How To Travel With a Tactical Pen (and why you should)

by John Wren

I bet you are conscious about personal safety and you would like to travel with a tactical pen. Never again should you feel vulnerable and defenseless when you are traveling. 

A tactical pen is not only a good weapon, but it also serves other functions such as writing and butting (like a club). Made with high quality material like steel or aircraft-quality aluminum, this type of pen can last a long time with minimal care.

But first, are tactical pens legal to travel with on your person or in your carry-on when flying? Keep reading to find out.

If you are reading about this for the first time, you might be wondering what tactical pens are all about. If James Bond pops to mind anytime you see the words “tactical” and “pen” together, you probably have a good idea what it is.

What’s most important is what it can do for you. In the unpredictable world that we live in, you can never be too careful. You need a means of personal protection just in case things go south.

Tactical Pens Can Be Lethal (but only when used with force)

You can refer to a tactical pen as a self-defense pen. There is a good reason for this. First, the frame is quite sturdy and it can withstand a lot of use and abuse. The casing is made of aluminum, titanium or stainless steel. The tip is usually made of tungsten carbide. Tungsten is sometimes used to sharpen knives. So if the need to use this pen as a weapon against a predator ever arises, you can be sure that it will do enough harm.

This is a “regular” pen that you can use for writing as well as other functions such as self-defense. If you are kidnapped and locked in a room, you can use the tungsten (if your pen comes with one) to break glass. Some of these pens also come with flashlights, depending on the model. 

Safe For The User

Because of the thick aluminum used in the construction of this pen, you can use it to hit heavily without causing any harm to the pen or to yourself. To strike a predator, hold the pen in such a way that your thumb is on the flat end. You can then launch an attack in a stabbing motion. While it might not stab like a knife, it can cause serious pain.

If used with skill, your pen can inflict excruciating pain. While the injury may not be as serious as the slash that a knife would give, it is still quite considerable. When you are under attack from a mugger or a sexual predator, you need to buy yourself a few seconds to slip away.

Areas To Target

If you stab your attacker in the palm of their hand with a tactical pen, chances are they will not even feel it. So you need to stab them in the most vulnerable places for the greatest effect. Some of the most sensitive areas include the eyes, ears, neck, groin, inner wrists and in the rib region. In these places, the self-defense pen will inflict the most pain, which could give you the time you need to slip away.

Just like its predecessor the Kubotan, the pen is too blunt for stabbing in some areas.

So it’s best to use it on pressure points as advised above.

One more thing that makes this pen even more lethal is the fact that your attacker will not be expecting it. Whether you have tucked it in your coat pocket or you hold it in your hand, it looks so innocent.

Some people will argue that this pen is not that good as a defense weapon. However, a small tactical weapon for self-defense is better than none at all. Better half a loaf than no bread!

Are Tactical Pens Legal?

Tactical pens are legal in all 50 states. This makes sense because first, this is a writing pen, but it comes with a few extras such as a hardened metal body, a metal tip and sometimes even a flashlight. Whoever heard of a writing pen being illegal?

However, please note that this does not mean that you will always be able to get your self-defense pen past airport security. The TSA prohibits items that one can use to inflict injury on others. For example, you are not allowed to board an airplane with a hunting knife, even though it is legal.

Why are tactical pens legal to carry in all 50 states? The answer is simple. These pens are not designed to kill anyone. In addition, they are made in such a way that you can use them for different functions. You can use yours as a flashlight, for writing or for breaking glass.

With these pens becoming more common by the day, many people know them. Therefore, chances are that when someone sees you with such a pen in the bar, they are not likely to attack you outside. It serves the purpose of deterrence. Prevention is always better than cure.

Flying With Tactical Pens

Even though tactical pens are legal to carry, is flying with a tactical pen allowed? To this question, the answer is yes. However, there are a few important things to note. One of them is that you will not pass security if a tac pen is found on your person.

Can I pack a tactical pen in my carry-on bag?

No. You cannot have a tactical pen in your carry-on bag. Of course you can carry regular pens in your carry-on bag, but a tactical pen is a self-defense item. Despite the fact that a tac pen does write, this pen is really far from being a regular pen. In fact, the TSA considers a tactical pen a weapon because it can be used as one. Therefore, if you attempt to carry it through airport security, it will be confiscated. Worse, you could be issued with criminal summons. 

Some resources say that the TSA considers a tactical pen a weapon depending on how rugged it looks. They argue that if it looks like a regular pen, it is not considered a weapon. Nothing could be further from the truth. The bottom line is that this is a self-defense item and it is not allowed through airport security.

Can I carry a tactical pen in checked luggage?

Yes. It is allowed, but it’s best to notify the airline first. The Transport Safety Authority does not list tactical pens in its list of prohibited items. However, because of its potential as a weapon, it is best to let the airline know that you are carrying one in your checked luggage. Even better is to contact the airline ahead of time to clarify their rules for transporting a potential weapon.

Purchase at destination

If you don’t fly with a James Bond pen, you might consider purchasing one after you land in at your destination. Even if you are just sightseeing, having a means to defend yourself on your person gives you confidence to enjoy yourself more. No one likes to feel vulnerable, and believe it or not, that is what you will be feeling when you are the only stranger in town.

Why Travel With a Tactical Pen

When you travel with a tactical pen, you enjoy certain benefits. These are just a few among many good things that we can say about having this pen on your person:

Enhance Safety and Confidence

When you are in a new town, you can feel quite vulnerable. The reason is that no matter how hard you try to blend in, something about you will always spell S-T-R-A-N-G-E-R from miles away. When you have a means to defend yourself, you feel safer, and more confident. The more confident you feel, the less you look like a stranger.

Muggers and sexual predators thrive on their victims’ fear. In fact, because of their heightened sense of self-awareness, these offenders can smell your fear from miles away. When you have a tactical pen-inspired confidence, your courageous outlook will keep potential attackers at bay.

Small and Lightweight

Made to mimic a regular pen as much as possible, this pen is light in weight and easy to conceal in your hand or on your person. You can have it sitting innocently in your shirt pocket in plain sight and none will be the wiser.

Although they are heavier than ink pens, they are not too heavy as to make your pocket sag. When you need to keep it unseen, it will be easy to conceal. If you have to check it in at the airport, this pen will not occupy too much space in your luggage.

A Tactical Pen is a “disguised” and “unsuspecting” Weapon

The main advantage of a tactical pen is in its looks. Flying with a tactical pen can be easy because of its innocent looks. Some people have even managed to slip with it through airport security thanks to its innocent looks. But this is not advisable at all. Always check it in.

The innocent looks of this pen give you the benefit of surprise. If you are ever attacked, the attacker will have a nasty surprise waiting for them. Just make the first blow to the head count. Follow it up fast with other blows, preferably to the same spot. Case studies have shown that raining blow after blow on the head can make one faint, or even crack the skull.

Minors Can Carry and Use Tactical Pens

One of the best things that you can do as a parent is to teach your teenage son or daughter some self-defense skills. In close range situations pepper spray is very effective and so is a tactical pen.

Teach them that these are weapons and that they should be handled responsibly. Also train them how to use this pen for the best effect. The world is a chaotic place and you never know when self-defense skills may come in handy to save them or their friends.

Best Selling Tactical Pens

Bestseller No. 1
KEPEAK Military Tactical Pen, Professional Self Defense Pen, Emergency Glass Breaker Pen - Tungsten Steel, Writing Tool with 6 Refill
  • Emergency glass breaker: The tactical pen cap is made of tungsten steel, and the pen body is made of aerospace grade aluminum, which has excellent strength and portability. Break the window to escape...
  • Security: Hidden, low-key, unique attackers can suddenly have amazing attack capabilities, protect themselves from attackers and identify with DNA collectors
  • Writing: A comfortable tactical pen with a round nib. Suitable for everyday use or emergency situations
  • Practical: Suitable for everyday use, travel or outdoor activities. Head design, handle thread design, excellent slip resistance
  • The package includes: 1 tactical pen and 6 Ink Refills stainless steel and Gift Box
Bestseller No. 2
The Most Loaded 6-in-1 Tactical Pen: Solves Other Brands' Weaknesses,Self Defense Tip + Flashlight + Ballpoint + Bottle Opener + Screw Driver + Hexagonal Wrench, 5 Ink Refills + 6 Batteries + Gift Box
  • Made of ultra-strong aircraft aluminum for self-defense. Thread designs at the handle and thumb head allow a thumb grip: the optimal way to fully transfer your power to the target.
  • Low profile, discreet yet effective self defense pen. Won't break.
  • Lightweight – When detached to function as a ballpoint pen, it weighs half as much as a regular tactical pen, making it practical for daily use. This solves the balance issue too.
  • Write smoothly, smear-proof ink, ink quickly dries with a consistent ink flow. Compatible with standard 2.75-inch long refills.
  • Ultra-durable tip for self-defense in one move out from your car/bag/purse.
Bestseller No. 3
Fpxnb 2 Pack Military Tactical Pen Set with 6 Black Ballpoint Refills for Writing, Made of Tungsten Steel & Aluminum (Black, Pack of 2)
  • HELP YOU OUT WHEN NEEDED: Aerospace Grade Aluminum Body and the Tip made of Tungsten Steel make our tactical pens strong and durable to get rid of the place
  • 6 BALLPOINT REFILLS INCLUDED: We provide 6 Ballpoint Refills with Black Ink for these two Tactical Pens. These tactical pens can actually be used as normal ballpoint pens
  • A PEN WITH SECRETS: Our Tactical Pens look just like normal pens, but they can protect you and help you out if you need tools to go out
  • COLOR: We provide 2 Tactical Pens in Black, which is classic color that you should have. Also, 6 Stainless Steel Ballpoint Refills are included (2 refills are in the pens) so you don't have to worry...
  • SATISFYING SUPPORT: Quality Certified for every customer that purchased our products. If there is anything wrong with our products, feel free to contact us via Email. We will solve the problem as soon...
Bestseller No. 4
Smith & Wesson SWPENMP2BK 5.8in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical Screw Cap Pen for Outdoor, Survival, Camping and EDC
  • DIMENSIONS: 5.8 inch (14.7 cm) overall length and a weight of 1.4 ounces
  • DURABLE: Pen is made of reliable T6061 Aircraft Aluminum
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient pocket clip and screw-off top making it ideal for everyday carry
  • SECURE: Have confidence that this tool will perform when needed and blend in when not in use
  • COMFORTABLE: Finger Grooves Provdide Ergonomic Grip And Reduces Slippage
Bestseller No. 5
Origin-Joy 5 Pack Tungsten Steel Military Tactical Pen Set, Multifunctional EDC Self Defense Pen With 20 Ballpoint Refills
  • 【Tungsten Steel & Aviation Aluminum】The material of tactical pen body is made of sturdy tungsten steel and aviation aluminum alloy. The hardness up to 14HRC, it can be a survival multitool,...
  • 【Low-key & Cool】Mysterious black color matching with EDC equipment, the grip is designed with a diamond-shaped thread, which increases the friction, makes the grip firmer, and is not easy to take...
  • 【Caring Design】Pen pack - 5 pack tactical pens + 20 ballpoint refills. The grip is designed with a diamond-shaped thread, which increases the friction, makes the grip firmer, and is not easy to...
  • 【Dual Function】Self-defense pen, can be used for daily writing. In emergency can also be used for defense, to protect yourself, the glass breaker tip has the greatest potential to save a life.
  • 【Easy to Carry】Our multifunctional tactical pen has a durable pocket clip, so you can attach it to shirts, trouser pockets, backpacks, bags and notebooks. It won't be confiscated as a prohibited...

Wrapping Up

You have seen everything that you need to know on how to travel with a tactical pen. But to reiterate, are tactical pens legal? Yes they are. Flying with a tactical pen requires you to check it in. Like any other self-defense item, this pen is a big responsibility. Do not flash it unnecessarily and only use it as a last resort to avoid legal repercussions.

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