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Posted: 9/7/2010 8:18:21 PM EDT
A few weeks ago I was traveling from Austin to Denver. I was taking a little vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park. I had my handgun unloaded with 3 mags unloaded. The original box of bullets and a Gerber folding blade in a locked handgun case in my luggage. I approached an attendant with Frontier Airlines to let him know I had a firearm. There was a line with about 20 people getting their boarding passes. The attendant escorted me to a line right up front of everyone else and I was checked in and got my boarding pass in about 5 minutes.
I was then escorted to the TSA area where a TSA agent greeted me and checked out my gun and red tagged it. I signed a form confirming the agent checked my firearm and was on my way.

My return trip went pretty much the same way. Except for the fact that once I informed the attendant with the airline I was traveling with a firearm he stood by me the during the process. He radioed ahead to the TSA where I was greeted and went through the process. I don't think I have ever received a boarding pass so quick and every person from the airline to the TSA were all very polite. It was nice to see things go so smooth.



Link Posted: 9/7/2010 8:50:46 PM EDT
Good to hear, I recently picked up a Pelican case for just this purpose but have been procrastinating actually using it.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 9:20:32 PM EDT
I've flown with firearms many times and never had a problem.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 9:29:17 PM EDT
If I may ask, what lock did you use? Glad to hear it went as it is supposed to.
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 10:16:08 PM EDT
In Vegas, the lady at the counter asks if its loaded, has you fill out a form, looks at it in terror and says "go stand by the flag for about 15 minutes. If TSA doesnt come out to get you, you are all clear."

In Reno, TSA takes me in the back room, inspects it, chats pleasantly and about 50% of the time does the bomb sniffer wand on the bag.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 12:08:57 AM EDT
I've done it dozens of times, before and after 9/11 and never had a problem.

Flying armed on the other hand has been a pain in the ass every time.



John
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 4:20:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2010 4:21:36 AM EDT by xd675]
I do it 4-8 times a year. The only place I ran into issues was departing SFO. Apparently they have no idea what the procedure is supposed to be. They really gave me the run around. At one point a supervisor for TSA requested that I bring my check bag with a handgun with me into the secure area of the airport, I didn't feel comfortable with that and wouldn't do it. It took me 2 hours to get my bag checked. I won't fly in or out of SFO any more.

I usually fly out of PHL and SMF and have never had any problems there.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 4:31:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By xd675:
I do it 4-8 times a year. The only place I ran into issues was departing SFO. Apparently they have no idea what the procedure is supposed to be. They really gave me the run around. At one point a supervisor for TSA requested that I bring my check bag with a handgun with me into the secure area of the airport, I didn't feel comfortable with that and wouldn't do it. It took me 2 hours to get my bag checked. I won't fly in or out of SFO any more.

I usually fly out of PHL and SMF and have never had any problems there.

I just flew out of SFO in May. I didn't have any problems. Standard check in, was directed to the TSA office, they checked to make sure it was unloaded and that was it.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:47:43 AM EDT
so, to make your flight experience faster, you just stand in the airport and holler: "I've got a gun and dammit I want to go to the front of the line!"


Link Posted: 9/8/2010 8:05:34 AM EDT
Done it many times. The TSA idiots at DFW put a big red F on the bag tag several times I've flown.
I'm sure no baggage handlers notice that sort of thing.

Good idea is to have a copy of the airline regs for handling firearms printed out and in your pocket. It's not uncommon to run into an employee who doesn't have a clue.

Link Posted: 9/8/2010 8:18:32 AM EDT
99% of the time it goes as it's supposed to. Very rarely are there any problems with it, it's just that when there is it gets blasted out there and makes it seem as if it's common. Early on post-9/11 there was some confusion about the rules and some TSA people didn't know the policy, but nowadays that is pretty much unheard of.

Do what you're supposed to do - package it unloaded in a locked, hard-sided case - and there will almost never be any problems. Use TSA locks to make it easier for them to check (this'll usually save your lock from getting clipped). As for marking the bag with a "F", we don't do it here but it really doesn't matter anyway; unless you're putting it in a golf bag (hard case, or a hard case inside of the golf bag) or inside of another bag, the baggage handlers already know there's a firearm in there (they know what gun cases look like). So unless it's hidden, they already know. Firearms rarely go missing, though, as there is alot more of a shitstorm when they do, and LEOs and the airlines tend to take it a bit more seriously than grandma's makeup case.

All that said, never check anything valuable if you can carry it on with you (firearms of course you have no choice). The baggage handlers do steal shit regularly, and what they don't steal they literally throw around and generally bang to hell.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 8:27:18 AM EDT
So as a newbie here... so then you check it through I assume ? You can't take it onboard correct ?

Are you allowed to carry ammo along with it .... separated but in the same case ?

And the case is locked correct ?


Very interesting...

Thanks for the info gang...
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 8:48:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2010 8:53:52 AM EDT by FredMan]
See? An armed society is a polite society.

Done it many times. The TSA idiots at DFW put a big red F on the bag tag several times I've flown.


You did advise them they they were breaking Federal law, didn't you? I'd be running that one up the supervisory chain once I reached my destination.

No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 9:59:37 AM EDT
I've checked firearms w/o any issues when flying to competitions/classes. I use a hard side tool case.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 2:42:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gunmonkey:
In Vegas, the lady at the counter asks if its loaded, has you fill out a form, looks at it in terror and says "go stand by the flag for about 15 minutes. If TSA doesnt come out to get you, you are all clear."

In Reno, TSA takes me in the back room, inspects it, chats pleasantly and about 50% of the time does the bomb sniffer wand on the bag.




I've flown out of Vegas with firearms and didn't have any problems.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 4:06:48 PM EDT
Flying out of New York, you get took "in the back" and they do a field interview on you. They did walk us out to the front of the line afterwards though.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:25:26 PM EDT
I had 0 issues at JFK checking 3 handguns headed to TPA
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 6:04:00 PM EDT
Yes, flying out of NY with a handgun is just lovely. You have to give yourself an extra 1/2 hour to check in.
Flying with a gun did help one time. We were flying out of Miami the day hurricane Frances was going to hit. They were closing the airport in a few hours. We waited on line for 3 1/2 hours to check in and only had 30 minutes to check the bags, get thru security and get on the plane. The airline person took me to the tsa luggage check where the tsa agent said there was a 1 hour backup and there was no way the suitcases were going anywhere. I told him there was a gun in one of the bags and it HAD to get on the plane. He ended up moving us to the head of the line and it actually did make it home with us.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 9:06:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 4:41:42 AM EDT by David4327]
Originally Posted By FlatlinesUp:
so, to make your flight experience faster, you just stand in the airport and holler: "I've got a gun and dammit I want to go to the front of the line!"




Not only will you go to the front of the line. But you will get a free ride in the back of a car. You will also get free meals and a small comfy room for the next 20 years.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 9:17:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cammsplace:
So as a newbie here... so then you check it through I assume ? You can't take it onboard correct ?

Are you allowed to carry ammo along with it .... separated but in the same case ?

And the case is locked correct ?


Very interesting...

Thanks for the info gang...


Just have the firearm unloaded - no rounds or magazine in the weapon. The firearm must simply be in a locked, hard-sided case, and it must be declared to the airline. Tell them you've got a firearm when you check in, they will take care of the rest. For ammo, it is OK either in the original cardboard or plastic container you bought it in, or in a hard container (like an ammo case), just no loose rounds. Unless they have changed it recently (I now work on the checkpoint side, not baggage) ammo stored in a magazine is considered secured and properly stored, just keep the loaded mag out of the weapon. Check your bags to make sure there are no loose rounds... I have seen that one slow people down.

Needless to say, if you are caught carrying either a firearm or ammunition through the checkpoint in your carry on or on your person, then you are going to go to jail (firearm - pretty much automatic), or at the least get a hefty fine (ammo, but still possibly jail).
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 12:37:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gunmonkey:
In Vegas, the lady at the counter asks if its loaded, has you fill out a form, looks at it in terror and says "go stand by the flag for about 15 minutes. If TSA doesnt come out to get you, you are all clear."


i had one girl at the counter in Vegas look at the AR, Glock and knife in the Pelican case and say "wow, that's cool!"

stupid me, i didn't get her number!

flying out of Ricomond, VA i was a bit concerned when TSA ushered me into a small room, closed the door and put on a rubber glove! fortunately there was no probulation involved.

only problem i've ever had was flying out of DFW, the ticket agent thought that my footlocker sized Pelican case should be INSIDE another bag. fprtunately i was able to get her to cal a supervisor who sorted things out. guess she was only used to little cases, not big ones. kinda changes things when you pack your clothes in your gun case instead of packing the gun case inside other luggage.

but it's a good idea to carry a printout of the airlines checked weapons policy, printed out from their webpage and a copy of the YSA regs. keep one in the case, and one in your carry on. the case should also have your cell number on it.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 2:57:04 AM EDT
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Needless to say, if you are caught carrying either a firearm or ammunition through the checkpoint in your carry on or on your person, then you are going to go to jail (firearm - pretty much automatic), or at the least get a hefty fine (ammo, but still possibly jail).


Last year, my wife went to DFW to pick up our daughter and forgot her spare Kel-Tec P3AT clip in her purse. She didn't get sent to jail, but questioned pretty roughly, admonished and worst of all, had the magazine confiscated

Quick question for those that regularily travel with a firearm. Do you have a non-descript case or got with a brighter color. I was told to use a bright colored case (like yellow) as it's more noticeable if somebody tries to pilfer it.

ROCK6
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 3:23:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 3:25:45 AM EDT by eracer]

I've never had a problem with the process of declaring a handgun in my checked bag. The loaded mag in my carry-on backpack (which I had forgotten to put inside the hardshell case for the trip home) was a different story. The TSA people at the X-ray scanner didn't like that - not one bit.

No jail, or fine. Or charge of any kind. They took pictures, got fingerprints, took the ammo, and got me on my flight.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 9:23:31 AM EDT
As an airline employee and confirmed gun nut I have flown with more guns then I care to admit and I have to say that with MY airline the handgun has to be unloaded but the MAGS CAN be loaded and not in the gun and you can have extra ammo in the factory box or plastic storage box, as long as, you don't excede 50 rds (boxed). TSA always seems interested in what it is but it always seems to be the fact that they LIKE guns and are just courious not worried.. The big thing is always stay close to the TSA scanner until it has done your bag. In case they want you to open your LOCKED suitcase you are there to assist them.

Just my 2 cents
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