Flew with a gun. Washington D.C. to Kansas City, MO


July 21, 2009, 10:02 AM
Flew from Reagan National airport to Kansas City international airport transporting a Kahr P45 by way of USAIR. Usually I fly with 2 firearms,but seeing as how I wouldnít get time to go to the range, I just flew with one. Kahr was in a hard plastic pistol case with 2 6 round mags, one mag holder and a box of .45 Ranger LXT hollowpoint ammo. Also in the case was a Kershaw Ken Onion black folder, a blue rhino cigar lighter, and a couple of cigar cutters. The gun case was in a carry on size case and both cases were locked with small masterlock key locks. I donít use TSA approved locks.

Check in at the ticket counter was not a problem at all. Informed the ticket lady I was declaring a firearm. She filled out a 3 by 5 firearm card after printing up my seat assignment. Iíve flown with guns many times, and this was the first ticket person to actually inspect my firearm and mags. She actually asked me to show clear and safe,and eyeballed the mags to be sure they were empty.
I asked her if she was a shooter. She replied that both her and her husband are shooters. We couldnít talk too much after that being there was a crowd behind me to check in.
I signed the card,she watched me as I put it in the case. She carried the case over to TSA. TSA told me to go ahead and lock it, I did, they scanned it with my other luggage,and that was that for Reagan National Airport.

Leaving out of Kansas City International again by way of USAIR was a bit more involved. Ticket agent didnít even look at the firearm. Just took my word that the gun was not loaded. Didnít even ask about the mags.
This time I carried the case over to TSA. I handed it to the TSA guy and asked is it usually procedure for a passenger to carry a firearm to TSA after check in. He didnít say anything, just looked sharply at another TSA guy standing there.
I locked the case and they put it in the scanner. I was standing about 20 feet from the scanner behind a barrier. The first TSA guy I spoke to came over to me and said weíre going to have to open your case. Thereís something in there that we have to take a look at,and could he have my key.
I said no, Iím not giving you the key to unlock the case. You will not unlock that case unless Iím standing right there watching you. That case is never to be out of my sight while unlocked. My friend was with me at the time,and her eyes got big,and she got that Oh **** look on her face.
He called another TSA guy over. I told him the same thing,and he told the first guy Iím right. So they let me behind the barrier, and I stood there as they unlocked the case and looked in. It was the ammo they were concerned about.
Reagon National TSA had no problem with it. Why Kansas City TSA had a problem with it? I have no idea,and didnít ask.
Locked up the case,they scanned it, Boarded my flight and flew home.

Declaring firearms at the airport usually is not a problem. USAIR gets a check on the plus side from me.
Reagan National TSA was professional and quick. Like it should be.
Kansas City International TSA? Some of those boys act like they have no clue. I was ready to become a angry Blackman with a gun over the key issue, but it didnít come to that. Itís a damn shame when a passenger knows the TSA procedures more then the TSA guy.
I always print and carry a copy of TSA procedures with me. And I never ever use TSA approved locks to lock my guns and luggage.

My visit home? Absolutly wonderful.

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July 21, 2009, 10:15 AM
The training and abilities of TSA people is not uniform.
Sometimes it gets downright silly. Just go with it since you don't have a choice.


July 21, 2009, 11:12 AM
I'll add that Reagan National has a fair number of LEOs passing through. I've flown through there with firearms myself, and the only hint of trouble was with muzzle-loading arms...the procedures for clearing those are a bit unusual.

July 21, 2009, 11:26 AM
BTW, Cliff, just so you know - if you flew from Reagan National Airport, you did NOT fly with a gun from Washington D.C. You flew out of Virginia.

July 21, 2009, 01:15 PM
I went through KCI in March and they didn't have TSA but some private security company guys doing inspections. I had the same experience with them. I asked the guy if something was wrong as he did the inspection. He said he thought he saw something under the foam lining of the case.

Hiding some contraband in a declared gun case really doesn't sound like a way to get away with it.

chris in va
July 21, 2009, 06:47 PM
NavyLT beat me to it. National er...Reagan National is in Virginia.

But anyway when I flew from Huntsville to Dulles, the counter guy in Alabama thought I was LEO and started handing me forms for carry on board the aircraft when I told him I needed to declare a firearm.

The Wiry Irishman
July 21, 2009, 10:38 PM
Had my first experience flying with a gun from OKC to Indianapolis a couple weeks ago. No problems, no hassle, didn't really take much more time than checking a suitcase full of clothes.

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