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Thread: Carrying on an airliner (checked baggage)

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    Carrying on an airliner (checked baggage)

    So, didn't find any specific posts on the matter. I will be flying in a few days, and, of course, am taking my sidearm with me.

    http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-informat...and-ammunition is the TSAs guidelines on the matter. What I am curious about is that it states that:

    Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.

    It also states that:

    Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.

    I would ASSUME that that means I can transport my two loaded mags in the same case as my handgun, but that if I wanted any other ammo, I would need it in a container designed to carry ammo (such as original manufacturer packaging INSIDE a locked hard case INSIDE my checked luggage. Does that sound correct?

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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Correct. However, keep in mind each airline may have different requirements - I can't remember which one, but I came across one that specifically prohibits loaded magazines.

    Oh, and you may want to consider attaching the case to the internal frame of your luggage with a steel cable so it can't go on walkabout as easily...
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    I am flying Allegiant... they said go ahead and keep two loaded mags in the hardcase, safer than having separate containers. Perhaps as time goes by, we can try to keep up people's experiences to help answer questions about individual airlines in the future.

    Thanks for the tip on strapping the firearm to the luggage, JS

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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    You are welcome.

    Where are you headed? Any layovers in hostile territory?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    You are welcome.

    Where are you headed? Any layovers in hostile territory?
    Very good point. Unless federal laws have changed, don't touch or accept the luggage during a layover in hostile territory. I vaguely recall someone laying over in New Jersey or New York, whose flight was cancelled or seriously delayed for weather or something. The airline insisted he take possession of the gun-bearing luggage. The police arrested him shortly thereafter.
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    You can put bullets in a separate cardboard box - just tape it shut.


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    Plastic reloading boxes would work also.

    As to the "loaded" magazines, some airlines don't like being able to "see" any rounds in the magazine so some tape over the open end would cover any "exposed" rounds.

    You won't be able to use the convenient curbside check in so you'll have to go to the counter and verbally announce to the agent you have an unloaded firearm to declare.

    Don't just look at the TSA website but also at the airline carriers website that you will by flying.

    If you have any "connections" to make do your darndest to not take possession of your checked baggage prior to your final destination ESPECIALLY if in Anti 2A commie states!
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    Never been a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by BriKuz View Post
    So, didn't find any specific posts on the matter. I will be flying in a few days, and, of course, am taking my sidearm with me.

    http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-informat...and-ammunition is the TSAs guidelines on the matter. What I am curious about is that it states that:

    Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.

    It also states that:

    Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.

    I would ASSUME that that means I can transport my two loaded mags in the same case as my handgun, but that if I wanted any other ammo, I would need it in a container designed to carry ammo (such as original manufacturer packaging INSIDE a locked hard case INSIDE my checked luggage. Does that sound correct?

    I've done this very thing a lot. I place my loaded mags, top (exposed round) down into a standard nylon mag holder. This keeps the rounds covered. I place these inside a plastic handgun case from Walmart, next to my handgun.

    Additional ammo goes into the original box, or the plastic re-loading boxes in the soft-sided luggage containing my gun case.

    I put two small luggage locks on the gun case, and then another on the main suitcase. I will often take a bicycle cable lock as well. This lets me secure the handgun case to the inside of the suitcase (run it through the roller board frame) so nothing can fall too far out if the suitcase is ripped open. If for some reason I have to leave the gun in the room, this means the entire suitcase has to walk out, rather than just the gun case. It also works to secure the gun case to the interior of a car if needed.

    I've never flown through hostile territory, nor to or from anyplace I considered hostile. Most of my flights are on Delta, but also some on United, as well as their regional carriers like Sky West. Utah, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Alabama, etc. I've never taken guns to Massachusetts, but I did take a basket-hilt sword in a rifle case once. Nobody blinked when I flew out of Logan airport a few days later with my rifle case in hand. Make sure your gun, mags, and ammo are legal where you are going.

    The closest I've ever come to a problem was when the ticket agent handed me the form used by cops who are carrying into the cabin. I just explained I needed the orange tag for firearms in my checked luggage only. Only once has a ticket agent asked if the gun was unloaded, and I've never had anyone who wanted to verify for themselves. The orange tag you sign certifies under penalty of perjury the gun is unloaded.

    Each airport is a little different in terms of how the bag is handled, but I've never had it take longer than an extra 15 minutes over checking a bag without a gun. In a lot of cases it is actually faster.

    Anyway, show up a few minutes early and just tell the ticket agent you need to declare a firearm in your checked baggage. S/he almost always knows what to do and it is no fuss.

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    The muslim courtesy assistant at DFW complemented me on declaring my pistol at American last time I flew to Reagan -said a lot of people don't declare and TSA finds out. Don't know if she was screwing with me but she sounded sincere.


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    Direct flight from Springfield, MO to Mesa, AZ... no worries about laws on either end... I will not EVER even make a layover in the hostile territories... why would i give such states even a landing fee?

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    Op you have heard the superb advice given, another thought...please ensure your case has a lock on each side of the hard sided case and not just one by the handle. TSA is getting cranky about the 'cheepy' cases with a singular lock under the handle and being able to pry open the hard sided case to access the interior. most of the updated cases have a minimum of two but the majority have three, one under the handle and one each on either side of the case. use all three with your own lock(s)

    ensure you do not use the outside luggage handlers, and i personally refuse to blare out 'i have a firearm in my bag' to the first attendant i come upon as i get into line inside, but rather say...'i need special handling' and when at the counter then advise the attendant i am transporting a firearm in my luggage, filling out appropriate paperwork at their direction.

    finally, follow your bag to the TSA check, then follow your bag to the conveyor belt leading to the bowels of the aeroport and watch it it disappear.

    safe sojourn.

    ipse

    ps: ask Mac about flying anywhere...
    Last edited by solus; 04-27-2015 at 10:29 PM.
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    Packing in the friendly skies.

    http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/

    I have one of the cases that these nice folks show you. I made it myself. Works like a charm and has been tested multiple times.

    81mm mortar round case (US Army surplus)
    JB weld
    Shackleless lock
    some heavy duty nuts and bolts
    a nice heavy duty shackle.

    Not one complaint has been made from airport security or airline checkin agents. The nice thing is, TSA can't touch it once it has been inspected the first time per federal law. Meaning, they can't open it at all once it has been inspected and they couldn't even if they wanted to because only you have the key.
    Armed and annoyingly well informed!

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    OP the video on Grim's link is very interesting and entertaining. Very inspirational, especially if you are hauling a whole satchel full of guns and expensive 'accessories' (there are limits on amount of ammo you can carry).


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    Quote Originally Posted by BriKuz View Post
    Direct flight from Springfield, MO to Mesa, AZ... no worries about laws on either end... I will not EVER even make a layover in the hostile territories... why would i give such states even a landing fee?
    You may not, but the gods and/or Mr. Murphy may one day have something to say about where your plane comes back to earth.

    To avoid problems, check your bag through from departure airport to destination airport. Let the airline handle any movement of the baggage until you get to your destination - even if that means meeting up with your baggage at Unclaimed Baggage.

    (Back in "the good old days" the trick was to check your baggage through, not pick it up at the carousel, and make a missig baggage report while it was on its way from there to Unclaimed Baggage. Airlines used to put your bags in a taxi and deliver them to you. Nowdays they just text you saying the bags turned up and come to the airport to claim them.)

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim_Night View Post
    http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/

    I have one of the cases that these nice folks show you. I made it myself. Works like a charm and has been tested multiple times.

    81mm mortar round case (US Army surplus)
    JB weld
    Shackleless lock
    some heavy duty nuts and bolts
    a nice heavy duty shackle.

    Not one complaint has been made from airport security or airline checkin agents. The nice thing is, TSA can't touch it once it has been inspected the first time per federal law. Meaning, they can't open it at all once it has been inspected and they couldn't even if they wanted to because only you have the key.
    please understand, grim has a great site you referenced but it is without any type of date stamp so any individual could not validate the currency of ANY of the site's information. additionally the site speaks in 'generalities' w/o references, including the case you carry grim...

    fore warned is fore armed so OP, et al., do you own homework...as someone has said repeatedly...you get what you pay for out here!!!

    ipse

    opps, his video is dated 2009 and found an ancillary document linked to the site dated 2009...http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/legal_sheet.pdf

    quote: as clarified by a call to the TSA’s public inquiry call center…on a March 2nd , 2009 call to 866-289-9673 we asked about flare guns and blank-firing weapons unquote
    Last edited by solus; 04-27-2015 at 11:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post

    I put two small luggage locks on the gun case, and then another on the main suitcase. I will often take a bicycle cable lock as well.
    Charles
    I hope you don't mean an actual luggage lock. Like a TSA lock. That means everybody has a key to the item.
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    Quote Originally Posted by decklin View Post
    I hope you don't mean an actual luggage lock. Like a TSA lock. That means everybody has a key to the item.
    +1

    I bring pistols to Hawaii sometimes. TSA inspects and I was told by them its the only luggage that they want a lock they cannot open.

    Its easy OP, just call your airline to make sure of their rules.
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    This past weekend I flew from SBN to SLC on United and their subsidiaries, taking my handgun and ammo.

    After turning in my bag at SBN it was opened and inspected by TSA. On the return trip however, they simply X-rayed it while I watched, got the thumbs up from the agent, and continued to my gate.

    This was the third or fourth time traveling with my weapon, each time it gets a little easier (on my anxiety), but the agents typically understand what's needed. Just in case though, I print out the airlines rules AND the TSA's rules and have them handy if the ticket agent wants to make it up as they go...

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    Quote Originally Posted by decklin View Post
    I hope you don't mean an actual luggage lock. Like a TSA lock. That means everybody has a key to the item.
    Nope. One advantage of checking guns is I get to use a regular (non-TSA) luggage lock. TSA cannot open it with one of their keys. I've never had TSA cut one off when I've checked a gun. I've lost a couple when I used them without checking a gun.

    Now, I have no delusions about the security of such a lock. A solid pair of wire cutters will take it off. But then, a pocketknife will open up any soft sided suitcase. So security is relative.

    Charles
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  20. #20
    Regular Member HPmatt's Avatar
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    I also noticed you typically get by the 50# weight limit - they are not concerned w that as opposed to getting the bag tagged properly...


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    Regular Member Kopis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustaShooter View Post
    Correct. However, keep in mind each airline may have different requirements - I can't remember which one, but I came across one that specifically prohibits loaded magazines.

    Oh, and you may want to consider attaching the case to the internal frame of your luggage with a steel cable so it can't go on walkabout as easily...
    thats a fine idea right there...

    Last time i flew delta (i think), TSA regs said ammo had to be in its "original" case/box. No loaded mags but of course they change with the wind. I would probably avoid the loaded mags.

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    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopis View Post
    thats a fine idea right there...
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kopis View Post
    Last time i flew delta (i think), TSA regs said ammo had to be in its "original" case/box.
    For the past decade or so that I've been paying attention to such things, TSA regs have not had a restriction that the ammo be in its original case/box. TSA rules say
    Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
    Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.
    So, those rules explicitly allow loaded magazines.

    Airlines, however, can have restrictions beyond the TSA regs, along the lines of "Ensure small arms ammunition is packed in the manufacturer's original package or securely packed in fiber, wood, plastic or metal boxes and provide separation for cartridges." That one (from Delta, btw) would seem to prohibit loaded magazines as that would not "provide separation for cartridges".
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