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Thread: Flying through Denver with a pistol - Question

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    Regular Member krazichinaman's Avatar
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    Flying through Denver with a pistol - Question

    Sorry if this is the wrong section, but I figured asking the correct state forum might provide better knowledge then someone from out of state.

    I've read the TSA guidelines about declaring the pistol at check in and having the firearm locked in an opaque case. Also that the firearm must be unloaded and each airline has a different policy about how much ammo can be checked in. (I'm flying Alaska, which allows up to 50 lbs of ammo, which must be stored in original packaging or magazines that are inside a mag carrier or has the bullets themselves completely covered. Also its ok to store the ammo inside the same luggage or locked case as the checked pistol.)

    My gun case is a Gun Vault nano 300 (with key) and fits my XD 45 service and 2 mags. I want to carry 3 and was wondering if its OK to store my empty mags with my ammo in a pelican case. Or do the mags have to be locked up with the firearm in my gunvault?

    My main concern is that I am flying to Texas which accepts WA CPL, however, I have a 1 hour layover in Denver, CO before I fly to Texas. Denver CO does not accept any other states CPL. The moment I land in Denver, even though the firearm is not on my person and is in the possession of the airline, am I legally allowed to stay in Denver and wait for my connecting flight to Texas? I recall reading that the moment I land in Denver, I can be arrested on the spot even though the airline has my pistol in their possession and there is no way I can access it.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Brian

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    IANAL, but if you aren't in possession, there's no issue. I suppose you could call the Denver PD or Sheriff's Office if you're concerned.

    Colorado doesn't have reciprocity with Washington, but it does with many other states. Denver can't regulate concealed carry (we have a preemption law) -- only open carry, due to a glitch in a court case. Hope this helps.

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    Regular Member krazichinaman's Avatar
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    I won't be CC or OC since my pistol will be checked in my luggage and with the airline the whole time. I wrote the state attorney generals but doubt I will hear anything from them before my flight this coming Monday the 14th. I tried looking at CO State Patrol website http://csp.state.co.us/faq_Guns.html and they only mention about car carry, nothing about flying.

    If I read it correctly, even though I do not have a CO pistol license, I can legally have a loaded firearm in the car while I drive around CO? I just can not have the firearm on my person concealed while going from the car to my destination?

    From the sounds of it, it seems CO is gun friendly...

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazichinaman View Post
    If I read it correctly, even though I do not have a CO pistol license, I can legally have a loaded firearm in the car while I drive around CO? I just can not have the firearm on my person concealed while going from the car to my destination?
    Correct.

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    Regular Member krazichinaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamite Rabbit View Post
    Correct.
    That is awesome! I might be visiting CO for work sometime so its good to know that I can legally have my pistol on me while I drive around even though I do not have a CO license.

    With that said, if I can legally drive around with a LOADED firearm without a license, I do not see any reason why I can't have the firearm in my checked luggage while waiting for my connecting flight.

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    Angry Thoughts . . . . . ok, more like drivel.

    Sounds simple yes, but be aware of the possible gotchas. Here's an example of how things can get screwed up. http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=437287

    Now I realize this is not NJ and you stated that the airlines will be in possession of the firearm the whole time, but you also mentioned that you were glad that you could drive around Colorado with your firearm. So at some point you will be picking up your luggage (and a concealed firearm) and transporting it to your vehicle. Assuming you don't immediately unpack it in the airport, you will have an unlicensed concealed weapon, and of course immediately taking it out of the suitcase could cause problems all on their own.

    I've often thought of how screwed up our patchwork of laws truly are. For example when I packed a shotgun up and shipped it out at the post office. 1) it was concealed, 2) i had to take it to the post office, where firearms are not permitted, 3) i had to declare it at the post office . . . . . . . what was to stop the po worker from immediately calling the police? It was a no win situation, not unlike many we are placed in with these stupid laws!

    Quote Originally Posted by krazichinaman View Post
    That is awesome! I might be visiting CO for work sometime so its good to know that I can legally have my pistol on me while I drive around even though I do not have a CO license.

    With that said, if I can legally drive around with a LOADED firearm without a license, I do not see any reason why I can't have the firearm in my checked luggage while waiting for my connecting flight.

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    Regular Member krazichinaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogidu View Post
    Sounds simple yes, but be aware of the possible gotchas. Here's an example of how things can get screwed up. http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=437287
    So at some point you will be picking up your luggage (and a concealed firearm) and transporting it to your vehicle.
    !
    If the firearm is still unloaded and in my luggage, locked, I don't believe they can classify it as "concealed."

    From my reading of here :http://csp.state.co.us/faq_Guns.html

    As long as the firearm is not on ones body (concealed, oc etc,) while I go to and from the car, I am perfectly legal. Before I get out of the car, leave my hotel, I would unload, remove the loaded mag and lock it in the lock box.

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    Bogidu - you're right -- at some point you're at the mercy of the gods. Better to be in that situation in Colorado than Jersey!
    Last edited by Dynamite Rabbit; 02-10-2011 at 12:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazichinaman View Post
    As long as the firearm is not on ones body (concealed, oc etc,) while I go to and from the car, I am perfectly legal. Before I get out of the car, leave my hotel, I would unload, remove the loaded mag and lock it in the lock box.
    The reference you cited says "on or about your person". I'm pretty sure "about" covers backpacks and suitcases. You'd probably have to research case law to get an accurate answer.

    I wouldn't worry, but that's just me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bogidu View Post
    So at some point you will be picking up your luggage (and a concealed firearm) and transporting it to your vehicle. Assuming you don't immediately unpack it in the airport, you will have an unlicensed concealed weapon...
    Not a problem in Colorado. Remember that in NJ, Mr. Revell was caught in a state where possessing even an unloaded, cased pistol is illegal. That is not the case in CO; possession of an unloaded, cased pistol is 100% legal here.

    CRS 18-12-105(1): 'A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully:
    (a) Carries a knife concealed on or about his or her person; or
    (b) Carries a firearm concealed on or about his or her person;"Concealed" refers to a pistol on the person.'

    "On or about the person" doesn't include carrying an unloaded, cased firearm. If it did, every one carrying a new pistol home from the store or to the range without a CWP would be a criminal.

    [By the way, "knife" in (a) is defined elsewhere as having a blade over 3.5 inches long. Fixed-blade or folder of 3.5 inches or less is legal to conceal in CO.]
    Last edited by Anubis; 02-10-2011 at 12:45 AM.

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    All GREAT information guys! Really appreciate it and am now super excited that I can travel with my firearm!

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    Regular Member Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazichinaman View Post
    Denver CO does not accept any other states CPL.
    Just saw this. Not quite correct. Colorado recognizes the CC permits of residents of 29 other states. The Colorado requirement for recognition is minimal: if you recognize ours, we recognize yours. So the reason your Washington CC permit is not recognized here is strictly a Washington problem.
    Last edited by Anubis; 02-10-2011 at 01:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
    Just saw this. Not quite correct. Colorado recognizes the CC permits of residents of 29 other states. The Colorado requirement for recognition is minimal: if you recognize ours, we recognize yours. So the reason your Washington CC permit is not recognized here is strictly a Washington problem.

    I read the statement wrong on my "Right2Bear" application for my Android phone. It states in red "The state of CO no longer recognizes the validity of any permit issued by any state to a non resident of that state (see CRS 18-12-213 amended 2007).

    I guess that means if I had a Utah non resident license, CO would not recognize that license since I am not a Utah resident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazichinaman View Post
    I guess that means if I had a Utah non resident license, CO would not recognize that license since I am not a Utah resident.
    That is correct.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazichinaman View Post
    Sorry if this is the wrong section, but I figured asking the correct state forum might provide better knowledge then someone from out of state.

    I've read the TSA guidelines about declaring the pistol at check in and having the firearm locked in an opaque case. Also that the firearm must be unloaded and each airline has a different policy about how much ammo can be checked in. (I'm flying Alaska, which allows up to 50 lbs of ammo, which must be stored in original packaging or magazines that are inside a mag carrier or has the bullets themselves completely covered. Also its ok to store the ammo inside the same luggage or locked case as the checked pistol.)

    My gun case is a Gun Vault nano 300 (with key) and fits my XD 45 service and 2 mags. I want to carry 3 and was wondering if its OK to store my empty mags with my ammo in a pelican case. Or do the mags have to be locked up with the firearm in my gunvault?

    My main concern is that I am flying to Texas which accepts WA CPL, however, I have a 1 hour layover in Denver, CO before I fly to Texas. Denver CO does not accept any other states CPL. The moment I land in Denver, even though the firearm is not on my person and is in the possession of the airline, am I legally allowed to stay in Denver and wait for my connecting flight to Texas? I recall reading that the moment I land in Denver, I can be arrested on the spot even though the airline has my pistol in their possession and there is no way I can access it.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Brian
    Not a problem. Even if the bag was in your possession at DIA, it is peaceful transport of a cased and unloaded weapon. Denver got their ban on OC and "assault rifles" grandfathered. All other gun laws in CO are full preemption. All CCWs that are accepted in CO are accepted in Denver. If WA got on the ball, we could have recip with them, too. Even the PDR of NJ wouldn't be a problem if the firearm stays in the airlines control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anubis View Post

    CRS 18-12-105(1): 'A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully:
    (a) Carries a knife concealed on or about his or her person; or
    (b) Carries a firearm concealed on or about his or her person;"Concealed" refers to a pistol on the person.'

    "On or about the person" doesn't include carrying an unloaded, cased firearm. If it did, every one carrying a new pistol home from the store or to the range without a CWP would be a criminal.
    And if the pistol(s) were loaded?
    Last edited by George Mann; 02-10-2011 at 05:30 PM.

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    I fly quite a bit, Layovers are fine etc. possessions are fine as its in your bag locked. Colorado does accept alot of states CPL. http://cbi.state.co.us/ic/Reciprocity.html
    WA's is not.

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    I fly with my ammo locked in my pistols case. IN Boxes meant to carry ammo, you can also load the ammo into MAGAZINES NOT GUN and duck tape the tops of the magazines.

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    Regular Member krazichinaman's Avatar
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    You guys think this will work with the TSA guidelines for being unloaded? I'm flying out tomorrow morning.

    There is a mag inserted into the mag well, but as you can clearly see from the picture it is NOT fully seated. There is a ziptie in the chamber to indicate that it is empty. All mags in the box are EMPTY.


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    Regular Member Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazichinaman View Post
    You guys think this will work with the TSA guidelines for being unloaded?
    Yes.

    You squeezed an impressive amount of stuff into that little case. I can barely get my G21 in an identical case.
    Last edited by Anubis; 02-13-2011 at 11:34 PM.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    I hope the mag partially inserted was unloaded. Otherwise, it is clearly illegal. Ammunition must be in a separate (completely) container or storage area.

    I see they were all empty. No problemo...
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 02-14-2011 at 01:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Ammunition must be in a separate (completely) container or storage area.
    Is that a TSA or a specific airline thing? I'd seen that TSA allows it so long as it is packaged, i.e. not in the mags.

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    In October I flew from Fairbanks, Alaska to Maine, with 4 Handguns and Ammo in a
    lockable case. I had no problem.
    Life is tough, its tougher when your stupid.

    http://www.itsnotthelaw.com

    Feds: U.C.C. 1-308, State: U.C.C. 1-207, Both: U.C.C. 1-103.6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mahkagari View Post
    Is that a TSA or a specific airline thing? I'd seen that TSA allows it so long as it is packaged, i.e. not in the mags.
    TSA. Separate from the weapon, so if the gun's cased, ammo in its commercial cartons is fine. Otherwise, has to be in a hard container--which does include magazines, but they would have to be in a container, as well. That is the pure letter of the law, so going a bit beyond isn't a bad idea because the average TSA employee's IQ is 73.

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    Last minute tag-in....

    I flew from Tucson to Salt Lake via Denver, just before Christmas. I had been up for about 48 hours prior to the trip, finishing some stuff at work so I could take the time off. When I checked in at Tucson (Southwest Air) I was so tired, I actually forgot to declare the Hi-Point .45 in my suticase. Oops.

    Didn't even think about it until I was handing the terminal crew my boarding pass, and decided if I'd gotten that far, I'd just wait and see what happened.

    Stopped in Denver for two hours, had lunch and a beer, got to Salt Lake. Did my normal post-luggage-claim stop in the toilet stall to re-arm, and went out to the road to wait for my father to pick me up. No problems.

    So much for "security theater".

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