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Thread: Flying With Firearms

  1. #1
    Regular Member JohnMoses's Avatar
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    Flying With Firearms

    I moved yesterday, and I flew to my new home. I just had two firearms to take with me. I had my AK and my CZ82. I walked into Indianapolis International, walked up to the United Airlines check in counter. The lady behind the counter saw the gun case, and with the most polite voice I've had the pleasure of dealing with in an airport asked "Do you have a weapon."

    I said yes, and she simply followed procedure. I did not know that I had to use TSA locks on the case, so they did have to come get my keys after I went through the security check.

    They had my keys only long enough to open the case and give it a once over. Everyone was very professional about everything.

    I opened the case when I got to my new home and one box of ammo had been roughed up a little bit, a couple rounds had came out. Other than that, great job TSA and great job United Airlines.

    I would not hesitate to fly with firearms again.

  2. #2
    Regular Member aa1911's Avatar
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    I fly aboutr 10-15 times a year, always have at least one pistol with me with plenty of mags and ammo, never had any issue whatsoever. They always search your bag which I find hilarious but I've never had anyone get upset or 'scared'.

    Only issue I might have had was in Alaska of all places, not really a big deal though; they did not search my bag and I asked them to go ahead and search it so I didn't get hassled later. The lady said, no, it didn't need searched. I almost made it through security and my name was called over the PA. I got pissed but then the TSA just took my combo's for my locks and did the search allowing me to stay thru security. They just wanted to verify that the ammo was properly packed.

    People just assume you're going on a hunting trip or something, never seems to raise any eyebrows.

  3. #3
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    I prefer flying with a plane, but I guess with big enough wings is might be possible...

  4. #4
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I prefer flying with a plane, but I guess with big enough wings is might be possible...
    The A-10 is just that, a flying gun.

  5. #5
    Activist Member N605TW's Avatar
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    I only flew commercial twice in the past decade.
    I flew out of Helena, MT. I declared my firearm to the ticket agent who handed me a red slip of paper and told me to fill it out and place it in my bag. I asked if she needed to verify it was unloaded and she told me she didn't want to see it. 15 minutes later TSA called me back to a private screening room. They asked that I open my gun case so they can inspect my firearm to verify it was unloaded.

    When I flew out of Columbus, OH I had to flag down an airline employee because the ticket agents have been replaced by kiosk machines. The employee was visually upset that he had to talk to a customer then he became nervous when I told him I needed to declare my firearm. He vanished into the depths of the airport and returned a few minutes later with a form for me to fill out. He told me to fill it out, put it in my bag and go stand in line at the TSA bag screening machine. I gave my bag to a TSA guy and watched it go into the machine thinking the conveyor would stop when they seen my firearm. My bag passed though the machine without incident and went into the dark abyss that lies behind the ticket counter wall so I went to get violated at the security checkpoint.

    I think I will stick to driving and/or flying myself from now on.

  6. #6
    Regular Member JohnMoses's Avatar
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    N605TW, fly United Airlines. They still have people at the check in counter. They use the kiosk, but they have very friendly people working there.

    The lady working at the check in counter didn't look in my carry case. I opened it far enough to put the orange slip in.

    I think the reason they needed the keys to my case was to see if the ammo was packaged properly.

    The only way I will fly with firearms again is if my home state of Illinois gets right to carry.

  7. #7
    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    I personally have never flown commercially with firearms, as my CCW permit is not honored in CO, where I fly to. When flying around myself in MO, I often carry my EDC and sometimes my BUG. Flying privately with firearms is pretty sweet. Especially getting out of the aircraft OCing, and getting some crazy inquiries. Seems the airport people don't realize there is a difference between the TSA's definition of "secure area of an airport" with regards to firearms, and the FAA's definition of "secure area of an airport" in terms of who can access what part.

    I have however recently come across an article authored by a professional photographer as the why he always flies with a firearm on commercial flights. Basically, he stated that the TSA and airlines are pay extra-special attention to bags with firearms in them, therefore they are a lot less likely to be lost. For this, he bought several $10 starting pistols, and puts them in the bags with his camera gear. He figured that with how much he flies, it was WAAAAAY cheaper to do it this way than to take out an insurance policy to protect his 10's-of-thousands of dollars worth of camera gear. Pretty good way to make use of the system.

    BTW N605TW, I'm curious as to why you chose that name? It obviously can't be the tail number of your A/C, considering it belongs to a B767-231 registered to the defunct TWA. I'm assuming that A/C holds a special place in your heart for some reason?
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  8. #8
    Regular Member O2HeN2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyingA380 View Post
    I personally have never flown commercially with firearms, as my CCW permit is not honored in CO, where I fly to.
    MO permit? If so you're good to go according to this CBI page!

    O2
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    They'll never take your "hunting rifle", they'll call it a "sniper rifle" first.
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  9. #9
    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by O2HeN2 View Post
    MO permit? If so you're good to go according to this CBI page!

    O2
    ME non-res. Got it before I was 21, and before the MO age was reduced from 23. I'll probably get a MO when my ME non-res expires. I think the travel benefits will now outweigh the benefit of not showing up as a CCW holder when cops run my plates and/or info. Now that I'm primarily OCing, that issue is pretty much a non-issue.
    The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.
    XD40 Service
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    -Nebo Protec Elite light/laser
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    No one can make a pencil...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMoses View Post
    . I did not know that I had to use TSA locks on the case, so they did have to come get my keys after I went through the security check.

    They had my keys only long enough to open the case and give it a once over. Everyone was very professional about everything.
    You do *not* use TSA locks on the case. Else they wouldn't need to get your keys.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    Flying With Firearms

    Quote Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
    You do *not* use TSA locks on the case. Else they wouldn't need to get your keys.
    That's what I thought. They are only supposed to open it in your presence.

  12. #12
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    do not give up your keys or the combo to your locks!

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMoses
    I did not know that I had to use TSA locks on the case, so they did have to come get my keys after I went through the security check.
    They had my keys only long enough to open the case and give it a once over. Everyone was very professional about everything.
    Quote Originally Posted by aa1911
    the TSA just took my combo's for my locks and did the search allowing me to stay thru security. They just wanted to verify that the ammo was properly packed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Uber_Olafsun
    They are only supposed to open it in your presence.

    I don't know why it still upsets me that the TSAgents don't know the laws they're supposed to follow & enforce, but it does.
    Do NOT use TSA locks on your gun case(s).
    Do NOT give your keys or the combination(s) to your lock(s) to anyone
    [except perhaps your spouse who is the co-owner of the firearms in the case].
    If they want the case opened, you open it, they look, you lock everything up again.
    They can bring the case to you, or they can escort you to it, so there's no question you're still "sterile".
    Shouldn't have to get groped or go through the naked scanner again.

    I did a blog post about flying commercial with firearms because I'd read too many stories just like the ones here, where TSAgents get citizens to commit federal crimes (as do the TSAgents, but they'll never be punished for it).
    Under federal law, the key that provides access to your firearm may not be out of your control.
    A good reason for a combination lock.
    So if they ask to have it, or insist that they must have it, they're enticing you to commit a federal crime.
    Just say no.
    It helps to have a copy of the law, preferably rubber-banded around the case, with the pertinent portions highlighted.
    Here's the actual law:
    Title 49, section 1540.111(c)(2)(4)
    (c) A passenger may not transport...
    (2) Any unloaded firearm(s) unless
    (iv) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.
    (emphasis added)
    Last edited by MKEgal; 09-10-2012 at 10:23 PM.

  13. #13
    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post

    I don't know why it still upsets me that the TSAgents don't know the laws they're supposed to follow & enforce, but it does.
    Do NOT use TSA locks on your gun case(s).
    Do NOT give your keys or the combination(s) to your lock(s) to anyone
    [except perhaps your spouse who is the co-owner of the firearms in the case].
    If they want the case opened, you open it, they look, you lock everything up again.
    They can bring the case to you, or they can escort you to it, so there's no question you're still "sterile".
    Shouldn't have to get groped or go through the naked scanner again.

    I did a blog post about flying commercial with firearms because I'd read too many stories just like the ones here, where TSAgents get citizens to commit federal crimes (as do the TSAgents, but they'll never be punished for it).


    Here's the actual law:
    Title 49, section 1540.111(c)(2)(4)

    (emphasis added)
    Excellent post!! +1

    I first heard about this from http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/ and you are both absolutely correct.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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