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Thread: I know its been asked before

  1. #1
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    What are the rules for transporting a firearm (pistol) on the airlines from WA to VA
    I know Ive seen it before in a thread, my google fu not to good tonight.
    THanks to any/all for help

  2. #2
    State Researcher
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    Same as transporting any firearm on an airplane. Unload it, put it in an FAA approved locking container, and follow the rules the individual airline imposes. Ask your airline they will help.

  3. #3
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    I just flew with my pistol for the first time over Christmas/New Years. I was nervous because I was flying into Logan Airport in Boston... Figuring out Massachusetts' gun laws are like finding a needle in a hay stack. I called several people to find definitive answers for my questions. I finally spoke with a guy who told me that US Code 18, Ch 44 Sec 926A covers interstate transfer of a firearm. If you can legally carry where you are coming from and where you are going to, then you can transport your firearm unloaded, in a locked container separate from ammunition. When you go to check in your luggage just declare that you have a firearm. It was beyond easy in Seattle and only a bit of a hassle in Boston, because in Boston they actually made me physically show them that my gun was unloaded.


    I'd advise you read this:

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/1...6---A000-.html

    Also, check your airline's website for their policies.

    Lastly, here is the TSA's regulation on traveling with a firearm:

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1666.shtm

  4. #4
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    Flying out of SeaTac with a pistol in checked baggage is fairly painless. I've flown both Alaska and Delta recently without problem.

    Here is my process:

    1) unloaded pistol in lockable case which is placed inside your checked bag. You must have the only key or the combination. The lock cannot be a TSA lock. (I use a COM safe, and I cable the safe to the frame of the luggage.) I run a long zip-tie through the barrel so it is obvious to them and me that the gun is positively unloaded.

    2) ammo in a box designed for it (i.e. -- not loose). The TSA says you can carry loaded mags if the top round is completely covered, but I have not attempted this. I typically carry a single 20-round box, which makes it easy to verify that I haven't misplaced a round somewhere (like my pocket). The 20-round box fits in the COM with the pistol and the mags.

    3) lock the COM safe, place it in luggage. Close suitcase and lock it with TSA-approved lock. No identification anywhere on the outside of the bag, but I tape my business card on the outside of the COM safe, as well as a copy of my concealed carry license(s) that are valid on either end of the trip. (I always have the serial numbers of my gun in my wallet when I travel).

    4) check in at the counter. When the agent asks how she can help, tell her your luggage "needs special handling." She willturn her head like a cocker spaniel when you say, "you want a treat?" This means she doesn't understand. Say quietly, "I need to check a firearm." Now her eyes get big, and she fumbles to get that little red tag. (well, really only some get flustered)

    5)fill out the "Firearms Unloaded" tag. The agent will call TSA or send you to the "special handling" area.

    6) what happens next depends on the TSA agent. I've had my bag x-rayed, which was soooo easy. Others have wanted me to open the COM so they could verify the gun is unloaded. I've had them swab my hands for gunpowder/explosive residue and had them dig through my entire bag and my dirty skivvies. Make sure the red tag goes inside the bag, and not on the outside.

    7) relax and have a nice flight. I don't drink on a flight if my pistol is checked, because I don't want to have the odor on my breath if I have a problem on the other end.

    8) hustle to the baggage claim when you arrive at your destination. I always open my bag in the bag claim area to make sure my COM is there and unmolested. (there are cameras in the baggage area, so you have proof that you checked your bag immediately and it is recorded if you have a problem).

    9) reverse the process going home.

    I've heard of people carrying the TSA rules, the airline policies, and various other documents but I have not had a problem this would have solved and have flown many times with a firearm checked.

    Only once did I have a bag (with pistol) not show up at my destination. That was a direct flight from Spokane to Seattle (go figure). I freaked, of course, and went to the counted to report a missing bag. I explained that the bag contained a firearm, and the cop standing a few feet away gave me the stinkeye. It arrived two hours later -- turns out that TSA decided to give it one more going through and that made it miss the plane. Lesson learned -- allow plenty of time for you and your bag to get aboard the plane.

    Charles

  5. #5
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    2) ammo in a box designed for it (i.e. -- not loose). The TSA says you can carry loaded mags if the top round is completely covered, but I have not attempted this. I typically carry a single 20-round box, which makes it easy to verify that I haven't misplaced a round somewhere (like my pocket). The 20-round box fits in the COM with the pistol and the mags.
    I put 4 spare mags (while in the leather belt carrier) into another small pistol case. In all my travels I've had no issues like that.

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