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Flying with southwest and taking gun to Florida

pyroman

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
18
Location
IN
So last week myslef and my family went on vacation to Florida and I decided to take my gun with me. So I got onto Southwest website and looked up their policies on taking a gun in checked baggage. So I went to Gander Mountain and bought a $50 hard gun case. The foam on the bottom lifted out and I put my 5 mags fully loaded under the foam, reinserted the foam, put the gun on top with a gun cable lock running through the mag well, and locked it up with two matched locks that took the same key. I stuffed the case in the luggage and locked the bag up with a TSA lock (you can get them from walmart).
Now off to the Indianapolis airport. When I got the the counter I told the agent that the last bag had an item that needed to be declared. So I checked the other bags and threw it up on the scale and told her it was a firearm that needed to be declared. She had me open the suitcase and gun case to check it out. Everything checked out ok and all then I had to fill out a small piece of paper with my name and address and sign it. They then stuck it to the case and I locked it all back up. They didnt put anything on the outside of the bag to make it obvious to what was in it. I liked that part. They handed me a piece of paper to give to the TSA guys at the security checkpoint. I then proceeded to the checkpoint and handed them my ticket, drivers license, and the card. I was told to stop by a little "office" on the other side of the scanners and give them the card. So I went through the scanners with no issue and went to the little office gave them the card and was asked for my DL. They looked at it and asked if I had TSA locks on it I said "yes", they replied good because we have a master key if we need to get into it we will let you know, and said I was good. Got on the flight and headed to florida.
Now on the return home was a little different and quicker with Tampa airport. Did the same routine with my baggage at the counter. Ive got a bag to declare. Filled the paperwork out and never had to open my bag. They then had a Employee walk me over to a TSA security area and they took my bag and ran it thought a pretty big xray machine which I could only see part of it. A few minutes later they said I was good to go. No card to give anyone just go through the checkpoint like normal.
So I thought it went pretty well. I was very pleased with the over all expierence and never got hassled once. The only thing I didnt like was the fact that I had to conceal carry down there but it gave me and excuse to buy a shoulder harness.
 

MAC702

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
6,338
Location
Nevada
They are now forbidden by law to mark the outside of the luggage. It used to be SOP until the 80s maybe. Of course, it wasn't their fault that so many guns were stolen.

You may wish to research how you packed fully-loaded magazines. My understanding is that they can only be loaded if they are in magazine carriers, and not loosely packed. Others seem to maintain that they can't be loaded at all. I will also say that it is a small issue, and if not packed within sight of the actual firearm, you will probably never need to worry about it, the same way that I have often traveled with more than 11 pounds of ammo. They don't even look to see if you have a lot or not as long as your bag makes weight.

Taking guns seems to still be an easy part of flying. Too bad the rest of it has brought the industry to where many of us won't do it anymore.
 

pyroman

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
18
Location
IN
Southwest basically stated that they need to be packed to not allow the primer to be easily hit. The mags had enough pressure on them that I could shake the case around violently and they would not move.
 

Kopis

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
674
Location
Nashville, TN
They are now forbidden by law to mark the outside of the luggage. It used to be SOP until the 80s maybe. Of course, it wasn't their fault that so many guns were stolen.

You may wish to research how you packed fully-loaded magazines. My understanding is that they can only be loaded if they are in magazine carriers, and not loosely packed. Others seem to maintain that they can't be loaded at all. I will also say that it is a small issue, and if not packed within sight of the actual firearm, you will probably never need to worry about it, the same way that I have often traveled with more than 11 pounds of ammo. They don't even look to see if you have a lot or not as long as your bag makes weight.

Taking guns seems to still be an easy part of flying. Too bad the rest of it has brought the industry to where many of us won't do it anymore.
Yeah, i was wondering about this too. I thought the ammo had to be in an ammo tray/original box. I didnt think you could have mags loaded in the case. At any rate, it shows how little TSA knows. I flew to FL a few years ago as well (family is from there) and i had the TSA printed rules with me just in case. They were literally confused and didnt know what to do so i handed them the printouts. It went smooth as the OP said.
 
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