Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Traveling from Virginia to Florida via BWI Airport

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Potomac Falls, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    39

    Post imported post

    I posted this topic on the Virginia thread as well. I am re-posting here in hopes that some MD residents have traveled out of BWI with a pistol or other firearm.

    Link to the VA post:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/45532.html


    I will be traveling from Virginia to Florida soon and will be flying out of BWI Airport. I'll be taking a pistol with me, so I want to make sure I understand and obey all the necessary laws. I would have preferred to fly out of Virginia, but that will not be possible for this trip.

    I found the Maryland law for the transportation of a handgun here:

    http://mlis.state.md.us/asp/statutes...Extension=HTML

    It does not make an exception for transporting a handgun within a vehicle when traveling to the airport to fly out. So, according to my reading of the law, it is not legal under Maryland law to transport a handgun to the airport to fly out of the state.

    However, it appears that the Federal Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) does protect me legally for my trip given that my direct route is through Maryland and BWI airport:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18...6---A000-.html

    I found a FAQ from the Maryland State Police that makes reference to the FOPA (page 5):

    http://www.mdsp.org/downloads/Licensing_Faq.pdf

    So Maryland State Police seem to be aware of the provision and the protection it provides. The PDF states that the ammo must be separate from the firearm during transportation, but I could not find a reference to this in the Maryland code link above. The FOPA does not specify that the ammo must be in a separate container. I plan to fly with the ammo in the same hard-sided locked container as the unloaded handgun, per TSA regulations:

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

    Does someone have a reference to a Maryland law that requires the ammo to be transported in a separate container from the handgun? If this is Maryland law, do I need to follow it assuming that the FOPA protects me in transporting the ammo and the handgun in the same container?

    I plan to fly with Southwest and found their regulations here:

    http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/guns.html

    Southwest seems to be in line with the TSA rules, so I don't see any issues here.

    I plan to have the ammo and the unloaded handgun locked in a Pelican case using two Abloy Protec PL 321 Padlocks.

    Have any of you traveled from Virginia to BWI to fly out with a handgun or other firearm? Any issues with checking and declaring a firearm at BWI?

    Thanks for any feedback you can provide.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    142

    Post imported post

    I traveled from DC toSacremento and then toLas Vegasand then then to San Francisco last December with two GLOCKs. I left from BWI. FOPA protects you in the interstate transport notwithstanding Maryland's totally screwy law. Follow FOPA exactly and have a copy of the law with you will in Maryland. I used a locked hard sided pistol case inside my softsided luggage. I did carry a small amount of ammo, but not in the pistol case. Airlines allow 11 pounds (5 kilos) butI have never had them weigh my ammo. Have not flown Southwest out of BWI. I think I flew American on the outbound trip. Be advised that TSA is not on the same level where you will check your bag. I was very concerned about that because TSA is not authorized to open your bag if you declare a firearm without you being present. I do understand you can ask for a TSA agent to conduct an inspection in your presence of the bag. There may be some grumbling about that by the airline or TSA. In my case I stood around for over 1/2 hour at baggage check to make sure there was no issue. Dulles and Reagan are so much better when flying with firearms since airline personnel will hand carry your luggage to TSA with you present to conduct the inspection. Have not flown into or out of Florida with a firearm.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Potomac Falls, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    39

    Post imported post

    ianto94 wrote:
    I traveled from DC toSacremento and then toLas Vegasand then then to San Francisco last December with two GLOCKs. I left from BWI. FOPA protects you in the interstate transport notwithstanding Maryland's totally screwy law. Follow FOPA exactly and have a copy of the law with you will in Maryland. I used a locked hard sided pistol case inside my softsided luggage. I did carry a small amount of ammo, but not in the pistol case. Airlines allow 11 pounds (5 kilos) butI have never had them weigh my ammo. Have not flown Southwest out of BWI. I think I flew American on the outbound trip. Be advised that TSA is not on the same level where you will check your bag. I was very concerned about that because TSA is not authorized to open your bag if you declare a firearm without you being present. I do understand you can ask for a TSA agent to conduct an inspection in your presence of the bag. There may be some grumbling about that by the airline or TSA. In my case I stood around for over 1/2 hour at baggage check to make sure there was no issue. Dulles and Reagan are so much better when flying with firearms since airline personnel will hand carry your luggage to TSA with you present to conduct the inspection. Have not flown into or out of Florida with a firearm.
    Good advice. Thanks for the info. I will keep it in mind.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    926

    Post imported post

    I have traveled many times through BWI with both rifles and pistols.

    Be sure that the firearm is unloaded, locked in its case (padlock and have the keys ready) and no bullets in the magazines.

    Do not take the firearms out of the case or open the case until asked to.
    You will get some nasty looks from the Maryland Transportation Police, but they wont bother you as long as you follow the FAA rules.

    Go to the BWI airport website and read the rules for firearm transportation. You will be good to go.

    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    SW Idaho
    Posts
    1,552

    Post imported post

    Sig229 wrote:
    I have traveled many times through BWI with both rifles and pistols.

    Be sure that the firearm is unloaded, locked in its case (padlock and have the keys ready) and no bullets in the magazines.

    Do not take the firearms out of the case or open the case until asked to.
    You will get some nasty looks from the Maryland Transportation Police, but they wont bother you as long as you follow the FAA rules.

    Go to the BWI airport website and read the rules for firearm transportation. You will be good to go.

    This. I have checked weapons at BWI and, while they don't like it, they seem to recognize the legality.

    Just try to avoid a tall, blond, white male TSA supervisor at the "security" checkpoint; he's a real piece of work.
    Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    All the talk about Overthrowing Big Government, Revolution, etc., it's just another one of those nostalgic ideas that individuals have idealized.
    O RLY?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...and_rebellions
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Books are overrated; and so is history.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    926

    Post imported post

    ManInBlack wrote:
    Sig229 wrote:
    I have traveled many times through BWI with both rifles and pistols.

    Be sure that the firearm is unloaded, locked in its case (padlock and have the keys ready) and no bullets in the magazines.

    Do not take the firearms out of the case or open the case until asked to.
    You will get some nasty looks from the Maryland Transportation Police, but they wont bother you as long as you follow the FAA rules.

    Go to the BWI airport website and read the rules for firearm transportation. You will be good to go.

    This. I have checked weapons at BWI and, while they don't like it, they seem to recognize the legality.

    Just try to avoid a tall, blond, white male TSA supervisor at the "security" checkpoint; he's a real piece of work.
    Unfortunately, the police oin Maryland feel that they are the only ones who should have firearms.

    But the more of us citizens that teach them otherwise, the better it will get for gun owners.
    I love traveling through BWI and making it clear that I am not afraid of those nazi's.
    When I get dirty looks from the police, I just chuckle in front of them. They want to intimidate you. Dont let them!
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Potomac Falls, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    39

    Post imported post

    Great info everyone. Thanks! I think I'm ready for a successful trip!

  8. #8
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Potomac Falls, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    39

    Post imported post

    I just returned from my trip without any issues encountered. However, there were a few things that I found interesting because of some small differences between the flight down and the flight back. Flew out of BWI Thursday on a direct Southwest flight to Jacksonville and returned yesterday to BWI on a direct flight using Southwest. I was transporting one pistol and one box (25 rounds) of ammo. I had the pistol and ammo both locked in a hard sided double pistol case. I then had the pistol case inside of a larger soft sided bag. I had the larger bag locked with a TSA approved lock.

    When checking in for the flight down at BWI, I said to the female Southwest employee, "I need to declare a firearm". The lady checking in next to my wife and me did a quick double take :shock:, which of course amused me. The Southwest lady seemed slightly annoyed at the declaration. I'm thinking this was only because it created extra work for her. She had me fill out the declaration card and then asked me to open the locked gun case so that I could stick the declaration card inside the case with the gun. She never asked if it was unloaded and never asked about the ammo. I opened the case just wide enough to slide the card in and then closed it and locked it back up. I then put it back in the larger bag and locked that again with the TSA approved lock. She then attached a small paper tag to the larger bag that had white and red strips on it, but did not have anything written on it. I asked her if I needed to wait around in case TSA needed to inspect the case and she said to wait for 15 minutes and if they needed me, they would call me over the loud speaker. We waited about 25 minutes, didn't hear anything, and then proceeded to the gate. Didn't hear anything at the gate either, so we boarded the plane. I assumed my bag was loaded on the plane as well.

    Once we got to Jacksonville, we headed to the baggage claim area. I expected that I would have to pick my bag up from one of the baggage claim people, but instead it came right out on the belt like all the other bags. Once we got to the rental car, I checked the pistol and found that everything was in order.

    We had a great time in Jacksonville, relaxing at the beach and in the pool for a few days, attended a wedding, and then headed back on Sunday. It was nice to carry concealed while we dined at restaurants that served alcohol. It got me primed for back home in VA when we'll be able to do the same starting July 1. :celebrate

    Once at the Jacksonville airport for the trip back, I again declared the firearm to a Southwest female employee. She seemed almost excited at my statement, which was a good sign to me. She had me fill out the declaration card. Then she asked me if the pistol was unloaded (which they did not ask at BWI). I said yes. She asked if I had any ammo (which they did not ask at BWI). I said yes. She asked out much. I said 1 box. She seemed satisfied with that answer. I then started to open the locked hard sided case and she said that since I told her the pistol was unloaded there was no need to open the case and then she just taped the declaration card to the outside of the pistol case (which again is different from what they did at BWI). I then put the case back into the larger bag and locked it with the TSA approved lock. Unlike at BWI, she did not attach any kind of tag to the larger bag.

    I asked her about waiting to hear from TSA and she said I could wait at the gate and if they needed me they would call for me there. They never did and we boarded the plane and flew back. Once we reached BWI, we again waited by the carousel and just like in Jacksonville, my bag came out like every other bag.

    All-in-all, the process couldn't have been easier. Not sure if I got lucky or if this is the norm. I'm guessing more of the latter.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Grennsboro NC
    Posts
    5,358

    Post imported post

    I always recommend that people traveling with firearms (and ALL people who are actively interested in Firearms Rights) in that area use VA airports like Dulles.

    This is for two reasons:

    1) MD transport law is vague, capricious, and enforced with a LOT of latitude on the streets, so if you get pulled over with a gun in your possession, you can expect anything from a simple "open the trunk" inspection to full-out felony-stop-style treatment, and

    2) until MD gets in-line with the majority of this nation, and repeals/re-writes their egregious firearms laws, ANYONE who believes in the 2A should be voting with their wallet with regards to MD. Every PENNY of sales tax, support for businesses, and road toll fees you pay in MD goes toward the tyrannical power beast in Annapolis, and helps fund the perpetuation of their restrictive firearms laws.

    EVERYONE who cherishes the 2A (or any other part of the Bill of Rights and Constitution) should AVOID spending a single penny in MD if they can. When I visit my family there, I will drive to VA to get gas for my car, and even to buy groceries or go to a restaurant if I can. I try to avoid spending a SINGLE PENNY on my trips to "that side of the moat." Maryland isn't getting ONE CENT of my money if I can avoid it. And I suggest that ALL gun owners who visit MD take the same position.

    Annapolis and Pikesville obviously don't listen to the voices, letters, and emails of the People. But I bet they WILL listen to the jingle of our purses as we take our business across the border to VA, PA, or WV...

    Sure it's LEGAL to transport a firearm thought a MD airport. But that's not the point.

    The point is that by booking flights and hotels, eating in restaurants, and renting cars in MD when we visit that area, we put more money into the coffers in Annapolis and Pikesville to enable them to perpetuate their draconian and UNCONSTITUTIONAL restrictions on otherwise lawful firearms owners and carriers.

    Vote with your wallets people!

    Avoid spending a single penny in MD if you can. Hitting them in the wallet is the ONLY thing these gun-grabbing elitists understand...
    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

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Potomac Falls, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    39

    Post imported post

    Dreamer,
    I couldn't agree with you more.

    Whenever possible, I'll be flying out of VA from now on. I also try to avoid MD whenever I can because of the gun laws.

  11. #11
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Loudoun County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    788

    Post imported post

    Very true, Dreamer.

    I don't often bring up the MD firearms laws with people when talking about airports because usually the people with whom I'm talking about it do not care.

    When I fly, which is not often, I use Dulles because it's practically in my back yard. I tell people who live in NOVA that they're crazy for flying out of BWI; the traffic, the fuel, the parking, the time... People say to me "...but tickets are more expensive out of Dulles." I say, take a short cab or bus ride to Dulles, you'll thank me after your return flight, when your tired ass gets off the plane and doesn't still have another one to two hour commute the rest of the way home. The perceived monetary cost difference will even out in the end.

    So, if you sell it right, you can find valid reasons that are totally unrelated to firearms to convince people to not spend their money in Maryland.

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    1

    Post imported post

    I have been thru BWI and DCA with long guns and pistols. Flying out of BWI once they took me to an isolated room and asked a few questions. Flying into BWI - I had to pick up the long gun case at the oversize baggage area - which was very convenient. Flying into DCA I had to pick up long gun case at my airline's counter in baggage claim which was tricky to find. One time I was feeling daring and brought the long gun case home (in DC) from BWI ... on the MARC train. No one asked or said a word. Taxi drivers usually think it is a guitar case....

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Eastern Panhandle,WV ,
    Posts
    408
    BWI has a lot of signs with directions as far as traveling with firearms, so obviously its somewhat common at that airport.
    NJ/NY on the other hand, has been the notorious offender of FOPA, harassing and/or arresting many travelers who don't have a NY/NJ permit.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    926
    Quote Originally Posted by lonestarag View Post
    Flying into BWI - I had to pick up the long gun case at the oversize baggage area - which was very convenient.
    Yes, I forgot about that. A few times when I flew into BWI from Denver Colorado, I had to do the same.
    I also prefer that method because at least you know some goof ball airline employee isnt messing with your guns.
    The over sized luggage department is much more secure because usually they are holding onto very expensive musical instruments and such.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

Posting Permissions

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