Are Tactical Pens Allowed On Planes? 2024

Tactical pens are multi-use tools that primarily work for self-defense, and they are peace of mind items to keep handy if you are traveling to different spots and cities.

But are tactical pens allowed on planes?

Generally, for domestic flights tactical pens are not qualified to be transported in carry-on baggage as they are considered dangerous items, you will need to place them in your checked bag, the same rules applies for international flights, but first you will need to make sure that tactical pens are permitted at the country of your destination. 

Keep reading to know more about traveling with tactical pens, in both domestic and international flights.

Let’s dive right in.

a pen on a notebook
Photo by Milada Vigerova on
Carry on baggageNot Allowed
Checked baggageAllowed

Take Tactical Pens In Carry-on Baggage

The TSA mentioned tactical pens on its website and they are allowed only in checked baggage.

They do not provide additional clarification why they are banned on board the airplane.

So I can tell you that these pens are mostly made from sturdy materials such as anodized aluminum, steel, or titanium that can result in measure injury when used against someone.

Here is a screenshot from the TSA website.

Take tactical pens / The TSA website

Sometimes whether you can bring your item or not, will depend on the security agent at the checkpoint, and some passenger may get through with it.

But I don’t think it is the right way to go with a tactical pen especially if it does not look like a normal pen.

If you show up to the security checkpoint with a tactical pen and you get caught, you will be required to either check in your bag or send your tactical pen home otherwise the security team will confiscate it.

Take Tactical Pens In Checked Baggage

As we previously mentioned the TSA and most airlines, do advise passengers to transport any tactical pens in their checked baggage.

Orlando wanted to bring this tactical pen in his carry-on bag, the AskTSA customer service replied that self defense items like tactical pens must be packed in checked baggage.


Even though there are some drawbacks, if you are not traveling with a cheap pen.

The problem with placing expensive tactical pens in checked baggage is they are more likely to be vanished.

If you want to bring an expensive tactical pen from your destination, it is better to contact your airline first, ship it or just leave it at home.

Tip: Check out this Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Carry-On Spinner, a sleek and versatile carry-on that is designed to fit within the limits of most airlines, to save you from the hassle of the airports and the pesky airline fees.

Take Tactical Pens On International Flights

The TSA does regulate the items you can bring to and within the United States, if you want to take a tactical pen to certain countries you will need to check their local laws.

Here is an answer, where the TSA advises a passenger to ask the airline for guidance on traveling internationally with a tactical pen.


For example there is a huge debate about taking tactical pens to the UK.

Here is a small quotation from the website:

“A blade or sharp point hidden inside something that looks like a commonly carried everyday object. For example, a comb, brush, pen, cigarette lighter, key, lipstick or phone are not allowed to carry in the Uk”

Also the same rules are applicable in Canada, you have the right to defend yourself but you are not allowed to take a weapon or an item that can be sued as a weapon.

Final Thoughts 

Since a tactical pen looks like a weapon you can’t bring it in carry-on baggage on flights within the US.

If allowed on board the airplane it can be used with some bad guys to fight or to disturb the whole flight.

If you want to take the risk and take it through the security checkpoint anyways, be prepared that it will be confiscated by the security agent.

On the other hand, if you are concerned that it will be missed or damaged, you can just leave it at home, and you will find one at your destination.

We hope this helps

Happy travels

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