guns in checked baggage???


June 23, 2006, 06:30 PM
I'm on hold with Delta and they're really pissing me off. Of course I'm talking to some idiot who doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground.:cuss:

My SIMPLE question is this: Does a gun have to be a SEPERATE piece of checked baggage, or can (for example) a pistol be in a hard-sided locked case INSIDE another larger suitcase????

I would be happy to open the pistol case, show that it is unloaded, and return it to it's locked case inside my suitcase, I just don't want to take up one of my 2 checked bags with a small pistol case (which they will probably loose).

I'm going to Alaska fishing and 4-wheelin' and will be in some very remote, bear infested areas and want my RSRH .44 mag at my side. I already have 2 bags with gear, clothes, etc. packed and don't want to have to pay $75 to check a small case with my $500 gun which they will probably loose.

Anyone ever been in this situation? What happened at the airport???

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Vern Humphrey
June 23, 2006, 06:38 PM
The gun goes in a locked case, inside another bag. Whenever possible, a gun should not be in a separate case -- that simply says "steal me."

(Aside to self -- if people can take stuff out of checked baggage and smuggle it out of the secure area, what confidence do we have they can't smuggle stuff into the secure area and put it in checked baggage?)

I keep the gun case unlocked, but have the lock with it and carry the key. When they run your baggage through inspection, they lock the case and close up the outer bag.

June 23, 2006, 06:54 PM
My hard case is usually inside another piece of common looking luggage. The only exception has been when I carried an AR in a break down shotgun case. At every airport on that trip, I had to pick up the case from an attendant, rather than collect it with the rest of the luggage.

The normal procedure is to declare the firearm (as discreetly as possible) at the check in counter. I fill out a form, enclose the form either in the hard case, or attached on it. I never travel with guns and ammo at the same time, however, you have to assure the counter attendant that the firearm is unloaded. They have never asked to see it. I then get asked to carry that specific bag to a TSA area for screening. I inform the TSA agent about the luggage, and they send it through their xray and inspection process. I usually lock the slide back and have the magazine removed from the firearm in the case, to be visibly open and clear on the xray. They usually come out and tell me everything is okay, and I'm on my way. The AR caused TSA to ask me to open the case at a couple airports. I do not allow them to have the key, rather, say that I will open it for them for inspection. I have never been hassled about that. The TSA folks I have had contact with have always seemed to know the required laws and procedures.

Alaska Airlines has always been very accommodating, and the agents well-informed on the procedures.

June 23, 2006, 06:56 PM
Beginning of April, flew via Denver to Tulsa for the gun show. Took my SW99 as a suitable small carry piece. That was in it's hard case with a lock - inside suitcase, with a lock.

On booking in declared I had gun inside. Opened suitcase, unlocked gun case - gun was inspected and the orange label made out. Guncase relocked and suitcase closed again around it. That was checked baggage not seen again until after flight.

I printed out the page from TSA site re requirements ( I think ) - plus statute stuff for each state I was visiting and had reciprocity.

BTW is way behind on current data it seems - go to these days - being run by Gary Slider who used to be involved with packing - and is reckoning to have the site very up to date with info.

June 23, 2006, 07:11 PM
Just talked to my mother, who is a travel agent.

What P95 said is true depending on who your carrier is. The firearm MUST be declared, and if it is a handgun, you would probably be able to store back into a suitcase. But it still must be in a crush-proof lockable container and the ammunition must be stored in a different luggage, ...huh she didn't say if ammo had to be declared, I assume that it does. Also must go to checked baggage, never carry on. Well unless you are a Fed Marshal.

Last time I asked her about it, the same was said except to just forget the ammo, buy it in the state you are going to. It saves time trying to get to your plane.

Hope I have helped.


Smoke Rizen
June 23, 2006, 07:13 PM
What P95 said. I carried a gun to Ak. 3 years ago and had no trouble at all. Go to the TSA sight and follow it. You need to have a lockable case that you will declare at check in and they should inform TSA at which point TSA will inspect(make SURE it's not loaded) the gun and case, ask you to lock it,place it inside another bag, I used a cooler, TSA seals it and you keep the key. It was recommended that I not carry ammo in my luggage as it creates more questions. All I had was a sawed off,pistol grip scatter gun so it was easy to aquire ammo up there. You'll find it's alot easier to bring back out of Ak. I guess because they're used to dealing with more carry cases. Best of luck, and good fishing. I leave the 13 of July myself!

June 23, 2006, 07:21 PM
Hi Bud :) Ahah - the AK trip eh - good fishing again!! Have fun my friend.

I did forget to mention - I was flying with Frontier. I also, following what I had read - had ammo in same suitcase as gun. It was however in an MTM 50 box - kept closed by a large strong rubber band. It was asked about - it was shown, nestling in my underwear ;) - and OK'd every time.

Funniest thing was - we stopped over in Denver on way out - kindly put up for the night with Sarah - Larry Ashcraft's daughter. So next day the Tulsa hop - but while the check in was easy again at booking counter - this time TSA wanted a look.

Get this tho (heck, the guy must have been bored and no work) - I watched as he went thru the suitcase, all but ignoring the gun case inside - but - he picked up a 2/3 full bottle of good whiskey we had with us - and wanded it - yes, he WANDED it. I laughed.

I guess it must have been some ''sniffer'' wand - but sure was fun to watch :D

June 23, 2006, 07:25 PM
Thanks all, I was dreading dealing with the airport folk, but sounds like I'm good to go.

Will try to post pics of fishing in Prince William Sound and our 4-wheeler trip. Hopefully my HOT .44 loads (329g at 1440 fps) will do the job if I encounter an angry bruin.

June 23, 2006, 07:27 PM
Only time I've traveled with ammo, it has been without a firearm. Didn't need to declare it. Alaska Airlines limits you to 50 lb. total per bag weight. :)

June 23, 2006, 07:30 PM
my HOT .44 loads (329g at 1440 fps)Grizz - sounds more like ''SMOKIN'' than just hot!!!:D

1500 odd ft lbs - useful ;)

June 23, 2006, 07:37 PM
The rounds are made by "ACE Bullet Mfg." - a small Alaskan Co. They're called the "Ace Dube's" :D

June 23, 2006, 09:28 PM
Ace Dube (the same man) was one of my high school rifle coaches.

Still see him at gun shows and such.

June 23, 2006, 09:39 PM
I went to AK last year for 10 days fishing, etc........ Took a Delta puddle jumper to Los Angeles where I flew Alaska Air to Anchorage. Took my 454 SRH in locked case in my checkin bag. No problem, not even wierd comments.

June 23, 2006, 10:12 PM
Ace Dube is a man? Huh, didn't know that. Does he still sell HOT ammo? I bought those rounds about 7 years ago... They're the most powerful .44 mag loads I've ever even heard of. I should buy more! :rolleyes:

June 23, 2006, 10:21 PM
Ace is a big hairy Alaskan lookin guy. Excellent coach.

I've never actually bought (boughten?) any of his .44 ammo. See I don't own a .44 mag (but I do intend to, I think by law I have about 4 years left :D ).

I think I saw him at the last show I went too, but they all blur together.

June 23, 2006, 10:27 PM
Go to their website, read their rules, then print them out and bring them with you in case the agent doesn't know the rules.

Smoke Rizen
June 25, 2006, 07:03 PM
I hope thats one weapon you never have to use!

June 25, 2006, 07:18 PM
From Delta Airlines' Site

Ammunition will only be accepted if it is boxed, small-arms ammunition, it weighs less than 11 pounds, and is packed in checked luggage only.

Firearms will be accepted only if they are unloaded, declared to the agent at check-in, and packed in a suitable container in checked luggage only.

Gunpowder, mace, pepper spray, and tear gas are not allowed.

June 25, 2006, 07:30 PM
Just curious but when you gun is checked in at baggage, I wonder if they run the serial number to see if it is a stolen gun or had been used in a crime?

June 25, 2006, 07:50 PM
Nope, it isn't checked in with any sort of law enforcement. The airline employees most often don't even touch it, just look to confirm it is unloaded and properly packaged.

No ser. # tracking of any kind.

June 25, 2006, 09:41 PM

I would look for a well used one on ebay all banged up. No one would keep a gun in there and then lock it as per TSA regs. Worked for me.

I also have the model 1510 it is the largest size one can carry in the cabin. When I don't transport a gun I can put camera or other personal things and take in inside, dual purpose.

June 26, 2006, 07:28 AM
If traveling with guns and ammo on a well planed trip ever becomes a problem, you could, well ahead of time, UPS the ammo to your resort or whatever. I'm sure some guides will have loaners.

July 20, 2006, 03:25 PM
Just returned from Georgia. On the flight there on Delta, I was transporting a value-pack of .45 ammunition (in original box). Since I wasn't flying with a firearm and had read TSA and Delta's websites several times, I chose not to declare anything...just dropped the bag at curb-side check-in and went to my gate.

When I arrived in ATL, I found an "Inspected by TSA" card in the small outside pocket that contained (just) the ammo. Don't know if it was coincidence or some kind of gunpowder sensor that steered TSA towards that exact pocket, but everything arrived just fine.

BTW, I've flown several times with ammunition in the same hard-sided locked box as my firearm -- no problem as long as the ammuntion is completely enclosed in it's own 'approved' container (original box, hard plastic case, etc. friends have even carried loaded magazines upside down in mag holder so no rounds are visible). My usual choice is a pelican case with a cut-out for my firearm and another for a 20-round box of ammunition...

Happy travels.

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