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Thread: Airport Travel

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    I travel very frequently through airports. I have never brought a firearm though them. I am planning on going to VA and going to one of the OC meets and maybe the 2A march. I am worried about two things: Airline not knowing what to do and the luggage people stealing my firearm.

    Suggestions, Stories advice welcome.

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    FAA rules for shipping firearms are VERY strict, and your luggage is actually handled with MUCH greater care and security if it has a declared firearm in it. If a declared firearm goes missing or the luggage is damaged, then EVERYONE in the luggage-handling chain gets dragged through the mill to figure out what happened. So they tend to handle them with kid gloves.

    This is actualy a well-kept secret with high-tech business travelers. Get a big "road box" like rock bands use for their amplifiers, and put all your delicate, expensive computers, projectors, etc. in that case. Then get an inexpensive handgun and put THAT in the case too, and declare it with the airline. They will usually take you out of the regular baggage-check line and rush you through to the TSA people, who will then check it out. You MUST use non-TSA locks--REAL locks that ONLY you can open--to secure the case. You open it, show them the firearm, they declare it on their paperwork, put a copy in the case, and then you lock it back up, and it goes to baggage claim. You get it at the other en of your flight, with nary a scratch on the case.

    Or that's how it works in theory...

    But dude, Jacksonvile's only about 7 hours drive to DC. Why not just drive? It would be MUCH easier if you are planning to have a firearm in VA while you're up there. If youhave a NC CHP, it's good-to-go in VA too. Driving would be a LOT cheaper than flying, if you haven't bought your tickets yet.

    But if you DO fly, mae sure to book your flight into Dulles or Reagan which are in VA. You do NOT want to arrive in BWI, which is near Baltimore. Getting your gu at the airpoort would be easy enough, but then you'd have to worry about transporting it in and through MD, and that would NOT be a fun way to spend your weekend...

    Here is an article that tells it more clearly than I do:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...8/ai_84145936/
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    The locking other items in with your firearm trick is also used by custom knife makers. They are so tough on firearm theft that I think only the most foolish employees would try it. You regular checked baggage is at a far greater risk for theft.

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    Yes, the only drawback to shipping firearms on an airline is that you must use an FAA/TSA approved container. It can't be your regular old luggage--it needs to be a hard-sided container, preferable metal (like an Anvil or SKB case) or thick plastic (like a Pelican Case). Those can get downright SPENDY...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Yea the only reason I worry is because a guy who had a Class III MP5 got his taken in the luggage system. But I bet things have gotten better. I was going to go with my Glock so that is easy enough. I will be up in the area for business. So business pays for flights. I have to jump from one place to another quickly so no time for driving.

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    Lawmaker wrote:
    I travel very frequently through airports. I have never brought a firearm though them. I am planning on going to VA and going to one of the OC meets and maybe the 2A march. I am worried about two things: Airline not knowing what to do and the luggage people stealing my firearm.

    Suggestions, Stories advice welcome.
    I have traveled with declared firearms for about 30 years, and the situation has not changed much.

    As others have stated, you need to have a hard sided, lockable case inside your checked luggage. You don't need a high dollar pelican case, I typically use theplastic case that one of my S&W Revolvers came with, and a standard padlock around the handle.

    The firearm needs to be unloaded (a good idea to unload it before you get to the counter).

    You need to let the ticket agent know that you need to declare a firearm; they will fill out a tag and have you sign it, afterwards it needs to be placed in the case with the gun.

    If you utilize the automated check in feature, then when you go to check your bag let them know that you need to declare a firearm.

    Do not use the curbside check in - you need to go up to the main counter.

    Once you're checked in, most of the time the ticket agent will direct youto take your bag over to the TSA folks. I always let them know that there is a declared firearm inside the case, and I'll be happy towait until it clears their process. They in turn will let their screeners know what there is a declared firearm, so that nobody is surprised. Proceedures vary per airport, but sometimes they want to have you open the bag so that they can verify that it is declared and unloaded.

    The law states that no "loose amunition" be present; I typically remove the ammo from the mag and place it in the same box that I purchase it, and wrap that inside a sock or something.

    I've never had a problem - probably checked a firearm on somewhere between 50 - 100 flights.

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    Yea that was my next question. Ammo. So you can put it in the same box as the firearm?

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    You can have ammo in the same container as the firearm. TSA guidelines and the airline requirements may vary though.

    I just got back from a trip with my firearms in tow.
    When I arrived, my bag had been checked again without me present. The firearms are in a locked container inside the baggage with my clothes. They unfolded every item in the bag, and didn't resecure my laptop either. I don't know what they did to my bag, but they broke the frame, and ripped out all the rivets that hold the pull handle to the frame.

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    You know, they do that just to "teach you a lesson" for having a non-TSA-accessible container in your other luggage. Having a non TSA-accessible container inside your regular luggage is pretty much viewed as an act of "contempt of cop" to the TSA "regulars"...

    The BEST way to do it is to get a hard-sider big enough for ALL your crap, and just pack your firearm, laptop and all your travel clothes in that. TSA inspects the whole thing when you declare the firearm, you lock it up, and they NEVER have access to it again.

    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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