We ALWAYS carry firearms on board when in the USA where it's legal
to do so and the guns are properly registered and legal
to own in the State we are in.
We NEVER have firearms on board in foreign countries where they're illegal to posses and can get us into big trouble. Would we prefer to have them on board? Sure, but we're not willing to take the chance or deal with the hassles.
Note: Having the wrong weapons on board can also get you into big trouble in the USA. You'll need to check the firearms laws in each State you plan to visit. The firearms laws also vary from city to city within a State.
And yes, you WILL be boarded in the USA by Homeland Security
and the Coast Guard.... and you better have your ducks in order regarding the firearms when it happens.