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Thread: Airline transportation of a hand gun?

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    Regular Member metalman383's Avatar
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    I will be flying to texas next week, to pick up a van for my parents.Every state I will be comming back through, besides Iowa, honor my cc permits. I really do not want to drive back unarmed! How much of a hassle is it to transport ahandgun?According to the airline website, it doesn't seem too bad, but as we all know, the real world is a whole different place. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

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    Campaign Veteran GlockMeisterG21's Avatar
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    I would have to assume that if you follow the guidelines EXACTLY then you wouldn't have a problem. I would however show up a good chunk of time before your flight so that you can get through whatever hoops they have you jump through and if there is a problem it won't cause you to miss your flight.
    “The 1911 pistol remains the service pistol of choice in the eyes of those who understand the problem. Back when we audited the FBI academy in 1947, I was told that I ought not to use my pistol in their training program because it was not fair. Maybe the first thing one should demand of his sidearm is that it be unfair.” — Col. Jeff Cooper, GUNS & AMMO, January 2002

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    I wish that I knew where I read the story, but there was at least one airline that marked packages containing firearms with something like four "F's", ie FFFF. I drew special attention to the pachages and some firearms ended up going missing. It was determined in the court of law as far as I know, that they are not allowed to mark the outside of the package in any special manner. I would, however, ship the ammo separately from for pistol JIC.

    I would print out the guidelines/regulations regarding transportating a firearm on a flight JIC the lady/dude at the counter isn't as smart as you.
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 - "A wise man's heart inclines him to the right, but the fool's heart to the left."

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    Which airline is it?

    I've flown a zillion times transporting my pistol and almost every time it's a piece of cake. In my vast experience you do not have to allow any extra time to check in.

    The only time I had a problem was flying out of San Fransisco. There they insisted on taking me to a separate room and searching my luggage with me standing there. I put up a fuss to no success. The whole ordeal took 10 minutes and I was on my way.

    Other than that one time I've had no delays checking in with a firearm. You simply check in, say "I have a firearm to declare", fill out the red (sometimes orange) tag declaring the gun is unloaded (takes 10 seconds) put the tag in your luggage, and you're off. Some airlines want you to open the action and show the attendant that the weapon is unloaded. This takes a walloping 30 extra seconds.

    The important thing is to print off a copy of both the TSA rules AND the rules of the specific airline you're flying and follow them to the letter.

    It's no big deal, I promise.

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    Regular Member metalman383's Avatar
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    I am flying Delta. Do you put your locked hard sided case in your luggage, or does it have to be by itself? I think I will be taking one of my cheaper guns, I would be sick if something happened to one of my favorite's.

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    You need to put your locked and properly tagged (with a tag providedby the check-in clerk)hard case inside another piece of luggage, you need to declare it with the clerks, they will most likely walk you to the TSA screening area and you hand that luggage directly to them (from your hands to theirs, the check-in person will not handle the luggage)

    I have not flown with a handgun since before 09-11-01, but I did fly with a long-gun recently, and the sequence I explained was the same for both. The tag is usually blaze orange, and it is not to be visible on the outside of the luggage, ony on the gun case inside the other piece of luggage. They do not want others to know something is special about any luggage. Mostly becuase of theft situations.

    I would also plan on buying ammo in texas for the ride back instead of taking it on the plane in you checked bags.

    The federal statute that pertains to this is; 1544.293 (I'm reading it off my delta airlinesdeclaration tag)

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    A brief search for 1544.293 suggests a a a a distracting misinformation.

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    Regular Member metalman383's Avatar
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    Guns and ammunition may be in the same piece of baggage. However, ammunition must be within its own packaging.




    [*]Ammunition must be in the manufacturer's original packaging or a container specifically designed for ammunition. Ammunition with explosive or incendiary projectiles will not be accepted. [*]
    [*]
    I think I would rather bring my own ammo. Sometimes it's hard to find the ammo I need, even when I know where to look. That came off their website.



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    Nutczak wrote:
    you need to declare it with the clerks, they will most likely walk you to the TSA screening area
    Of the countless times I've flown with pistols in my checked luggage I've never ever had the clerk walk me to the TSA screening area. Not even once. They simply told me to take it there.

    The first time one flies with a firearm in checked baggage can be a bit nerve wreaking.
    But once you've done it a few times it becomes second nature. Follow the TSA rules and the policies of the airline you're flying and all will go smooth as silk.

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    pkbites wrote:
    Some airlines want you to open the action and show the attendant that the weapon is unloaded.
    you can take them on the plane with you?

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    pkbites wrote:
    Nutczak wrote:
    you need to declare it with the clerks, they will most likely walk you to the TSA screening area
    Of the countless times I've flown with pistols in my checked luggage I've never ever had the clerk walk me to the TSA screening area. Not even once. They simply told me to take it there.

    The first time one flies with a firearm in checked baggage can be a bit nerve wreaking.
    But once you've done it a few times it becomes second nature. Follow the TSA rules and the policies of the airline you're flying and all will go smooth as silk.
    I've had it happen twice, once in Orlando, even though the TSA checkpoint was only a few steps away. (Initially the ticket agent mistook me for law enforcement and assumed I was taking my gun aboard on my person.)

    The second time was at the Dane County airport where I was escorted to a back room behind the ticket counters. There the firearm was checked, as was the rest of my luggage and I was told I was good to go. I don't remember the procedure in Madison ever being the same twice.

    All-in-all it has never been much of a hassle. The usual passenger security areas have proven to be a bigger pain than the firearm check portions of the trips.

    Once upon a time in Germany we rushed past security entirely and a car was waiting to take our passenger to the Lufthansa plane sitting on the runway. We threw cash at them, didn't even have a ticket! But that was an emergency and, um, I think someone back at HQ had paved the way for us. Ah, those were some fun days.
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    Nutczak wrote:
    You need to put your locked and properly tagged (with a tag providedby the check-in clerk)hard case inside another piece of luggage,
    This is what I have been doing for almost 20 years. I have never had issues. I always fly with handguns and not long guns. The only thing that a rifle case would fit inside of would be one of the golf bag cases, or some of the large pelican cases, etc..

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    nevinsb wrote:
    pkbites wrote:
    Some airlines want you to open the action and show the attendant that the weapon is unloaded.
    you can take them on the plane with you?
    I meant the attendant at the check in counter, not the flight attendant. I should have been more clear.


    Shotgun wrote:
    I've had it happen twice, once in Orlando, even though the TSA checkpoint was only a few steps away. (Initially the ticket agent mistook me for law enforcement and assumed I was taking my gun aboard on my person.)
    Hey! The same thing happened to me in Orlando back in December of 2006. I am a cop but was on vacation. Maybe that person thinks everyone boarding a plane with a gun is law enforcement?:what:

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    pkbites wrote:

    Shotgun wrote:
    I've had it happen twice, once in Orlando, even though the TSA checkpoint was only a few steps away. (Initially the ticket agent mistook me for law enforcement and assumed I was taking my gun aboard on my person.)
    Hey! The same thing happened to me in Orlando back in December of 2006. I am a cop but was on vacation. Maybe that person thinks everyone boarding a plane with a gun is law enforcement?:what:
    Was December '05 when it happened to me. She handed me a sheet to fill out to state that I was transporting a prisoner, etc. I looked at my son and said "He might feel like one, but he's not..."
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    Regular Member metalman383's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the input guys. I feel a lot more comfortable about it now.I was considering not taking a gun, because I thought it was a big hassle. I was having terrible day dreams, about feeling naked without my gun, (especially, when I would be in states that don't treat you like a criminal, because you choose to excercise a right).

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    I have had no issues at all.

    Just declare it, fill out the little tag.

    I've had TSA check to make sure case is locked & ammo is separate & others who have swabbed my luggage,guessthe swabber was bored & looking for something to break the monotony...

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    A brief search for 1544.293 suggests a a a a distracting misinformation.
    Doug, the statute should be listed in the 2009edition ofFARAIM (Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual) I bet if you went to your nearest airstrip, they should have a copy for sale in the pilots shop.
    As with any federally lawbook, it is quite a treat to read (sarcasm off)

    Edited for spelling corrections

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    Nutczak wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    A brief search for 1544.293 suggests a a a a distracting misinformation.
    Doug, the statute should be listed in the 2009edition ofFARAIM (Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual) I bet if you went to your nearest airstrip, they should have a copy for sale in the pilots shop.
    As with any federally lawbook, it is quite a treat to read (sarcasm off)

    Edited for spelling corrections
    I flew to vegas 2 years with my glock, out of Green Bay, no big deal.
    http://youtu.be/xWgVGu3OR4U AACFI, Wisconsin / Minnesota Carry Certified. Action Pistol & Advanced Action pistol concepts + Urban Carbine course. When the entitlement Zombies begin looting, pillaging, raping, burning & killing..remember HEAD SHOTS it's the only way to kill a Zombie. Stockpile food & water now.

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    As a former airline agent in Boston, MA and having flown with my handgun from Milwaukee, it should not be a hassle at all. Here's the rundown of how you should do things.

    First off, expect ignorance and perhaps shock.

    Do not use an automated kiosk. You will need to talk to an airline agent.

    The firearm must be in it's own, LOCKED, case. place the handgun in another bag.

    You may carry a small amount of ammo, but it must be in a separate container, in factory packaging.

    When you check in, simply state you need to declare a firearm. Depending on the agent, the airline, and the airport they might check it themselves, they might have a supervisor come over, or have tsa come over. In any case, they will want to see the firearm, have you sign that it is unloaded, and place the UNLOADED tag in the case with the firearm.

    When I was flying out of MKE some months ago, the agent looked at my firearm, which was field stripped and was like "um...is it unloaded?" He had no idea what he was looking at.

    After it has been checked by the airline, it will need to go to tsa for XRAY. sometimes they'll make you stand there while it is screened. ALWAYS make sure you tell TSA that there is a firearm in your luggage. Otherwise your bag may be delayed because they had to open it and gi through it and screen it more than once to verify that it is unloaded.

    Just make sure you follow TSA and Airline rules for packaging, and always declare the firearm to the airline and tsa both.

    As always, pack neatly and arrive with plenty of time for your bag to be screened. There is nothing worse than having a bag with your gun not make the flight in time.

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    Campaign Veteran GlockMeisterG21's Avatar
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    RugerMan wrote:
    As a former airline agent in Boston, MA and having flown with my handgun from Milwaukee, it should not be a hassle at all. Here's the rundown of how you should do things.

    First off, expect ignorance and perhaps shock.

    Do not use an automated kiosk. You will need to talk to an airline agent.

    The firearm must be in it's own, LOCKED, case. place the handgun in another bag.

    You may carry a small amount of ammo, but it must be in a separate container, in factory packaging.

    When you check in, simply state you need to declare a firearm. Depending on the agent, the airline, and the airport they might check it themselves, they might have a supervisor come over, or have tsa come over. In any case, they will want to see the firearm, have you sign that it is unloaded, and place the UNLOADED tag in the case with the firearm.

    When I was flying out of MKE some months ago, the agent looked at my firearm, which was field stripped and was like "um...is it unloaded?" He had no idea what he was looking at.

    After it has been checked by the airline, it will need to go to tsa for XRAY. sometimes they'll make you stand there while it is screened. ALWAYS make sure you tell TSA that there is a firearm in your luggage. Otherwise your bag may be delayed because they had to open it and gi through it and screen it more than once to verify that it is unloaded.

    Just make sure you follow TSA and Airline rules for packaging, and always declare the firearm to the airline and tsa both.

    As always, pack neatly and arrive with plenty of time for your bag to be screened. There is nothing worse than having a bag with your gun not make the flight in time.
    +1

    This seems to be very sound advice.
    “The 1911 pistol remains the service pistol of choice in the eyes of those who understand the problem. Back when we audited the FBI academy in 1947, I was told that I ought not to use my pistol in their training program because it was not fair. Maybe the first thing one should demand of his sidearm is that it be unfair.” — Col. Jeff Cooper, GUNS & AMMO, January 2002

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    pkbites wrote:
    Which airline is it?

    I've flown a zillion times transporting my pistol and almost every time it's a piece of cake. In my vast experience you do not have to allow any extra time to check in.


    Yep. Declare the fire arm. You can even have ammo in your suitcase. It just has to be in its original container. I've checkeck hand guns at Rhinelander and MKE with never a problem. always courteous treatment as well.

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    pkbites wrote:
    Which airline is it?

    I've flown a zillion times transporting my pistol and almost every time it's a piece of cake. In my vast experience you do not have to allow any extra time to check in.

    The only time I had a problem was flying out of San Fransisco. There they insisted on taking me to a separate room and searching my luggage with me standing there. I put up a fuss to no success. The whole ordeal took 10 minutes and I was on my way.

    Other than that one time I've had no delays checking in with a firearm. You simply check in, say "I have a firearm to declare", fill out the red (sometimes orange) tag declaring the gun is unloaded (takes 10 seconds) put the tag in your luggage, and you're off. Some airlines want you to open the action and show the attendant that the weapon is unloaded. This takes a walloping 30 extra seconds.

    The important thing is to print off a copy of both the TSA rules AND the rules of the specific airline you're flying and follow them to the letter.

    It's no big deal, I promise.
    I want to reiterate that although you may not need extra time for CHECK IN, your bag will most likely need extra time for screening. As an added precaution should there be questions as to your checked firearm, print your name, address, flight info, and cell phone number on a piece of paper and lay it in your suitcase on TOP of your clothes or whatever. Who knows what your gun looks like in xray, and who knows how well the screening agent knows what is loaded or not. If they have any doubts, they'll open up your suitcase, maybe page you via public address etc.. if they have your cell number they can call you right up and ask what they need to. There are ALOT of things that can delay a bag, adding a checked firearm only adds to the odds of a delay. I say this as someone who used to track lost/delayed airline bags for a living, and someone who flies with a checked handgun regularly.

    Lastly, when you get your luggage at your destination, open your bag IMMEDIATELY after getting off the carousel. You will want to verify that your gun is still in the bag BEFORE you leave the airport. Should it go missing (I've seen it happen), your best bet at getting it back or being compensated will be to report it immediately.

    As with all aspects of flying pose 9/11: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

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    RugerMan wrote:
    You may carry a small amount of ammo, but it must be in a separate container, in factory packaging.
    Not really, you can use other packaging, and ammo can be carried in the same container as the firearm. Ammo cannot be loose or in a baggie... It has to be in something made to carry ammo.

    This is the TSA's language:

    • You must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging that is specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
    • 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).
    • You may carry the ammunition in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as you pack it as described above.

    A. Gold

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    Shotgun wrote:
    RugerMan wrote:
    You may carry a small amount of ammo, but it must be in a separate container, in factory packaging.
    Not really, you can use other packaging,
    Not according to every airline I've ever traveled on.

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    1FASTC4 wrote:
    Shotgun wrote:
    RugerMan wrote:
    You may carry a small amount of ammo, but it must be in a separate container, in factory packaging.
    Not really, you can use other packaging,
    Not according to every airline I've ever traveled on.
    Correct. Most airlines have more stringent rules than TSA. Most airlines require ammo to be in a separate piece of baggage. I believe the thinking is that if the ammo and gun are separate it makes it more difficult that someone onboad could access both and use it while in flight. (Because on most aircraft it could be possible to access a cargo hold via the cabin floor) Not that it's a legitimate concern, but it is the rule by and large in civil aviation nowadays.

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