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Thread: Type Of Bag For Airline Travel With A Firearm.

  1. #1
    Regular Member MarlboroLts5150's Avatar
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    Type Of Bag For Airline Travel With A Firearm.

    Getting ready to take a flight from Hawaii to LAX. Never thought about this before as I've always had an actual suitcase. Unfortunately, it got crushed in storage....oops.

    I know the requirements for the firearm itself....hard-sided, lockable case, non-TSA lock, etc. Question is, do they (TSA or the airlines) frown on soft bags, ie seabags, duffels, etc?

    If I use my seabag, it will be packed full with the case in the center, but near the top for access. And yes they can be locked with a TSA-approved lock. Can't find anything thats states anything about the type of "suitcase" the gun case must be packed in.

    Previous experiences? Thoughts? Links? All appreciated.
    "My dedication to my country's flag rests on my ardent belief in this noblest of causes, equality for all. If my future rests under this earth rather than upon it, I fear not."

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    I've used a duffle bag or large backpack almost exclusively for the last 17 years while transporting a firearm...with my hard-sided case on the inside. Haven't had a problem.

    I do, however, ziptie the zippers together, and initial the ties with a Sharpie...

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    I've airline transported firearms several times with the hard case inside fabric luggage. Never a problem, although my bag has been hand-searched twice (with a TSA "we searched this bag" tag inside), once unarmed, once armed. I am fairly certain that there have been other searches that happened without the friendly announcement. I don't think declaring necessarily gets your bag on a search list.

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    I use a Pelican hard case with dual locks.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

  5. #5
    Regular Member MarlboroLts5150's Avatar
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    Sounds like I'm good to go then.
    "My dedication to my country's flag rests on my ardent belief in this noblest of causes, equality for all. If my future rests under this earth rather than upon it, I fear not."

    -Leopold Karpeles, US Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient

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    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    My gun case goes in standard, soft sided luggage. The gun case is locked with non-TSA lock, and the soft side luggage locked with a TSA lock. I have not had any problems.

    Not having flown since 2000, what the H is a TSA lock?
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

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    What type of bag for airline travel?

    Why Janet Napolitano, of course.

    Bag. Ugly woman. Get it? Ahahahahahaha.

    OK. That one was a little lame. I'll be quiet.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    What type of bag for airline travel?

    Why Janet Napolitano, of course.

    Bag. Ugly woman. Get it? Ahahahahahaha.

    OK. That one was a little lame. I'll be quiet.

    But ISN'T that OLD ALREADY?

    So that would be an OLD BAG!

    I don't believe that Janet HAS A GENDER! I know this just dropped into personal attack area, BUT IT ASKED FOR IT!

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCurlyWolf View Post
    Not having flown since 2000, what the H is a TSA lock?
    A TSA lock is one that opens to your key/combination, but also can be opened by a key that only (yeah, right....) the TSA has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    What type of bag for airline travel?

    Why Janet Napolitano, of course.

    Bag. Ugly woman. Get it? Ahahahahahaha.

    OK. That one was a little lame. I'll be quiet.

    I understand she's takes Southwest Airlines, cause bags fly free!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tess View Post
    A TSA lock is one that opens to your key/combination, but also can be opened by a key that only (yeah, right....) the TSA has.
    They have a nasty habit of over checking stuff that is not theirs.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    But ISN'T that OLD ALREADY?

    So that would be an OLD BAG!

    I don't believe that Janet HAS A GENDER! I know this just dropped into personal attack area, BUT IT ASKED FOR IT!
    ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!

    That was good!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shotcop View Post
    I understand she's takes Southwest Airlines, cause bags fly free!
    ROFLMAO!!!!!!!

    Stop, stop!! You guys are killing me. God, I can't breath cause I'm laughing so hard!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    ROFLMAO!!!!!!!

    Stop, stop!! You guys are killing me. God, I can't breath cause I'm laughing so hard!
    At it isn't a personal attack because IT is a public appointed figure!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tess View Post
    A TSA lock is one that opens to your key/combination, but also can be opened by a key that only (yeah, right....) the TSA has.
    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    They have a nasty habit of over checking stuff that is not theirs.
    Given the descriptions of their enhanced pat-downs custodial searches, that was an understatement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Given the descriptions of their enhanced pat-downs custodial searches, that was an understatement.
    You know thats how they get Christmas bonuses every year. What we "cant have" they have a end of the year giveaways for TSA workers.

    Yet they do a lovely TSA calendar.

    NSFW
    http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/1961/tsacalendar.jpg
    Last edited by zack991; 12-31-2010 at 10:48 PM.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

  17. #17
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    You can also omit the lock on the firearm case, and use a non-TSA lock on the main suitcase. (main case must be hard-sided if you opt for this method)

    http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkad View Post
    You can also omit the lock on the firearm case, and use a non-TSA lock on the main suitcase. (main case must be hard-sided if you opt for this method)

    http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/
    There was another thread here a few months back where a poster recommended this type of packing for the specific purpose of keeping TSA out of your bag. Not a bad idea.

  19. #19
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    I fly with my pistol pretty regularly.
    If you omit the TSA lock or otherwise try to keep them out of your bag, they are going to either cut the lock off or call you back to the luggage check.
    Here's the drill at every airport/airline I've used:
    1)Go to the baggage check, while they are trying to hurry you through tell them you need a firearms declaration. They will probably have to look around to find one. I usually spot it before they do,it's blaze orange.
    2)Sign and date the card. Ask them whether it goes in the bag or in the firearm case. It seems to vary somewhat but usually it goes in the pistol case.
    3)Lock everything up with TSA locks (I carry mine in a hard case inside a duffle bag).
    4) Very Important-You must wait for someone from the airline to escort you to the baggage screen. TSA gets very upset if you show up unescorted.
    5)Make sure the guy loading the bags on the belt knows you have a firearm in your bag. Again, they get very upset if they see it on the screen unexpectedly.

    I usually hang around until my bag is cleared just to make sure there are no problems.
    I've also started using my Utah non-resident permit for I.D., just because I can. I find it humorous that the qualifications to get a Utah permit are the same or greater than to be a TSA agent.

    So far the only rifling of my bag has occurred at Grand Rapids Michigan and I think that was basically because I tripped some sort of "automatic" inspection by not telling them (the guy putting the bags into the machine) verbally i was declaring a firearm.

  20. #20
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    The bag needs to be big enough to fit your Fundamental Human Rights, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and your Dignity.

    Because you sure as hell can't take any of THOSE things through a TSA checkpoint...
    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

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddyo View Post
    I fly with my pistol pretty regularly.
    If you omit the TSA lock or otherwise try to keep them out of your bag, they are going to either cut the lock off or call you back to the luggage check...
    The actual hard-sided bag containing your firearm does NOT need a TSA lock! From TSA's website, with the relevant wording bolded:

    The key regulatory requirements to transporting firearms, firearm parts or ammunition in checked baggage are:

    * You must declare all firearms to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
    * The firearm must be unloaded.
    * The firearm must be in a hard-sided container. [This does not say by itself. You can pack other stuff that you don't want the TSA to have routine access to packed in there.]
    * The container must be locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from access by anyone other than you. [A TSA lock does not meet this definition.] Cases that can be pulled open with little effort do not meet this criterion. The pictures provided here illustrate the difference between a properly packaged and an improperly packaged firearm.
    * We recommend that you provide the key or combination to the security officer if he or she needs to open the container. You should remain in the area designated by the aircraft operator or TSA representative to take the key back after the container is cleared for transportation. If you are not present and the security officer must open the container, we or the airline will make a reasonable attempt to contact you. If we can't contact you, the container will not be placed on the plane. Federal regulations prohibit unlocked gun cases (or cases with broken locks) on aircraft. [They will NOT break the lock. If the TSA wants inside that bag, you open the bag and are present during inspection, or the bag does not fly!]
    * 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.
    * You can't bring black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder type firearms in either your carry-on or checked baggage.
    If the TSA agents do not follow these procedures, they are breaking federal law and are subject to criminal sanctions!

    Conclusion: Your container MUST be locked with a NON-TSA lock. You may pack anything in that container that can lawfully be placed in checked luggage. The TSA agents get essentially one crack at looking at that luggage--while you are present and can open and resecure your container with that non-TSA lock.

    Cite to authority. Personal experience is great--until you deal with someone who knows what the laws and regulations actually say. If a TSA screener gives you flak about a non-TSA lock, point them to their own web page and advise them that cutting off that lock will violate federal law.
    Last edited by eye95; 01-01-2011 at 08:42 AM.

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    I stand corrected.
    This same page a couple months ago had a big notice that TSA locks were now acceptable and preferred.
    These things change often.
    I see that you can now also carry loaded magazines somehow or other. I'll have to figure that out as it would save a lot of time on arrival.
    My fault for not rechecking the rules.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddyo View Post
    I see that you can now also carry loaded magazines somehow or other. I'll have to figure that out as it would save a lot of time on arrival.
    TSA's rules have always allowed loaded mags, as long as the ammo is completely covered. The airlines, OTOH, don't allow it. Southwest I believe is the only airline whose ammo rules mimic the TSA's.
    "My dedication to my country's flag rests on my ardent belief in this noblest of causes, equality for all. If my future rests under this earth rather than upon it, I fear not."

    -Leopold Karpeles, US Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient

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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    I use a Pelican hard case with dual locks.
    +1...even had the TSA guy comment that he liked it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddyo View Post
    I stand corrected.
    This same page a couple months ago had a big notice that TSA locks were now acceptable and preferred.
    These things change often.
    I see that you can now also carry loaded magazines somehow or other. I'll have to figure that out as it would save a lot of time on arrival.
    My fault for not rechecking the rules.
    They probably do change the rules regularly. That's the downside of regulation versus law. Law is hard to change, and folks get a lot of warning. Regs change too fast and too easily, and those who change regs don't answer to We the People.

    The upside of the current regs is that you can keep TSA completely out of your luggage--except when you are present--by putting a firearm in every bag and following all the firearm rules, including using a non-TSA lock.

    You just have to be sure that you're legal on the other end of the flight.

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