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pilots and handguns

oc4ever

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Oct 23, 2009
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With the ever changing California gun restrictions, what part of Cali law exempts pilots having loaded handguns in the cockpit once they land in Calif. They may be locked in the holster in the plane, but they are still loaded, which would be a violation. Is this just a federal law preemption issue, if so can anyone tell me the Federal authority?
 

john6574

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Feb 5, 2012
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Vancouver, British Columbia
Armed Airline Pilots

With the ever changing California gun restrictions, what part of Cali law exempts pilots having loaded handguns in the cockpit once they land in Calif. They may be locked in the holster in the plane, but they are still loaded, which would be a violation. Is this just a federal law preemption issue, if so can anyone tell me the Federal authority?
The pilots that are armed are Federal Law Enforcement Officers. They have all been trained, qualified, sworn in as federal officers and are authorized to carry a firearm anywhere in the USA.

Hope this helps you.
John
 

oc4ever

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John6574 Said, "They can carry them anywhere in the USA"

Somehow I really doubt that. I don't think Federal Flight Deck Officer as they are called can even take the gun outside the cockpit while flying as a crew member unless they are "deadheading" as a passenger. Otherwise the gun mist be locked in a Desantis special holster with a big paddlock in it outside the cockpit. The gun authority as I understand it is extremely limited.

My point is once they leave the plane in Calif, even though the gun is locked, it is still loaded, and any authority to carry a loaded firearm outside the airplane/airport environment evaporates.

If this holster had a locking flap covering the top of the gun, maybe Governor Moonbeam would think it was a legal OC holster.
 

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Decoligny

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Nov 29, 2007
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Rosamond, California, USA
It's not like when they land they get to keep the gun on them until their next flight out, unless of course they are simply changing planes.

Their federal flight deck officer authority allows them to transport the loaded firearm from their "armory" (airline gun safe) to the aircraft, and then return it to the "armory" where they land.

100% of the time they are in the secured areas of the airport.
 
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jim8588

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Dec 1, 2011
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John is almost right, They are sworn Federal Officers but their jurisdiction starts and stops at the "Secure Area" at an airport. They only have authority within those areas. They do not have the authority to arrest just detain and again only at an airport. This also only applies to Airline (Part 121) pilots who have gone threw the training.
Some Facts for you (Source is TSA site regarding FFDO):

FFDOs are considered Federal law enforcement officers only for the limited purposes of carrying firearms and using force, including lethal force, to defend the flight deck of an aircraft from air piracy or criminal violence.

FFDOs are not granted or authorized to exercise other law enforcement powers such as the power to make arrests, or seek or execute warrants for arrest, or seizure of evidence, or to otherwise act as Federal law enforcement outside the jurisdiction of aircraft flight decks.

FFDOs are issued credentials and badges to appropriately identify themselves to law enforcement and security personnel, as required in the furtherance of their mission.

FFDOs are issued firearms and other necessary equipment by the Federal Air Marshal Service.

FFDOs are responsible for the readiness and daily security of their firearms, credentials and equipment.

FFDOs are authorized to transport secured firearms in any state for a flight on which they are flying to or from as approved by the Federal Air Marshal Service as necessary for their participation and activities in the program.

http://www.tsa.gov/lawenforcement/programs/ffdo_information.shtm

Hope this helps, this only for Airline Pilots. Private, Charter and non-airline pilots will fall under company policy/state laws but there are no FAA Regulations that state a pilot of a private or commercial charter flight (non airline) can or cannot carry a firearm.
 
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