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Thread: First time flying with firearm

  1. #1
    Regular Member Phxbluesman's Avatar
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    First time flying with firearm

    Just got back from a week in Jacksonville, FL. I decided that I would bring my pistol with me so after researching the TSA details and reviewing FL law regarding Concealed Carry (no OC in FL) I was ready to go.

    It was really a non-issue; my wife was more concerned than I was. Upon checking in you tell the ticket agent you are checking a firearm (no curbside check in). You fill out a card that then is placed in the locked hard-side firearms case that goes inside your checked luggage. In Phx I was escorted to a TSA inspection point where they swiped the outside my locked case with a small cloth that was placed in some sort of analyzer, not sure what they were looking for. Put the locked case back in my luggage and then I locked the luggage with TSA approved locks. My bag was then carried by TSA back to ticketing and placed on conveyor belt.

    Arrived in Jacksonville to see the indicators on TSA locks showing that TSA had opened them to inspect my luggage further and they stuck an info card in the bag advising me as well.

    CCed the whole week in Jacksonville.

    In Jacksonville the ticketing agent had me fill card out, place it in locked case and then case inside locked luggage then she just placed bag on conveyer belt...no extra TSA inspection point. Back in Phx, TSA locks again indicated they inspected luggage and found notice inside bag again.

    Like I said it was really no big deal. We had more of a problem with my wife's carry on backpack which had to be hand searched and re x-rayed BOTH ways for whatever reason. I had to chuckle about that since she was worried we would have hang ups because of my pistol.

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing!! I am considering flying out to Kansas City, MO to visit my sister. I was concerned about the gun on the plane procedure. Sounds like it is pretty simple.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    A few minor points to add:

    1. I see you placed your small locked case into a bigger piece of TSA-lock secured luggage. You also have the option to use a larger hard-sided suitcase secured with a *non-TSA* lock (such as a second-hand old Zero Halliburton case with non-TSA key lock), and lock the entire suitcase.

    2. Sometimes the gate agent requests that you accompany the bag to a secondary TSA screening location; sometimes the gate agent asks that you wait at the baggage check counter an extra 10 or 15 minutes after giving the agent the bag "in case they need the key" and the bag goes alone.

    3. Ammunition has to be in a container designed for ammunition, not a loose magazine. I'd suggest reinforcing the ammo box with packing tape, etc., as luggage gets handled roughly and ammo boxes could come open inside the case.

    Generally easier than I expected. I still avoid airports in states where what's in the luggage would be illegal for me to have, because while federal law is supposed to protect you during interstate travel, I don't want to test this.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Phxbluesman's Avatar
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    TSA locks

    I know that the TSA locks are not required but I like the ability to see that the locks have been opened by TSA. They put a card in your bag advising you as well but it just adds another level of comfort for me.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by ericf View Post
    3. Ammunition has to be in a container designed for ammunition, not a loose magazine. I'd suggest reinforcing the ammo box with packing tape, etc., as luggage gets handled roughly and ammo boxes could come open inside the case.

    Generally easier than I expected. I still avoid airports in states where what's in the luggage would be illegal for me to have, because while federal law is supposed to protect you during interstate travel, I don't want to test this.
    It depends upon the airline. Some allow ammunition to be transported in magazines - some of those require that the magazine have a rubber cap over the top
    ("to keep bullets from going everywhere!!!"), and some require that the magazines be secured in some way (in a pouch of a holster, for instance).

    Several years ago, I flew into Chicago O'Hare, rented a car, and drove up to the U.P. of Michigan for my annual deer hunting with my grandfather. When I flew out, I checked my sidearm at the counter as per usual, and was directed over to a TSA booth...which had a glowering CPD officer hanging out. The TSA guy and cop both looked at each other when they opened my case and saw my pistol and two spare mags, then looked back at me. I just smiled and said, "God bless America." The TSA guy responded in kind, while the cop just stood there and gave me the stink-eye. I looked directly at him, gave him the "you can't do s***" smile, said "See ya!" and walked to my gate.

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    ManInBlack,

    Nice story of your experience at O'Hare.

    Passengers have been harassed about this and suffered gun confiscation, threats of arrest, etc. A US Congressman named Don Young got involved and got a written response letter from the Assistant Attorney General at DOJ clarifying:

    http://www.americanfirearms.org/down...yc_airport.pdf

    or

    http://www.anjrpc.org/resource/resmg...elwithguns.pdf

    I'll print this out if I'm ever traveling in an applicable situation.

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    Funny this discussion is up. I just checked my sidearm in at Portland, Oregon PDX, and just arrived at Tucson. Got my weapon, my bag and now sitting in the military liaison (uso like) place waiting to be picked. no issues.

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    is it required to lock the suitcase as well as the hard case? I am guessing it is not required but you chose to do it to protect from theft?

    I bought a Gunvault Nanovault Hand Gun Safe which I put in my unlocked checked bag. I flew from West Palm to Phoenix with no problem. They had a nightcap escort me to stand outside of a door while the TSA scanned my bag. They gave me the okay to proceed to the security after about 5 minutes.

    The only odd part was the ticket counter lady kept pressing me if I was sure that it was unloaded. So after the second time she asked I checked the breach in an attempt to ease her mind but seeing the gun seemed to scare her and someone behind me. There is no OC in FL mind you.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Contrarian's Avatar
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    Talking TSA and guns

    "They had a nightcap escort me to stand outside of a door while the TSA scanned my bag. "


    I suspect that a 'nightcap' is what you enjoy after you arrive at your destination with your weapon and few hassles; otherwise it's a Skycap.

    Good result.

  10. #10
    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondb2000 View Post
    The only odd part was the ticket counter lady kept pressing me if I was sure that it was unloaded. So after the second time she asked I checked the breach in an attempt to ease her mind but seeing the gun seemed to scare her and someone behind me. There is no OC in FL mind you.
    When I used to fly (pre and post 9-11), I took my pistol apart (like for cleaning) when I placed it into the gun case I used for flying. There was no question that it was unloaded except to the most stupid person (i.e., any liberal). Plus a disassembled gun doesn't look as scary to the Rubes - it's just a collection of parts.

    I would also remove a key component so that the gun would not operate if stolen. If you have a Glock, it's a no-brainer to remove the firing pin assembly. I don't know how it is on other pistols.

    I never had a problem and never had my pistol stolen, especially pre 9-11 when security checks were private sector employees. But since TSA has a big problem with their government employees stealing stuff, I wanted to make sure the gun was inoperable.

    As an FYI, I did most of my flying in and out of Washington-Dulles where security was uber paranoid and I never had a problem checking my gun at the ticket counter. However, I haven't flown in about 8 years so it might be different now.

    Fred
    Last edited by azcdlfred; 08-05-2011 at 12:39 PM.

  11. #11
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    I never have a problem "checking" my firearm when flying. I generally check to make sure the holster is properly placed in my carry on, that the safety is on, and put it either on the seat beside me or the one behind me. Definitely "one in the chamber".

    After an incident a few years ago in which some numbskull tried to chase down the plane after landing I don't fly without a sidearm in easy reach. I'm pretty sure he was a "greenie" going to pitch a fit about the "damage" the airplane did to the flora and fauna of the mountain top I landed on...clueless that it is a runway that has been there since the days of airmail pilots with hand drawn maps...and of the much greater impact his boots stomping up trail do.

    I avoid those commercial rigs as much as possible. Though it's always fun, when picking up or dropping off a friend or relative for a commercial flight, to OC at the terminal. (I'm in Oregon, it's legal with a CHL)
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
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    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ons-Bill/page5

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in any of my posts should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a reputable attorney, not an internet forum.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Phxbluesman's Avatar
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    OC OK at Sky Harbor

    I was picking up my lady from the airport yesterday and was very tempted to OC but if I got hung up on her time she would have been pissed. Not worried about Airport PD, just wanted to get some sugar when I got home...LOL

    Found this thread...was this on this forum???
    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/a.../t-141891.html
    Last edited by Phxbluesman; 08-05-2011 at 06:03 PM.

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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phxbluesman View Post
    I was picking up my lady from the airport yesterday and was very tempted to OC but if I got hung up on her time she would have been pissed. Not worried about Airport PD, just wanted to get some sugar when I got home...LOL

    Found this thread...was this on this forum???
    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/a.../t-141891.html

    Well at least we know how far your sense of standing up for your rights goes......... LOL
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
    Beretta92FSLady
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ons-Bill/page5

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in any of my posts should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a reputable attorney, not an internet forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phxbluesman View Post
    Found this thread...was this on this forum???
    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/a.../t-141891.html
    Yep, that was here, and it was one of the most useful threads in the AZ forum. Unfortunately it was lost (apparently when the site switched to new forum software a few years ago).

    That thread had about nine pages of some mall-ninja who claimed to be TSA telling us that we couldn't carry, and then a couple of excellent responses by the Phx PD Lt., who actually understood and apparently follows the law.

    It was classic.

  15. #15
    Regular Member Phxbluesman's Avatar
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    Found an archive

    Found this archive on WAYBACK MACHINE
    http://web.archive.org/web/200904140...0/11155-1.html

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    Regular Member Motofixxer's Avatar
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    The swabs they run around your bag is a test for explosives. (I asked the agent) They can't open or close the bag or touch anything according to her.


    Quote Originally Posted by Phxbluesman View Post
    I know that the TSA locks are not required but I like the ability to see that the locks have been opened by TSA. They put a card in your bag advising you as well but it just adds another level of comfort for me.
    Maybe you want greasy lil hands rummaging through your stuff. But I don't, and won't allow it. My hard side bag gets padlocked and the key doesn't leave my possession. I had one agent tell me I had to give him the key. I said nope not gonna happen because then you take liability and that ain't gonna happen with my property. He claimed that's the way it's done for 11 years now. He called his supervisor, I opened my bag with my key and they did their lil inspection.

    TSA agents have been convicted of having sticky fingers. Last thing I want is one of em rummaging through my bag. They know the system...and how to get around it and the cameras.

    The other option is to carry a flare gun. They are classified as "firearms" so also can be transported in locked baggage.
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    Regular Member Phxbluesman's Avatar
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    The TSA locks are for my luggage not my hard side firearms case., that is locked with padlocks that I alone have the key.

  18. #18
    Regular Member Motofixxer's Avatar
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    So what's to stop an agent from digging in your bag while it's in transit and pulling out your whole gun case, or your laptop, or ipod or anything else they find in your bag? No thank you, my whole checked bag stays locked up.
    Click Here for New to WI Open Carry Legal References and Informational Videos--- FAQ's http://Tinyurl.com/OpenCarry-WI

    The Armed Badger A WI site dedicated to Concealed Carry in WI

    "To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." -- George Mason, Speech of June 14, 1788

    http://Tinyurl.com/New-To-Guns to DL useful Info

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motofixxer View Post
    So what's to stop an agent from digging in your bag while it's in transit and pulling out your whole gun case, or your laptop, or ipod or anything else they find in your bag? No thank you, my whole checked bag stays locked up.
    This. Once your bag, with firearm inside, has been inspected by the agent at check-in, they have no further need to open it...and there is no further need to give them the ability...

  20. #20
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericf
    2. Sometimes the gate agent requests that you accompany the bag to a secondary TSA screening location; sometimes the gate agent asks that you wait at the baggage check counter an extra 10 or 15 minutes after giving the agent the bag "in case they need the key" and the bag goes alone.
    Under federal law, the key that provides access to your firearm may not be out of your control.
    A good reason for a combination lock.
    So if they ask to have it, or insist that they must have it, they're enticing you to commit a federal crime.
    Just say no. It helps to have a copy of the law, preferably rubber-banded around the case, with the pertinent portions highlighted.

    Here's an article by the NRA-ILA,
    although the TSA page it links to still mistakenly says something about "taking the key back after inspection".

    Here's the actual law:
    Title 49, section 1540.111(c)(2)(4)
    (c) A passenger may not transport...
    (2) Any unloaded firearm(s) unless
    (iv) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.
    (emphasis added)

    Quote Originally Posted by Motofixxer
    The swabs they run around your bag is a test for explosives. (I asked the agent.)
    ??? What do they expect to find on a box containing a firearm,
    something that's supposed to be around gunpowder??


    The other option is to carry a flare gun. They are classified as "firearms" so also can be transported in locked baggage.
    Starter pistols, too.

  21. #21
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, and following on the discussion of taking an important part of the pistol with you so even if it's stolen it's unusable...

    Since under the law only the receiver is a 'firearm', everything else that makes up the pistol should be legal in carry-on luggage, right?

    So if I were ever to fly commercial again, I could conceivably take the barrel, or even the slide (why would I? it weighs more) in my carryon. I'm sure it would cause some discussion, but can someone point out a law which says it's illegal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phxbluesman View Post
    Found this archive on WAYBACK MACHINE
    http://web.archive.org/web/200904140...0/11155-1.html
    Nice catch, Phxbluesman - thanks!

  23. #23
    Regular Member Motofixxer's Avatar
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    Hmm it might be fun to take the chunk of plastic that might resemble a firearm in their hand and transport it through the checkpoint. But I would really hate to get on the no fly list for that. They are privately operated and can refuse you to board for any reason. That could certainly be made into a reason.
    Last edited by Motofixxer; 08-08-2011 at 02:55 AM.
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    Anyone have any experience carrying holsters/mag pouches in their carry-on luggage? On my current trip, it would be more convenient for me to reduce bulk in my main suitcase. I imagine it might cause some heartburn to the little Napoleons at the security checkpoint, but there's nothing against regulation is there?

  25. #25
    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    Out of curiosity, and following on the discussion of taking an important part of the pistol with you so even if it's stolen it's unusable... Since under the law only the receiver is a 'firearm', everything else that makes up the pistol should be legal in carry-on luggage, right? So if I were ever to fly commercial again, I could conceivably take the barrel, or even the slide (why would I? it weighs more) in my carryon. I'm sure it would cause some discussion, but can someone point out a law which says it's illegal?
    The barrel is smaller. If you are uncomfortable with that, try the recoil spring assembly, or the recoil spring if it's not all one unit.

    Like I mentioned before, I would also disassemble the gun (like for cleaning) when I put it my gun case. It was less scary looking to those who had to examine it.

    Fred

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