New technology at airports


July 30, 2007, 10:31 PM I learned in this thread it's not new

I travel a lot for work. I carry in states that allow, so I declare and check my CCW. About three weeks ago, the Airline Agents and the TSA folks stopped asking me to demonstrate that my sidearm was unloaded, just sigh the declaration, put it in and pass it to the TSA for screening. I have seen every variation over time on the screening procedure from "Don't ask don't tell" to almost a field strip of the pistol...and then nothing.

Last trip I asked the TSA guy at the X-Ray station why they no longer checked.
"The equipment can see if your gun is loaded" he says.
"Right through the barrel?"
"Yup, If it is loaded we can tell. We can see into the magazines too.:

Blink ... Blink ... Blink ...

Wow, that is some powerful X-Ray. I guess it is strong enough to show lead through a heavy steel tube.

If you enjoyed reading about "New technology at airports" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 30, 2007, 10:43 PM
X-ray imaging devices can see that kind of thing.

July 30, 2007, 10:46 PM
Not Glocks though, they are porcealin and can't be detected by their x-ray machines. Cost more than I make in a month though. :neener:

July 30, 2007, 10:50 PM
Not Glocks though, they are porcealin and can't be detected by their x-ray machines. Cost more than I make in a month though.:neener:
Me thinks you need a better job! ;)

July 30, 2007, 11:04 PM
Please tell us about the proceders you have gone through with the various
air lines Ive read there regs on most air lines but you have first hand ex

What do you recomend for hard cases and ammo cases.
how do you pack it in suitcase, do you use key lock or combo lock???????

July 30, 2007, 11:22 PM
I worked for TSA for a couple of years.

They have always been able to see if the gun was loaded.

Official policy has always left the "show clear" policy up to the airlines, but in most places it has been discouraged because of concerns about other passengers seeing someone handling a gun in an airport.

It's likely that this particular airport's TSA management had been encouraging the "show clear" but figured out (or promoted or transfered in someone who understood that) this was an unnecessary step.

For the record, everyone who travels with a firearm should absolutely, positively ALWAYS declare it to the airline upon check-in because at this point every bag is checked by TSA. And make sure there is a signed AND Dated declaration form in the case, then personally hand the case to a TSA officer, making sure he understands it contains a gun, and stand by until TSA says it's clear and sends it on to the plane.

It's also a good idea to have locks rather than locking latches on a gun case - they're not supposed to open a gun case without the passenger present, but not everyone knows the rules and I've seen cases broken many times. Locks can be cut and replaced, latches get broken and ruin the case. I also keep a couple of extra little cheap locks unlocked in the case that can be used to re-lock the case in case it gets cut open - otherwise it can't fly. Federal regulations require that it be in a locked case and if they break the latches or cut the locks, it's not locked anymore...

You also want to be sure that ammo is packed in a container designed for carrying ammo. A magazine can technically be an ammo container, but only if it has a cover over the open end. That's still not a good idea because the machine operator will be able to identify the loaded mag, but is not likely to be able to see the "cover" and that means they have to open the bag. Also, this is a rather obscure technicality which many TSA officers might not know about and, being federal employees, you generally can't tell them anything.

And be sure to stow your "Barney Bullet" before you leave for the airport. I've probably thrown away 20 rounds right before the checkpoint when I find number 8 in my pocket.


Jeff Knox
The Firearms Coalition

July 30, 2007, 11:34 PM
You show up, tell the Agent at the Airline you need a firearm declaration. They give it to you (bright pink, orange or some times white), you sign and date it and put it in the case and re-lock it. Depending on the airport, you either walk your luggage to the TSA guys (bigger airports) or wait for it to clear the back room screeners. If it goes into the back, I have the agent call to verify that my bag has cleared. Check your airline's web site for their details, but this covers AA, Delta, Continental and Southwest as well as their puddle hopping cousins.

I use the plastic S&W case my M&P9c came in. I already own it and it is "hard" as far as the airlines and the TSA is concerned. ;) Remember, KISS and free if possible! :D If it gets stolen I have not lost a nice case as well as a gun.

I got a long hasp Master warded lock ( because I can make mine and my wife's keyed alike. (I had a bad youth! :D ) The hasp comes out of the lock which makes it easier to work for me.

Ammo is required by law to be either in the factory case or a "fiber" container. I just use the box they came in. There is an 11 LB limit on ammo. You are allowed no more than 5 pistols per case. (That should be enough for CC :D ) Remember, KISS and free if possible! :D

Magazines either need to be empty, or contained in a closed holder (no bullets exposed). Of course this assumes that you have a pistol not a revolver.

Not to be snide, I put it in the suitcase (standard cloth sided roller), just like my socks and bathroom kit. No big deal.

I always check to make sure it is still in there when I get my luggage off the conveyor thingy, 'cause I am not too trusting. I also want to report it as stolen ASAP if it happens.

One can get a "TSA" lock to lock the suitcase itself. It is one that the TSA has a master key for. I figure that if they have one, there must be a lot of them floating around so I do not bother. I also figure it would mark your bag as "having valuables" in it.

All in all, it is no big deal. Half the time the Airline Agent asks if I am licensed to carry on-board or if I am checking it. They generally do not even blink, just go and find the declaration. I have not had a fellow passenger notice when I open the gun case to put the tag in.

The only odd thing is that they generally make you put the declaration IN the locked gun case. Kinda hard to examine in there!

I also keep a couple of extra little cheap locks unlocked in the case that can be used to re-lock the case in case it gets cut open - otherwise it can't fly.Darn good idea, thank you Jeff.

Car Knocker
July 31, 2007, 02:20 PM
Ammo is required by law to be either in the factory case or a "fiber" container.

You must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging that is specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.

Small arms ammunition for personal use may be carried in checked baggage but only if securely packed in fiber wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.

July 31, 2007, 02:32 PM
Thursday I was surprised by my local, San Jose, TSA screener. My hiking boots were going through the X-ray machine and she said, "Who's got the blue and tan boots?" I 'fessed up to owning them. "You've got a problem with the shank on the left one. It looks like it's broken". I was relieved it didn't test positive for fertilizer or maybe I had forgotten to take out the Swiss Army I sometimes stow in it.
I thanked her for drawing it to my attention and being so observant. She said that she puts her footwear through the machine often to see if the internal structure is starting to breakdown. I guess it happens a lot with all the standing they do.
That is quite possibly the first I've ever said anything nice about the TSA!

July 31, 2007, 02:40 PM
Colt46, that's probably the first nice thing ANYBODY's ever said about TSA.


July 31, 2007, 04:53 PM
Its the Ceramic Glock that costs more than you make in a month - that porclean glock is the cheap model.

Actually all the cost is in the ceramic ammo - and the cases aren't even re-loadable!

July 31, 2007, 04:55 PM
I flew with my ccw for the first time this last weekend. It was NO PROBLEM and I highly recommend that you not be afraid to take your ccw with you.

jeffknox and mlandman have got the rules down. Check with your airline though, because they are allowed to restrict it further.

July 31, 2007, 05:49 PM
Maybe 6 months ago the family and I flew home to Saint Louis from somewhere and as I was waiting by the luggage conveyor for our stuff, I notice something come out of the chute that looks like a long gun case to me (rifle or shotgun, I'm not sure). I watch it go around the conveyor and a well-to-do looking older gentlemen picks it up. I'm guessing he was coming home from a hunting trip or something. As I watched that case go around the conveyor I kept hoping that the owner was going to grab it instead of some opportunistic luggage thief.

We head out to the arrivals area to wait for our ride and this guy is getting picked up by a car that has been waiting for him. Wasn't a limo, but a nice luxury sedan like a Cadillac or Lincoln, can't remember. The driver gets out, bigger guy, black slacks, white dress shirt, tie, and a pistol of some kind or another on his hip open carry style. I'm thinking, Man alive, who's this VIP? Makes me wonder what he had in the case! Probably a nice Italian over-under that cost more than I make in a year...

Anyway... So is that the standard procedure for firearms on airliners? That they go into the plane's luggage compartment with everything else and come out on the conveyor when you arrive?? I've never flown with a firearm, and I was under the impression that you had to go claim the gun and sign for it from a representative of the airline or a TSA officer and that they would physically hand you the gun.

July 31, 2007, 06:22 PM
The firearm may have a thick steel chamber, but the images goes all the way through, so the bullet compounds the image and shows up with different shades.

Bottom line, they can tell.

If you enjoyed reading about "New technology at airports" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!