I just looked over the Southwest airlines website to print out a copy of the firearm/weapon policy. I plan to travel by air soon and need to know how to deal with Southwest/TSA/etc. Can any members here post a Southwest airlines link or any other related legal information. NOTE: I'm not a sworn LEO or federal agent but I do hold a valid concealed weapon license that is valid in both locations where I plan to travel.
PS: I will pack my .38spl DA only revolver with NO ammunition in a hard case with a TSA approved lock, :cool:.
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June 11, 2007, 11:45 PM
Here you go: http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/guns.html
June 12, 2007, 12:05 AM
What I wonder though... What are the looks of everyone around you going to be when you pop open your case and show your piece to the 45 year old lady at the customer service desk?
I'm planning on going to AK here pretty soon and I'm considering bringing my CCW. Hopefully they don't mark my boarding pass with the secret "strip search" marker :(
June 12, 2007, 12:30 AM
I fly SWA fairly often with a shotgun and I have never had a problem with them. They will even let you pack ammo in the case with your gun (not in the mags...leave it in the original box).
What you need to do does seems to vary with airports. At some, the counter agent still checks to see if the gun is unloaded and then watches you lock the case and gives you the key quiz. At some airports they say not to lock it and walk you to a TSE screener, where you wait while they do whatever they feel like.
June 12, 2007, 12:30 AM
I have flown numerous times on southwest with a checked firearm. I use a combo locked hardcase. You can carry ammo in the same case, but the gun itself must be unloaded. I carry a 50 rnd box in the same case. I have never once had anyone ask to inspect the the gun; TSA, southwest, or othewise. I did have a southwest employee ask me to demonstrate that the case was in fact locked at the baggage check counter. That was at hobby airport in houston.
I also usually put my locked hardcase inside my soft side suitcase. Just make sure that you declare it to the ticket agent at the counter. I usually just say "I have a firearm to declare" when I place my suitcase down at the counter. I did get a weird look from a Continental agent at bush intl. once, but I think it was because she had never filled out the declared firearm tag before. My overall experience with flying checked firearms has been uneventful. Prepare for the worst in any case and carry the TSA regs and airline policy with you.
June 12, 2007, 12:31 AM
It varies widely depending on the airport. I've been lead off to the side, escorted to the back(Fargo, ND), and been requested to open the case right there at the ticket counter. Even in gun-unfriendly cities(PHL to name one), I've never been hassled.
June 12, 2007, 12:35 AM
Just follow the rules, and you might be surprised at how easy it is, and the lack of other's comments. Maybe it is just where I have travelled, but no one seems to care. I just do what they tell me.
I did have a TSA rep comment that my 642 Airweight was a nice gun, and when I said it was easy to carry he replied that it would be good for pocket carry. He went on to put it through the machine and waved me on. No, I did not lose the gun.
It takes about an extra 5 minutes.
My travel has been in the south and west. Of course I do not take a firearm where it is prohibited, such as CA.
June 12, 2007, 12:37 AM
I check my guns 50 - 75 times per year at different airports and I have never once had an issue with the TSA or the ticket agents. They dont want to touch the gun, and they are a bit nervous that its their, but they are courteous and never gave me any problems.
June 12, 2007, 12:40 AM
I've always started off with, "I have an unloaded, cased pistol in my checked luggage that I need to declare." The "unloaded, cased" part seems to put the ticket agent at ease.
June 12, 2007, 12:42 AM
Of course I do not take a firearm where it is prohibited, such as CA.
Firearms are not prohibited in CA. I took one of mine when I was there last month.
June 12, 2007, 12:57 AM
I've flown with guns recently. No problems, as stated above.
The >>latest<< TSA policies delete the need to prove to somebody that the gun is unloaded. Instead, you declare both verbally and in writing that it is, and a tag with your declaration goes into the sealed luggage with the gun, face up and on top. It's a red or orange tag with big black letters "DECLARED FIREARM" or something like that. I assume it can be picked up on X-Ray.
So far I'm not aware of these tags being used by criminals within TSA as "steal me markers". My guns haven't been messes with across several trips now, and I'm not aware of reports of theft. So they've got a decent, working system in place.
That "declaration system" is probably how SouthWest handles it now, and the site linked discussing inspections is outdated.
WARNING: under the "declaration system", you're stating UNDER OATH that your bangthing is unloaded. God help you if it ain't. M'kay?
Also: the SW air site linked above says something about knowing the gun laws at your origin, destination and points between. Whoever wrote it is probably not familiar with the Firearm Owner's Protection Act, a Federal law as of '86 that protects "passers through". If you're coming from AZ headed to OH by way of Chicago, Mayor Daley and his minions can't hassle you. NYC was infamous for this sort of thing for a while but have lost a couple of cases based on FOPA and last I heard had stopped trying to subject those headed on to Vermont or whatever to NYC gun control. This applies even if they're landing in NYC by plane and driving on to VT, NH or the like.
June 12, 2007, 01:00 AM
I have the distinct impression that it would be illegal for me to take a handgun into CA for possible use or CCW.
I realize that one can own some types in CA, but thought that some were prohibited.
Straighten me out. I have some concern when I travel there by auto, and thought that the gun had to be out of reach, unloaded, locked, and separate from the ammo.
June 12, 2007, 01:03 AM
California doesnt recognize any CCW Permit from any other states.
You cant bring handguns here though. Just dont bring any magazines that hold over 10 rounds. Also, dont bring any "Assault Weapons" .. AR-15s, Uzis, AKs, FALs, M1A w/ flash hider, etc.
EDIT: Also dont bring any handguns with threaded barrells. Those are considered AWs. When traveling, pistol needs to be in a locked container. There's nothing stating ammo must be seperate, but most people keep ammo in a range bag just to be on the safe side.
June 12, 2007, 01:04 AM
"What I wonder though... What are the looks of everyone around you going to be when you pop open your case and show your piece to the 45 year old lady at the customer service desk?"
It all depends :)
The first time I traveled with a gun (and one of the only times, actually) was just after I bought my first gun, a 9mm Browning that I bought used at a shop in Austin in late 1999. (Hmm. Come to think of it, this may have been 2d. Perhaps had the Ruger 22/45 before that ...)
I was still just getting used to having a gun around at all -- felt very strange, but it kept not leaping up to kill me or anyone else, and eventually it became less strange.
But taking it to the airport sure made me feel nervous / paranoid. I imagined someone would spot it, yell GUN! and soon I'd lay dead on the floor. I was very careful to follow the travel rules (hard case, lock, no ammo, mag separate, dislose, display, fill out form ...), and found that the strongest emotion seeing the gun elicited at the Austin Airport was mild curiosity.
At BWI, I think it was a bit more reproachful, but not too bad.
June 12, 2007, 01:08 AM
The one time I've flown with a pistol it was on SouthWest. Everything went very smoothly, probably because I read all the rules before going to the airport.
No problems, no funny looks, no hassles. Just like it should be.
June 12, 2007, 01:09 AM
Thanks for the information.
Since I cannot carry, I'll just be without one.
June 12, 2007, 01:10 AM
I have some concern when I travel there by auto, and thought that the gun had to be out of reach, unloaded, locked, and separate from the ammo.
You have it right. Departing Reno I go into CA mode and it becomes difficult to access. It goes into the hotel room with me and is then loaded.
June 12, 2007, 01:11 AM
June 12, 2007, 06:12 PM
I printed out the Southwest website listing. I'll take the copy with me to the airport. :D
I'm flying out of OIA(Orlando FL). The local/federal LEOs have gone apescat in recent months because an airport employee was arrested as part of a gun smuggling ring going from Florida to Puerto Rico. :rolleyes: The TSA did some major damage control and I expect hassles no matter what I say or do.
June 12, 2007, 10:11 PM
Good site with all major airlines different rules hope this helps