Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 38

Thread: Transporting a firearm in checked baggage

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Centreville, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    581

    Post imported post

    I might be flying out of Reagan National and I was thinking about checking in a handgun in my baggage. I've never done that before, so it makes me a little nervous. I read the rules on TSA website, but I was just wondering if there is anything elseI need to watch out for.

    Has anyone done it? What is the actual process at check in?

  2. #2
    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,461

    Post imported post

    It's pretty easy. Here is a BATF/TSA fact sheet on the topic.

    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/100804tsaeducation.htm

    Also, check the rules of the particular airline you will be using.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Richmond Lynchburg, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    636

    Post imported post

    1. Check with your airline.
    2. Arrive early as you will have to go to the airline ticket counter.
    3. Tell the Agent you have a secured firearm to declare.
    4. Have your hard case lockable box near the top as you open.
    5. The agent may/should verify the firearm is secure in the lockable box.
    6. The agent will fill out a tag to be place on the exterior of the lockable box.

    Depending on how the airport process baggage will depend on the next process. They may take you bag and that is it. You may be asked to wait until the bag clears TSA scanning/xray. You may be asked to be present while TSA checks you luggage.

    Hundreds of flights and dozens of airports it has always been a variation of one or more of the above.


    One thing that I did leave out was the fact that the firearm should be unloaded and the ammo secure in it's own container. There has been much discussion on what type of container. Airline rules suggest original packaging. That is what I do and have never had a problem.

    One last thing, I use a TSA Approved lockablestrap to go around the outsidemy suitcase. It helps me pick it out quicker at baggage claim and gives me a little more confidence that my equipment arrived safely.

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    142

    Post imported post

    Kenny is right concerning the procedure. I recently checked a shotgun through Reagan on US Air and two hand guns through Dulles on United. The agent will carry the baggage over to TSA and will need you to wait while they screen it or the agent will accompany you while you take it over. Other airports may have different procedures. Take the TSA fact sheet with you in case of a problem. The airline will also have a discussion on its web site. Take that with you as well. Happy flying.

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    142

    Post imported post

    Oh. And make sure the firearm is unloaded. Ammo can go in your luggage, however, but has to be in an ammo container such as the manufacturer's box. It is a little tricky with loaded magazines. If you have a mag holder that secures the loaded mag you can us that. Best is to leave the mags unloaded.

  6. #6
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Herndon, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    260

    Post imported post

    Here is the TSA link:

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


    Actually, this topic brings up a related question. I haven't had lost or damaged luggage with an airline for years. However, Murphy is fairly explicit about bad things occurring at the most inconvenient time possible...such as when traveling with a firearm.

    Will the airline pay for a damaged case or firearm (given it was in an obviously damaged case)?

    Lost Luggage? Do standard limitations apply or do they have a special "sorry, you are screwed" reimbursement policy for firearms?

    Do the airlines sell insurance policies for high value luggage?

    I would think the most simple process would be to have your firearms covered by your homeowner insurance provider. Valuable firearms should be on a rider that names each item individually and covers theft, destruction, loss and incident-based damage.

    Has anyone had a Lost/Damaged luggage event with a firearm in the luggage? Can you share your experience?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Loudoun County - Dulles Airport, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,848

    Post imported post

    ianto94 wrote:
    And make sure the firearm is unloaded.
    Agree! Depending upon the agent and airport.. Thier call to TSA could bring the TSA and the Police for carrying a concealed loaded firearm (with or without a permit) into an Air Carrier Terminal if it is one of the 9 airports in VA that have the ban.



    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
    - - - -
    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

  8. #8
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    255

    Post imported post

    With the amount of Fed's that fly in and out of DCA I'm sure the counter agents are well versed.

  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    Posts
    3,806

    Post imported post

    FWIW, I brought one of my pistols back from AR when I went to see my family for Christmas a couple of years ago.

    No real problems. I went the extra step and removed the slide from the frame (which I think may be a requirement), and made sure both mags were unloaded.

    Just go straight to baggage check and tell the lady you'd like to check a bag with an unloaded firearm.

    Do NOT run up and scream "I HAVE A GUN!", as that tends to go over poorly.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Granite State of Mind
    Posts
    4,510

    Post imported post

    One important point: while your luggage (which contains your locked firearm container) must have a TSA lock, the locked firearm container must not have a TSA lock. Instead, it must be locked with a lock to which only you have the key.

    Here's why: TSA has to be able to open your luggage for security screening. They must not be able to open your firearm container, otherwise even more guns would go missing between check-in and the baggage compartment.


  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Centreville, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    581

    Post imported post

    KBCraig wrote:
    One important point: while your luggage (which contains your locked firearm container) must have a TSA lock, the locked firearm container must not have a TSA lock. Instead, it must be locked with a lock to which only you have the key.

    Here's why: TSA has to be able to open your luggage for security screening. They must not be able to open your firearm container, otherwise even more guns would go missing between check-in and the baggage compartment.
    What do you mean by TSA lock? Where does it come from, who puts it on and who takes it off?

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Richmond Lynchburg, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    636

    Post imported post

    Suitcases must be left unlock now, unless you have a TSA Approved lock. It will say TSA approved. If you suit case is more than 3 years old it will not have a TSA lock.

    So in addition to your hard side container for your firearm to which only you have a key and you properly check in. If you choose to us a secondary lock like I mentioned it must be a TSA appoved lock. They are nothing more than a set of locks we master key capability. They are sold at the airport and at any luggage store, AAA office or other travel related store.

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampton, Va, ,
    Posts
    623

    Post imported post

    The locks are aslo available at Lowes, Home Depot and some department stores. Master makes some of them and you will find themin the section with the pad locks. Besides master keys being available for TSA, I saw at least one (I think it was a Master brand lock)that lookedlike there may be a tool they can insert into the lock to to pop it open.
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

  14. #14
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Herndon, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    260

    Post imported post

    KBCraig wrote:
    One important point: while your luggage (which contains your locked firearm container) must have a TSA lock, the locked firearm container must not have a TSA lock. Instead, it must be locked with a lock to which only you have the key.

    Here's why: TSA has to be able to open your luggage for security screening. They must not be able to open your firearm container, otherwise even more guns would go missing between check-in and the baggage compartment.
    That may work when placing a pistol or two in a locked case inside a suitcase, however, when the luggage is the locked firearms container you don't have a lot of choices. If I'm traveling with two rifles in a TSA-locked Pelican case then that is the luggage and the locked case.

    The TSA can require you to open the firearms case to ensure any ammuntion is stored appropriately and the firearms and magazines are not loaded.



  15. #15
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Centreville, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    581

    Post imported post

    Thanks for your input guys. Couple more questions.

    I'm gonna use this safe for transportation http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0045006228564a.shtmlIt says that it meets TSA rules, but just to confirm - do you thinkits ok?

    Reagan is legally in VA, not in DC, right? So, transporitng a handgun to and from the airport should be ok?

    Do I have to put on trigger lock?

    Can i transport unloaded magazines unlocked (not enough space in the container for gun and mags)?

    Can I transport ammo unlocked (meaning regular commercial cartboard ammo box put straight into the bag)?

    Thanks!

  16. #16
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Va Beach, Occupied VA
    Posts
    3,037

    Post imported post

    useful_idiot wrote:
    The TSA can require you to open the firearms case to ensure any ammunition is stored appropriately and the firearms and magazines are not loaded.
    I watched a particular exchange last year at ORF (Norfolk) involving the transport of a long gun.

    The TSA agent instructed the traveler to open the case, he inspected the contents and then had the customer close and lock the vessel for transport. The last thing he asked was "Are you the only person with keys to this lock?"

    It appeared to be a fairly painless ordeal, at least from an observer's perspective.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Centreville, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    581

    Post imported post

    Chaingun81 wrote:
    Thanks for your input guys. Couple more questions.

    I'm gonna use this safe for transportation http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0045006228564a.shtmlIt says that it meets TSA rules, but just to confirm - do you thinkits ok?

    Reagan is legally in VA, not in DC, right? So, transporitng a handgun to and from the airport should be ok?

    Do I have to put on trigger lock?

    Can i transport unloaded magazines unlocked (not enough space in the container for gun and mags)?

    Can I transport ammo unlocked (meaning regular commercial cartboard ammo box put straight into the bag)?

    Thanks!

    Can anyone help answer the above?


  18. #18
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Loudoun County - Dulles Airport, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,848

    Post imported post

    Chaingun81 wrote:
    Chaingun81 wrote:
    Thanks for your input guys. Couple more questions.

    I'm gonna use this safe for transportation http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0045006228564a.shtmlIt says that it meets TSA rules, but just to confirm - do you thinkits ok?

    Reagan is legally in VA, not in DC, right? So, transporitng a handgun to and from the airport should be ok?

    Do I have to put on trigger lock?

    Can i transport unloaded magazines unlocked (not enough space in the container for gun and mags)?

    Can I transport ammo unlocked (meaning regular commercial cartboard ammo box put straight into the bag)?

    Thanks!

    Can anyone help answer the above?
    Reagan is in VA.

    No trigger lock

    Yes

    Yes

    Here is how I transport mine (and will again tomorrow)


    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
    - - - -
    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

  19. #19
    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    856

    Post imported post

    Another couple of points.

    According to the TSA web site's page on airline transportation of guns, ammunition can be carried in magazines as long as it's secured:

    You can't use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
    I've read reports of folks just taping the open end of loaded magazines, completely covering the topmost cartidge, which met with approval of the TSA inspectors. YMMV.

    Secondly, if you're planning to drive to Reagan National on the GW Parkway, be sure you do all your packing before you begin your drive. Right now, it's required because the road is in a National Park, where loaded guns are prohibited until the new law takes effect in February. Even then, though, you're not home free, since a part of the parkway passes through DC, believe it or not, so if you were so unlucky as to get stopped on that section of the parkway while carrying, DC laws could apply.


  20. #20
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Most historic town in, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    7,705

    Post imported post

    TexasNative wrote:
    Secondly, if you're planning to drive to Reagan National on the GW Parkway, be sure you do all your packing before you begin your drive. Right now, it's required because the road is in a National Park, where loaded guns are prohibited until the new law takes effect in February. Even then, though, you're not home free, since a part of the parkway passes through DC, believe it or not, so if you were so unlucky as to get stopped on that section of the parkway while carrying, DC laws could apply.
    Don't the Federal interstate transportation laws apply here though? As long as everything is properly locked up in the luggage and away from the passenger section of the car?

    TFred


  21. #21
    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    856

    Post imported post

    TFred wrote:
    TexasNative wrote:
    Secondly, if you're planning to drive to Reagan National on the GW Parkway, be sure you do all your packing before you begin your drive. Right now, it's required because the road is in a National Park, where loaded guns are prohibited until the new law takes effect in February. Even then, though, you're not home free, since a part of the parkway passes through DC, believe it or not, so if you were so unlucky as to get stopped on that section of the parkway while carrying, DC laws could apply.
    Don't the Federal interstate transportation laws apply here though? As long as everything is properly locked up in the luggage and away from the passenger section of the car?

    TFred
    Exactly. Which is why I said to be sure to get it all packed before you get in the car to drive to Reagan National. I'm sure that's what most folks would do anyway, but I thought I'd be all anal retentive and mention it.

    ~ Boyd

  22. #22
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Centreville, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    581

    Post imported post

    TexasNative wrote:
    TFred wrote:
    TexasNative wrote:
    Secondly, if you're planning to drive to Reagan National on the GW Parkway, be sure you do all your packing before you begin your drive. Right now, it's required because the road is in a National Park, where loaded guns are prohibited until the new law takes effect in February. Even then, though, you're not home free, since a part of the parkway passes through DC, believe it or not, so if you were so unlucky as to get stopped on that section of the parkway while carrying, DC laws could apply.
    Don't the Federal interstate transportation laws apply here though? As long as everything is properly locked up in the luggage and away from the passenger section of the car?

    TFred
    Exactly. Which is why I said to be sure to get it all packed before you get in the car to drive to Reagan National. I'm sure that's what most folks would do anyway, but I thought I'd be all anal retentive and mention it.

    ~ Boyd

    Thanks guys! I already looked at the map and considered both the NP aspect and DC aspect of the GW parkway and was going to do exactly as you advised, but thanks for the warning anyway.

    On the side note, isn't it completely inane that things like that can be considered felonies??? I mean seriously, you are driving your car with a holstered gun and a CHP, not meaning any harm to anyone and then you cross this invisible line some asshat bureacrat came up with and turn into a felon??? This is such ********.

    I understand if you knowingly smuggled a gun through a security checkpoint of a courthouse or so - at least you knew what you were doing - but his GW parkway situation is like walking on a minefield... Sorry for a rant


  23. #23
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Centreville, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    581

    Post imported post

    ed wrote:
    Chaingun81 wrote:
    Chaingun81 wrote:
    Thanks for your input guys. Couple more questions.

    I'm gonna use this safe for transportation http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0045006228564a.shtmlIt says that it meets TSA rules, but just to confirm - do you thinkits ok?

    Reagan is legally in VA, not in DC, right? So, transporitng a handgun to and from the airport should be ok?

    Do I have to put on trigger lock?

    Can i transport unloaded magazines unlocked (not enough space in the container for gun and mags)?

    Can I transport ammo unlocked (meaning regular commercial cartboard ammo box put straight into the bag)?

    Thanks!

    Can anyone help answer the above?
    Reagan is in VA.

    No trigger lock

    Yes

    Yes

    Here is how I transport mine (and will again tomorrow)

    Thanks Ed.

    You think the box I linked is ok too?

    P.S. is that a Kimber box you have on the picture?

  24. #24
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    , Virginia, USA
    Posts
    410

    Post imported post

    TexasNative wrote:
    Secondly, if you're planning to drive to Reagan National on the GW Parkway, be sure you do all your packing before you begin your drive. Right now, it's required because the road is in a National Park, where loaded guns are prohibited until the new law takes effect in February. Even then, though, you're not home free, since a part of the parkway passes through DC, believe it or not, so if you were so unlucky as to get stopped on that section of the parkway while carrying, DC laws could apply.
    Which part of the GW pkwy is considered DC?

  25. #25
    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    856

    Post imported post

    mpg9999 wrote:
    Which part of the GW pkwy is considered DC?
    The island (whose name escapes me) which contains Lady Bird Johnson Park.

    ~ Boyd

    ETA: It's named Columbia Island. I should have taken a few more seconds before posting.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •