airline travel


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sambnra
March 10, 2009, 10:10 PM
I'm flying from Phila to Billings Montana shortly ,then driving down to Wyoming for a week. Am I able to simply pack my handgun in my luggage to be checked in? I do have a cc/permit in my state of Pa. plus one from Fla. which according to law says I'm able to cc/carry in both of these states.

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CWL
March 10, 2009, 10:58 PM
Look up Transportation Safety Authority for their guidelines.

Also look-up the airline that you plan to fly and follow their rules.

Lastly, I'd suggest that you print out 2 copies of the TSA rules for flying and keep one set on you and the second set in the gun container when you travel.

larry_minn
March 10, 2009, 11:20 PM
As said check airline/TSA site and print out. The quick/dirty is. Make sure the gun is UNLOADED. Unload the mags (ok if in closed pouch it is legal but NOT WORTH IT) UNLOADED will avoid delays.
Any ammo should be in orig cardboard boxes (not loose I.E. value packs as they MAY question it. Use a 50 rd box with plastic/cardboard/styraphome to hold each rd. (Best to have less then 101 rds as some ticket folks get big eyed if you have more then two boxes)
Run a bright string down barrel and tie (shows at distance there can NOT be a rd in it) Put corded handgun in a LOCKABLE hard case (not TSA lock) inside your suitcase.
Get there early and do NOT check bag at curb. Do not use automated check in. Get a ticket agent. When you hand you ID ask for a orange/red card "I am checking a UNLOADED firearm. It is unloaded and the ammo is in DOT approved cases. Can I have one of those redish/Orange cards please?"
If they falter suggest they get their supervisor. (90% chance they will know what to do) They may ask you to show its unloaded. (has not happened since I started stating "its unloaded, its unloaded")
If so I encourage to open suitcase so it blocks public view. Open hard case/if asked to "show clear" do so (hopefully below public view) then get card and LOCK IN THE PISTOL CASE (that forces someone to break case to seperate the card from your gun) IF the card is removed and gun found you will be in trouble. :(
Once you have signed card in gun case/case locked take suitcase to TSA and tell them. "I have a DECLARED, unloaded gun in this suitcase with two boxes ammo in DOT approved cases" Often they will ask if you will wait a minute and they will run it thru scanner first/ tell you thanks, enjoy your flight.
Last thing I forgot. Put your CELL number on your pistol case, and on the outside of your suitcase. Incase anything happens later they can locate you. You should NOT give the TSA/others your combo,key to pistol hardcase. You do have to open it IF THEY REQUEST to prove unloaded. But as the law reads YOU are to be only person with combo/key (in my understanding)

kirkcdl
March 11, 2009, 10:41 AM
Print a copy of the specific airlines' rules.Then print this page and keep it also: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1666.shtm. Follow them TO THE LETTER,and keep copies with you,not all airline employees are aware of their own policies regarding firearms.

Make sure you have a good quality gun case,preferably one that has lock holes on the sides,like a Doskicil.If the TSA officers determine that your case is too flimsy,they will not let you use it,and IF the airline has any available,it will be expensive...There are guidelines for this on the TSA website...

TSA approved locks are available at WalMart for under $10,they should have a TSA symbol and number printed on the lock.If you use a TSA marked lock,there's no need to hand over your keys,they will have a key that works,and they will appreciate the fact you paid attention to the rules.

When he arrives at the check-in counter,say "I'd like to declare a firearm",the airline will have a "Declaration of Unloaded Firearm" form.Fill it out,or let them fill it out,depending on their policy,and then you will give your bag to a TSA officer who will inspect it for compliance,(again,follow TSA guidelines TO THE LETTER),they will lock it back up,and you're on your way.Your luggage will come down the carousel with all the others at the baggage claim area when you arrive...

TSA "should" take care of it for you,but DO NOT allow the airline employees to put an external tag on your luggage ID'ing it as having a fiream inside,this is illegal,the "firearm" tag goes inside.

GonHuntin
March 11, 2009, 11:56 AM
TSA approved locks are available at WalMart for under $10,they should have a TSA symbol and number printed on the lock.If you use a TSA marked lock,there's no need to hand over your keys,they will have a key that works,and they will appreciate the fact you paid attention to the rules.


It is not legal to use a TSA lock.......the regulations state only the person checking the firearm may have the key......

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

The container must be locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from access by anyone other than you.

We recommend that you provide the key or combination to the security officer if he or she needs to open the container. You should remain present during screening to take the key back after the container is cleared. If you are not present and the security officer must open the container, we or the airline will make a reasonable attempt to contact you. If we can't contact you, the container will not be placed on the plane. Federal regulations prohibit unlocked gun cases (or cases with broken locks) on aircraft.

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 49, Volume 8]
[Revised as of October 1, 2003]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 49CFR1540.111]
[Page 295]
TITLE 49--TRANSPORTATION
CHAPTER XII--TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
PART 1540--CIVIL AVIATION SECURITY: GENERAL RULES--Table of Contents

Subpart B--Responsibilities of Passengers and Other Individuals and Persons

Sec. 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals.
.
.
(c) In checked baggage. A passenger may not transport or offer for
transport in checked baggage:
(1) Any loaded firearm(s).
(2) Any unloaded firearm(s) unless--
(i) The passenger declares to the aircraft operator, either orally
or in writing, before checking the baggage, that the passenger has a
firearm in his or her bag and that it is unloaded;
(ii) The firearm is unloaded;
(iii) The firearm is carried in a hard-sided container; and
(iv) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the
passenger retains the key or combination.
(3) Any unauthorized explosive or incendiary.
(d) Ammunition. This section does not prohibit the carriage of
ammunition in checked baggage or in the same container as a firearm.
Title 49 CFR part 175 provides additional requirements governing
carriage of ammunition on aircraft.



[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 49, Volume 8]
[Revised as of October 1, 2003]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 49CFR1544.203]
[Page 320-321]
TITLE 49--TRANSPORTATION
CHAPTER XII--TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
PART 1544--AIRCRAFT OPERATOR SECURITY: AIR CARRIERS AND COMMERCIAL OPERATORS
--Table of Contents

Subpart C--Operations

Sec. 1544.203 Acceptance and screening of checked baggage.
.
.
(f) Firearms in checked baggage. No aircraft operator may knowingly
permit any person to transport in checked baggage:
(1) Any loaded firearm(s).
(2) Any unloaded firearm(s) unless--
(i) The passenger declares to the aircraft operator, either orally
or in writing before checking the baggage that any firearm carried in
the baggage is unloaded;
(ii) The firearm is carried in a hard-sided container;
(iii) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the
individual checking the baggage retains the key or combination; and

[[Page 321]]

(iv) The checked baggage containing the firearm is carried in an
area that is inaccessible to passengers, and is not carried in the
flightcrew compartment,.
(3) Any unauthorized explosive or incendiary.
(g) Ammunition. This section does not prohibit the carriage of
ammunition in checked baggage or in the same container as a firearm.
Title 49 CFR part 175 provides additional requirements governing
carriage of ammunition on aircraft.

NightStalkerTX
March 11, 2009, 12:48 PM
One other correction: signed declaration card DOES NOT go inside your locked gun case. If it did, you are almost guaranteed to return to the counter when they scan your bag, or have your bag held up in transit because when they see the gun on the x-ray, open your bag to check and cannot find the declaration card, they will retain the bag.

I've sometimes used 2 cards, one inside the locked case, and one placed atop the gun case inside my checked luggage, but that is not strictly the requirement. TSA requires the declaration card to be visible once the luggage is opened so that the officer knows that the firearm is properly declared.

GonHuntin
March 11, 2009, 02:20 PM
Nightstalker


I've never flown with a handgun case inside a regular suitcase, but, with a case that is checked separate from your other bags, the signed card goes INSIDE the case........can't see why it would make a difference if the case is inside another bag????

Ed Ames
March 11, 2009, 02:37 PM
It isn't that hard.

My tips:

1. For single handguns the store-it box is awesome. Compact and no sharp corners so it packs easily, it holds a single handgun perfectly, and it can be used whenever you need a small anonymous pistol case.

2. Make things obvious. I've only had TSA want to open my pistol case once. That was when I had disassembled a pistol (slide off frame, etc) and the TSA person had no idea what they were looking at. Once she figured out it was a gun she put it back away quickly.

3. Remember; It really isn't the big deal it is made out to be.

Flea
March 11, 2009, 03:03 PM
I will be flying several times this month -- any issue with using a good quality lock on the manufacturer's case?

alanjtc73n
March 11, 2009, 03:19 PM
I've flown quite a few times using the manufacturer's cases. Even used my old plastic Kimber case to transport an AR lower. They work well and usually have little tabs for locks.

dmw16
March 11, 2009, 03:36 PM
This may seem like semantics, but try to use the word "FIREARM" instead of "GUN". It seems like firearm makes people less uncomfortable.

obiwan1
March 11, 2009, 06:22 PM
GonHuntin is right. No TSA locks and print out a copy of the LAW (not TSA suggestions) and highlight the important parts.:)

REB
March 11, 2009, 07:51 PM
I fly 30+ times a year with a hand gun and it's really not a problem. I have flown in and out of the Philadelphia airport several times last year without any issues. It's not as big of an issue as some are making it out to be.

The firearm needs to be in a hard-sided case locked with a non-TSA lock. Ammunition needs to be in a container designed for that purpose, not loose. The factory box is just fine. The ammunition can be in the same case as the firearm per TSA rules and most airline rules. You can have ammunition in a magazine if the magazine is in a container that completely encases the ammunition. I have never tried this and I don't think it would be worth the possible trouble.

There is no problem using the kiosk check in, I do it all the time. When you get to the bag drop area declare the firearm at that point.

They will usually ask if it's unloaded and ask you to open the case so they can look inside. You will fill out a little tag declaring the firearm is unloaded and put it either inside of the case or outside of the case inside of your luggage, just ask the attendant where they want it because it doesn't make any difference. The tag or anything that identifies that the luggage has a firearm in it can not go on the outside of the suitcase per federal law.

From this point thing vary from airport to airport. At airports where the screening equipment is out in the public area and you have to take your bag to the screening area tell the TSA agent you have a declared firearm in the bag. They will normally run it through in front of any other bags and ask you to wait. At airports where the screening equipment is behind the scene they will normally call a TSA agent to the baggage counter to inspect the firearm at that point. Very occasionally they will just send you bag back with the rest of them and I have never had to go back.

At your destination the suitcase will come out on the carousel with all the rest.

climbnjump
March 11, 2009, 07:55 PM
Different airlines have different rules regarding the amount of ammo you can take. TSA has no limit. Some airlines have an 11 lb limit. Sometimes that is enforced and sometimes not. (I'm not entirely sure, but I think the 11 lb limit comes from international flight restrictions, so some domestic airlines use the same number for the sake of consistency.)

REB
March 11, 2009, 10:19 PM
Good point climbnjump, I left that out.

Also as far as I have been able to find there is no requirement for ammunition to be locked up.

larry_minn
March 11, 2009, 11:45 PM
As far as the red/orange card. I lock it with gun (but do have old card in suitcase normally) My concern is the TSA opens suitcase and card falls out (or damaged in baggage) they find gun/no card and want to make a Fed case. The card is inside and my cell number is on outside.


Regards 11lbs. I had (IIRC) 250rds of 9mm (WWB that I had put into old plastic trays in factory cardboard) and two Glocks in 9mm. Ticket agent was confused. Supervisor was also (but not willing to admit it) Said I could NOT have more then 100rds. (printout from that airline saying 11lbs didn't matter.) So I put my name on other boxes and took it to lost and found (the supervisor said he MUST follow me to make sure I didn't sneak it on the plane.) So I said "then you can carry it" He might have felt better if I had handed him dog poop. :) They had to get a POLICE OFFICER from other terminal to give me back MY ammo when I got back two weeks later.. "we can't give people ammo in the airport" type crap.

Tom S.
March 12, 2009, 11:27 AM
Larry Minn:

What is considered a D.O.T. approved container for ammunition?

larry_minn
March 12, 2009, 01:42 PM
Department of Transportation. Basicly the packaging the ammo is purchased in. Do NOT try loose rds. (I know you got them that way/ WWW value pack) Put the ammo in cardboard ammo box with ammo tray (of cardboard/plastic/styraphome/etc) so each rd is held seperate/secure. I then TAPE the ends shut (no chance of box openeing and ammo going loose in suitcase. Loose rds are NOT allowed. I have not had any trouble with aftermarket ammo boxes (Midway, Dillion,etc) but I also tape/rubber band them to avoid chance of ammo getting loose.
I have not looked up the exact termanoligy in yrs. It just sounds good/they accept it as good and we are done. :) BTW getting there early, acting like you have done this a hundred times before helps. 99% of times you will get a "Is it unloaded?" They will sign card/hand it to you, you fill out, put in casea nd take it to TSA who ask you to wait a minute "thank you, You're good to go" and you go thru (ab" normal security. :)
The one I mentioned above. UFTA. Only 2nd time I really had any problems (and honestly they were minor)
Other time the ticket agent was POSITIVE I ment I was a FAM and was going to carry it on flight. (guess I acted too relaxed)?? She would NOT understand "I want to CHECK this" I got a 4 copy carbonless form. I had to present one copy to TSA screener. "ok go ahead" I had to present a copy to ticket person at gate. I had to present a copy to the Captain of the plane (it said before I enter aircraft) Question how the heck do I do that??? Call him out? So I had it to flight attendent to give to him. He calls me in. "So you are our FAM?" Me "no sir my gun is checked in bagage" Captain "Then why do you have this form?" me "I don't know the ticket agent wouldn't give me a orange card to declare my handgun without this" Pilot "Ok have a seat I will have a talk with them when I get back to Mlps"
I still have my copy somewhere. :)

REB
March 12, 2009, 09:54 PM
As far as the red/orange card. I lock it with gun (but do have old card in suitcase normally) My concern is the TSA opens suitcase and card falls out (or damaged in baggage) they find gun/no card and want to make a Fed case. The card is inside and my cell number is on outside.

There is no requirement for the card as far as the law goes it's just something the airlines do. The only reason for the card is proof for the airline that you declared the firearm unloaded. I put it where ever the airline attendant wants me to put it, it's easier that way.

As far as the ammunition requirement it's fairly vague.
Title 49:175.10
8) Small arms ammunition for personal use carried by a crewmember or passenger in checked baggage only, if securely packed in boxes or other packagings specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Ammunition clips and magazines must also be securely boxed. This paragraph does not apply to persons traveling under the provisions of 49 CFR 1544.219.

Will Fennell
March 12, 2009, 11:24 PM
I fly nationally and internationally several times a year, and while you [I]can[I]take ammo, I generally find that it is not worth the trouble. The rules are vague, and more trouble than they are worth. I have no trouble taking firearms, but either ship my ammo ahead, or buy locally.

REB
March 13, 2009, 09:44 AM
I fly almost every week with a firearm and ammunition and have never had a problem.

bonza
March 13, 2009, 02:54 PM
When I flew internationally last year, to attend a shooting championships, the ticket agents (check-in) gave me a bit of a runaround due to my not having a firearms license for a country I was transitting through. I had all the paperwork for my final destination, but the agent thought I should also have it for the stopover country, even though I, or the guns, wouldn't be leaving the airport. That took a least thirty minutes to resolve. Also the ticket agent had one of the airline employees walk me over to the TSA station to get the guns inspected, etc.

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