Use Padding

For the rest of your gear, such as your mask or your compressed air tank, you can use a hard case that has velcro fasteners and padded divisions  to avoid scratches and unnecessary breakages.

Vault by Pelican - V300 Multi-Purpose Hard Case with velcro fasteners and padded divisions


And there you have it! Now you can fly on almost any airplane with your paintball gear and not worry about getting stopped and questioned.

We also discussed a few packing tips to help make your flight smoother and keep your gear safe from damage – especially through long international flights.

But do make sure to check the local laws and regulations surrounding bringing paintball guns on planes if you’re traveling to a different country!


Traveling with your paintball gun for the first time? Don’t worry! Here are a few FAQs to help you out.

1/ Do All States Classify Paintball Guns as Air Guns?

all states - paintball gun regulations

No. Some states and countries have their own way of classifying non-lethal firearms. So make sure to look them up wherever you’re planning to go!

2/ How Do I Empty a Paintball CO2 Tank?

Emptying paintball CO2 tanks need to be done with utmost care as it can be dangerous and even deadly.

The first (and safest) method is to attach your CO2 tank to your unloaded paintball gun and shoot it in the air until it’s completely empty.

empty CO2 tank

The second method is a little bit riskier, and should only be done if you don’t have any paintball guns available.

For this method, you will have to release the compressed gas manually by compressing the trigger at the top of your tank.

Make sure to wear gloves and use a long-handled tool like a screwdriver to hold down the trigger. Please do this in a well-ventilated space.

IMPORTANT: this should be done with utmost care as prolonged exposure to large amounts of compressed gas can lead to frostbite and other injuries.

3/ How Do I Safely Dispose of My Paintball CO2 Tank?

dispose paintball tank

There are 3 effective ways to part with your CO2 tank:

  • Recycle the tank
  • Throw it away. Empty CO2 tanks no longer pose an immediate threat and can be disposed of immediately
  • Resell it. You can ask your local paintball store to help you find a buyer or you can make a post on online selling platforms

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