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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/4/2005 10:55:37 AM EDT
When you fly with a handgun on a commercial airline, you're supposed to have the unloaded weapon in a locked, hard-sided case. I'll be flying on America West (St. Louis, MO, and Los Angeles, CA, are my airports, with a stop in Phoenix, AZ on both legs) and have read the AW rules on packing.org's Web site.

For those who've flown with handguns before, do you feel safe having it in a small case that you then put into your regular baggage? Wouldn't it be easy for some unscrupulous airport worker to simply open your bag, remove the case and no one would know? That has me a bit worried and makes me either want to leave the pistol home or put it in a rifle-size case, which would then be one more piece of baggage to lug around and a bit of a hassle. Comments?
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 11:00:16 AM EDT
I fly with a small pistol case, inside my regular baggage. I watch the TSA put it thru their big x-ray machine, and when I get a thumbs up from them I go to my plane. Is it easy for someone to take it out and steal it? Sure. IMHO it's FAR easier for someone to pick it up off the baggage belt and run off with it. A dishonest baggage handler would have to get lucky, open MY luggage, and see my handgun case under my clothes. Either that or he'd have to open EVERY piece of luggage.

Besides. Once it goes thru the TSA's x-ray machine, the only people that know I have a pistol in my bags (not counting the passengers that are now looking at me cross-ways) are the ticket agent, me, and the TSA goons at the x-ray machine. The baggage handlers in the loading area have no idea.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 6:38:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2005 6:40:48 PM EDT by nf9648]
I used a pelican case for two handguns flying to Hawaii, the case was originally sold at the PX computer section for laptops to give you an idea of size. They dont care just as long as the gun fits and you can lock it, do keep it inside luggage as there are commies out there(liberals) who will deface and destroy firearms while they move around luggage at airports. The idea is to keep your firearm(s) safe from predators who want to make your guns into victims.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 9:01:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By nf9648:
The idea is to keep your firearm(s) safe from predators who want to make your guns into victims.

Link Posted: 8/5/2005 7:24:32 AM EDT
I have flown several times with the method of placing the firearm in the pistol case which then goes in a regular bag. The first step is to declare the firearm at the check-in counter. Someone from TSA will come over and upon request you physically show them the pistol/firearm is unloaded. It may depend on the airline but loaded mags are generally OK.

You fill out a tag, place that in the case, and lock the case in the presence of the TSA person. They physically take it over to the X-Ray machine and it goes through. Then on you go to the metal detector line which stretches for 5 miles and miss your flight, of course.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 10:50:47 AM EDT
I have a locked hard side case with a small (less than 1 inch) hole in it, on the side. Inside the locked case, my pistol is locked with a cable lock. I then use a bicycle cable lock, going into the hole in the side of the hardside, to lock the firearm (via the other cable lock), to the steel frame of my main luggage (buddy did some welding for me on this), into which the hardside is inserted.

So far, no problem with this arrangement, its easy as pie to verify the unloaded status of the weapon, but rough work for a TSA fuckup to walk away with my weapon without at least a large set of cable cutters he'd have to explain to the boss.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 12:30:20 PM EDT
I have just put mine in a lockbox (fire resistant money box) and checked it in at the ticket counter. They take the key so the baggage people can inspect it, then bring me back the key. I think they give you something showing that you checked a firearm in your luggage. I had a Cold Steel battle axe in the suitcase, next to the case, no problems. They did leave a note with my camera telling me not to fly with film, but they were empty re-loadable film rolls. Idiots.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 5:11:12 PM EDT
I use a Pelican case just large enough for my handgun and one box of ammo. Delta airlines suggests you keep your ammo in the same locked box as your handgun. I put a lock on the gun case and after the ticket agent sees me put my gun box in my suitcase they have me lock my suitcase so no one can get at it. I then take the suitcase over to the TSA X-Ray Machine and watch it go through. When it comes out the other end an agent puts a tag on the bag that says "INSPECTED DO NOT OPEN". It is a hell of a lot more secure that normal lugage.

Works for me,
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 5:15:22 PM EDT
Just to add, my last flight my guns were transferred from Killeen, to Dallas, to Maui, then to Honolulu. With the airline carrier swap, I of course lost my bags between Dallas and Maui. Luckily my bags arrived later in the night, but that is why I would definitely keep the guncase in with your clothes.
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