Guns and airport questions


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davidtdm
December 16, 2003, 04:30 AM
I'll be travelling this holiday . I've checked out the arlines/airport policies about checking firearms in checked baggage. Legally I shouldn't have a problem.

I was wondering if anyone has recently flown with their firearms? (checked hopefully) . What was the attitude of the clerks at the checkin counter? Were there any additional security measures that you had to go through.(aside from the normal policies/procedures)? I'll be flying Southwest.

Any coments, suggestions welcome

...Dave

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rayra
December 16, 2003, 05:18 AM
I've seen a wide range of experiences and results posted, from the 'no problem' all the way to missed flights, conversations in windowless rooms with airport security, and even an extreme tale of a firearms owner being left wholly unattended to repack his firearm-luggage, then being driven unsearched across the tarmac to board his flight.

I'd say the best thing to do is discover and learn and print-out to take with you all the applicable legal statements and guidance you can find from your airline, airports involved, the TSA, and Federal law. and take two copies. One for you to keep, one to gift to the TSA satffer who gets it all wrong.

TarpleyG
December 16, 2003, 09:15 AM
From what I have heard, Southwest is one of the better, gun-friendly, airlines. I second what rayra stated, print all pertinent laws and guidelines and keep them with you. Pretty sad if you think about it. WE have to have the burden of proof that we aren't violating THEIR stupid laws/regulations. You'd think they would know them.

GT

dischord
December 16, 2003, 10:52 AM
WE have to have the burden of proof that we aren't violating THEIR stupid laws/regulations. You'd think they would know them. It's not just a gun thing. It's the same in any industry with any subject. The people dealing with the public often don't know everything they should, and the customer must come prepared to educate those "serving" them. Some gems do know all they should, but most don't.

Will Fennell
December 16, 2003, 11:19 AM
I fly quite a bit with checked firearms, and actually, its not really a big deal....especially now AFTER 9/11. I had MORE problems before 9/11, because as some here noted, your treatment would vary clerk to clerk because they ususally didn't know the rules and regs.

Now, the folks at the counter seem much better about being well vered in the rules, and I have had zero problems flying about the US, and internationally with checked firearms.

Here's the deal, know the rules BEFORE you fly. Follow the rules and be cooperative. I'm as viciously pro RKBA as anyone here, but you need to understand, you are flying on THEIR airplane. Follow their rules.

And do yourself a favor.....get a GOOD case to fly your firearm in....:rolleyes: I've had the expensive aluminium custom cases.....and had them destroyed:o I've found the PELICAN brand synthetic cases more durable than the good aluminium cases and ALOT lighter...

http://www.pelican.com/

Happy traveling:cool:

Jeff OTMG
December 17, 2003, 12:13 AM
Listen to Will. I have been on over 100 flights this year alone, all with firearms. I have had no trouble with ticket counter personnel. The only problems that I have had were some 'uninformed' TSA and LE types. Be cooperative, but you may have to be firm so carry a copy of federal CFR with you. Another poster here, as well as myself, have had TSA personnel and others tell us that the CFR does not apply to them because they are federal employees. I nicely inform them that by that logic they could legally rob banks, but that federal law is federal law and applies to one and all. Besides, if I were to break the law then I wouldn't be covered. Just keep your cool and you will be on your way.

Just a note, the ONLY airports that I have ever had a problem with were in Burbank, Ca (ticket agent many years ago) and two airports in Indiana, Indianapolis and Evansville. Florida, Texas, Tennesse, and Oklahoma no problems.

davidtdm
December 17, 2003, 04:16 PM
Thanks for all the comments. I've made copies of bothe the airline polocies, the TSA check list of waht can a can't be checked or brought on board, and the CFR text on transporting firarms.

Will,
Thanks for the thoughts about the pelican cases. I to have one of the aluminum cases. Lucikily I don't have the correct cut outs for the firarms I want to take with me. So I'm off to get a pelican case.

I'll be sure to post my experiences (flying that is) when I get back.

..Dave

Charleton
December 17, 2003, 07:15 PM
Could someone post a source for the TSA and CFR cites? I'd sure like to get them.

Thanks.

Gene.

davidtdm
December 17, 2003, 08:34 PM
TSA:
http://www.tsa.gov/public/

CFR::
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html

Slabside
December 17, 2003, 08:47 PM
Hello,

I haven't had any problems whatsoever checking firearms. As long as you communicate properly and follow procedures, you shouldn't have any problems. To seasoned ticket agents, checking firearms is no big deal.

On my last trip, while being checked by the TSA, adjacent to me was another lady being checked. They confiscated her fingernail polish and fingernail polish remover. She was furious. They finally told her if she wanted to keep the stuff that she could get out of line, go back to ticketing and mail the items to herself. Then, she would have to return and have to go all the way back thru the process. Naturally, she was running late for her flight and had to just give up the items.

Do a seach here on the topic. It's been covered a few times.
Good luck, have fun, and be safe.

Oleg Volk
December 17, 2003, 08:58 PM
Judging by my friend's experience, the airport goblins are still out of control. (http://www.livejournal.com/users/kitiara/1164756.html)

Lennyjoe
December 17, 2003, 10:38 PM
Im flying home on Thursday to Ohio.

Will be part of the sheeple croud cause I cant carry back in the Buckeye state.:cuss:

Short trip this time, gonna be back to the gun friendly state Sunday eve.

Looking forward to getting into some snow. :D

davidtdm
December 18, 2003, 01:27 AM
Oleg,

Wow..... Hopefully I will not have such an exciting experiences as your friends did. If I were to though, I'd go kicking and sceaming. I've already had personal experiences with the FED's.

Thanks for posting that link.

...Dave

larry_minn
December 18, 2003, 02:33 AM
As above and get there early. I like to put handgun in small hard sided locked case and put that INTO my suiitcase. (orange/red tag inside)
Make sure unloaded AND have rope thru barrel tied off so anyone can see (without touching) there is no ammo in chamber.
Act like you have done this 1000 times before.
And use key words. "I need a orange card as I have a UNLOADED firearm in a LOCKED HARD SIDED case I need to DECLARE."

davidtdm
December 18, 2003, 05:43 AM
After scouring the boad for info about flying wih firearms, I saw a lot of information. Some of it, while not contradicting other info but maybe incomplete or just usure.

I've put together a pdf file(about 22 pages) containing: (1)Airline information (You can insert your own) (2) TSA Information & (3) The Code of Federal Regulations. (concerning firearm travel and ammunition) . Thanks again to those who posted their experiences.

...Dave

davidtdm
December 18, 2003, 05:47 AM
Sorry, the file is too big. I'll shrink it down a post it later

...Dave

Oleg Volk
December 18, 2003, 11:45 AM
More regulations:
http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1188.xml

Charleton
December 18, 2003, 12:00 PM
davidtdm,

Thanks for the cites. I think I got what I was looking for -- but nowhere near 22 pages worth (LOL). If you're so minded, I'd be glad to get your file offline -- 22 pages worth, even.

Best,

Gene.

davidtdm
December 18, 2003, 12:10 PM
Well I tried to cut the size down but I can't get it under the limit. I'm going to add the stuff to my web site if anyone would like to view it. Hopefully that will be done shortly.

Here are the links: It is a listing of .pdfs. I'l reference the part and sections below.

1. Carriage of weapons,explosives,and incendiaries by individuals. Part 1540 Section 111 (c)
http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/49cfr1540_03.html

2. Ammunition. Part 175.10 (a-5)
http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_02/49cfr175_02.html

...dave

davidtdm
December 18, 2003, 12:14 PM
Charleton,

It turned out with that many pages because I had two copies of each of the regs. 1. as it is written in the actual book and two a plain text file in big pring so if someone were not to beleive what the "real" ones says. I also included the pages for my particular airline.

Call me anal I guess. With my luck I'll get stopped and have to go a round or two with the feds.

...dave

ctdonath
December 18, 2003, 12:43 PM
CALL THE AIRLINE BEFORE YOU SHOW UP.

Shortly after 9/11 I showed up with a G26. I did EVERYTHING TOTALLY RIGHT...but the transit cop spent a half-hour trying every conceivable way to stop me, finally settling on "we are the law of this airport, and you are not taking that with you" (ya want the soundbite? got the whole thing recorded). Had to either leave it in the car or miss my flight.

Call the airline.
Call the airport cops.
Bring all relevant paperwork.
Bring the FAA flight regs & protocols.
Be ready to leave it behind.
GET THERE EARLY.

gaston_45
December 18, 2003, 07:14 PM
I recently flew through Sacramento and saw just how stupid the screening process has gotten. they had a screening station ON THE WAY OUT of the arrival terminal. The reason? You had to walk through a hallway with a door to the outside in it and then go back into the main terminal to exit. A locked door. With a TSA goon guarding it. This is where it gets funny. The two people in front of me were going through the check station and the first guy gets pulled aside for having the chain going from his front pocket to his wallet in true skater fashion. They told him he would have to leave it because it could be used as a weapon, even though he was leaving the airport, not catching a connecting flight. He get pissed, but leaves the chain. Now on to the next guy, he is clean cut, probably military from where we flew from but has a dive light with retractor on it in his bag. They ask him to take it out and look at it, then wave him through. If you have never seen a dive light retractor it is a little spring loaded winch with about 4 feet of thin stainless steel wire, kind of like those survival saws. During the questioning it was revealed he WAS catching a connecting flight but still kept the retractor. Now to my way of thinking a stainless steel wire with handles on both ends is way more dangerous then 2 feet of chain holding a wallet. Way to go TSA, I felt MUCH safer with a skater punk with a loose wallet, thanks for doing your job.

rageman
December 18, 2003, 07:44 PM
Best advice I can give you is to be smart. If the TSA wants to inspect your firearms, have them inspect & lock the luggage in front of you. One of my close friends was arrested for sending his Walther P22 in a hard case with the locks on (but not locked so they could inspect the gun) to the "back" area. Also, he had some airsoft stuff in his bags--a gas M-11 with silencer, and a spring glock with silencer. All were marked with orange. IIRC, the person at the desk told him they would be ok (i dont remember if he had them locked up). He was later arrested for having a weapon on airport grounds (the P-22), carrying a concealed weapon (having the P-22 in a case, unlocked so the TSA could inspect it :banghead: ), and having an unlicensed Class III item (the silencer that was on the glock, none of the other airsoft stuff). ATF confiscated the "silencer" for testing, and I dont believe he got it back--it probably exploded when a real round went through it, if they even tested it. He was lucky though, as his dad is a lawyer and one of his friends agreed to take the case. Then again, when I took some shotguns that my late grandfather owned (a Winchester Model 37 .410 and some old side by side 12 ga) that my grandma gave me back home, I got into a conversation with the TSA guy who was inspecting it about old shotguns and hunting in general, and had no problems.

So, to wrap up my rambling tale: Have them inspect the guns IN FRONT OF YOU.

mattk
December 19, 2003, 10:51 AM
Do not I repeat DO NOT allow any TSA REP to handle your firearm. Its against TSA regs. Not even their Supervisors can handle firearms.
Here is the way it is supposed to work.
1. You declare the firearm to the airline. The airline rep accompanies the case, bag, etc containing the firearm to the TSA screening station.
2. The bag is placed in the Xray machine. If nothing in bag alarms, it is placed into the baggage system.
3. The bag disappears into the blackhole of the airport baggage carosel to be loaded on your plane.
OR.
If something in the bag or case in which the firearms is contained needs further inspection, the TSA reps should examine the item of interest and ignore the firearm.
If for some reason a TSA rep suspects a firearm is loaded after being declared he must then call a LEO(FBI, Local police, airport police) who may handle the firearm.

Ok now cant any TSA person handle a firearm. Simple, according to the government, they arent quilified to safely handle them i.e. no one in TSA has attended a firearms safety class given by the FEDS.
From a liablitly standpoint it makes sense.

Heres the problem:
A bunch of TSA guys are retired cops and military and having a general interest in guns and unfortunately fall victim to their curiousity and just have to ask the passengers with a gun case to open it for inspection when really all they want is to see "whatcha ya got there." What these guys dont realize is that its a pain in the rear to the passagers.

Werewolf
December 19, 2003, 01:49 PM
TSA Regulation:

ยง 1540.107 Submission to screening
and inspection.
No individual may enter a sterile
area or board an aircraft without submitting
to the screening and inspection
of his or her person and accessible
property in accordance with the procedures
being applied to control access to
that area or aircraft under this subchapter.
[67 FR 41639, June 19, 2002]

4th Amendment to the US Constitution

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

So I guess that the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to the TSA? How do they get away with this stuff?

The above TSA regulation operates on the assumption that we're all criminals and that they can search us without probable cause and without a warrant.

I knew that our freedoms were being infringed to a greater degree since 911 but I had no idea that things had gone this far in this country. It's just gonna get worse I suppose - living in the Amerika is going to be more and more difficult as time goes by.

Jeff OTMG
December 20, 2003, 01:16 AM
Werewolf, the constitution still holds. You are not required to fly, the compliance is only required if you fly voluntarily. If you stay in your home, away from an airport, you have nothing to worry about with TSA or complying with that section of the CFR. Now, if something happens after you have complied with all the govt requirements, as I have experienced and Oleg's friends, that is a completely different story.

bfason
December 20, 2003, 03:42 AM
Werewolf, the constitution still holds.

The Fourth Amendment prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures." Measured by this standard, much of the new TSA rules and practices fails. Check out _Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil_ by James Bovard. See espcially Chapter 8, "Groping for Safety" for Bovard's description of airport "security" as political theater. They've confiscated fingernail clippers, cigar cutters, toy robots, and millions of other "dangerous items." One man was arrested after a TSA search found "a tiny lighter with a one-inch folding knife that [the passenger] has bought on the street of Brazil for fifty cents." One time they seized a four-inch plastic GI Joe rifle (http://tinyurl.com/2ceoc) from a 9-year-old child.

US citizens are being detained because their names appear on a do-not-fly list although they have not been convicted or even accused of committing any crimes of violence. Names are added to the list based solely on the political views of the would-be passengers.

The TSA has a penchant for operating in secrecy. It violates the very laws passed by Congress which govern it manpower and budget. It acts like cop, prosecutor, judge, jury and appellate court. It is assuming exactly the kind of arbitrary power that the Founding Fathers warned us against.

We are now being told that in the name of "protecting freedom," we can no longer afford the liberties that we once heralded before the world.

ctdonath
December 20, 2003, 05:02 PM
Jeff:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons ... and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I see no exceptions for air travel in there. Simply put, the federal government has no right to search anyone without a warrant for a specific case as particularly described to and approved by a judge.

What part of "shall not be violated" don't you understand?
Do you have a problem understanding "shall not be infringed" as well?

bfason
December 20, 2003, 05:24 PM
Simply put, the federal government has no right to search anyone without a warrant for a specific case as particularly described to and approved by a judge.

That is simply incorrect. The Fourth Amendment does not prohibit all warrantless searches and seizures; only "unreasonable" ones.

See a recent case on this. Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, United States Supreme Court No. 99-1408 (April 24, 2001).

ctdonath
December 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
bfason:

What part of "shall not be violated" don't you understand?

(Considering SCOUS throwing out "shall make no law" and "shall not be infringed", I don't accept them tossing "shall not be violated" either.)

bfason
December 21, 2003, 12:12 AM
What part of "shall not be violated" don't you understand?

What part of "unreasonable searches and seizures" is unclear to you?

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Werewolf
December 21, 2003, 01:00 PM
bfason stated:
What part of "unreasonable searches and seizures" is unclear to you?

Based on the implied interpretation above then any search and seizure is acceptable even without a warrant. All the courts have to do is say it's reasonable after the fact. The way things are going the bar just keeps getting lower and lower. No Knock Warrants anyone? Eventually any search will be reasonable.

The SCOTUS may have found warrantless searches legit but again (and yes I know my opinion holds no legal weight) the way the 4th reads to me is that a search shall only be conducted if it is both reasonable and has a warrant (the warrant is the official recognition that the search is reasonable). The applicable phrases are linked with an "AND". And is an inclusive word - if I say you and me it means both of us.

The amendment didnt' say you can search a person if it's reasonable or you have a warrant. That would be silly (one could get a search warrant even if the search was unreasonable in that case) in light of the founders' reasons for putting the 4th in the BORs. I.E. prevent the kind of searches the British did on colonials.

Requiring a warrant may prevent a few criminals from being caught but that's the price of freedom. It's either that or live in a police state. The sheeple and our elected officials have decided that they prefer a police state.

ctdonath
December 21, 2003, 06:06 PM
The point of the 4th Amendment is that the reasonableness/acceptability of a search MUST be proven to and accepted by a judge in each and every specific case, as documented by a warrant.

In the case of airports, this means that if I am to be searched for concealed weapons, a judge must sign a warrant specifically stating me as the person to be searched and specifically stating the search is for weapons, plus the reason why there is reason to believe I would have weapons illegally.

Searching me without a warrant and taking my dental floss because it "might be used as a weapon" is the high point of "unreasonable search and siezure".

Jeff OTMG
December 21, 2003, 10:46 PM
The searches are not unreasonable and do not require a warrant. When you fly, you are giving permission for the search. Using your arguement we should not have to declare unloaded firearms while flying because it is an intrusion on our privacy to have the questions asked.

Werewolf
December 21, 2003, 11:15 PM
Jeff postulated that:
The searches are not unreasonable and do not require a warrant. When you fly, you are giving permission for the search. Using your arguement we should not have to declare unloaded firearms while flying because it is an intrusion on our privacy to have the questions asked.

The searches are unreasonable. They're unreasonable because they wrongfully assume prior to the fact that everyone flying is an evil bastard with intent to hijack an airplane. THAT IS JUST WRONG! Even assuming that the searches are reasonable (which they aren't) regardless of what SCOTUS says the 4th is prettly clear. A search must be reasonable AND validated with a warrant. Unfortunately the path down which our nation has trod has erased that meaning and replaced it with something else - something more like one would expect to find in a police state.

I'm sure the government agrees with you concerning consent but then that consent is coerced - PERIOD! In many cases one has no choice but to fly. A coerced consent is no consent.

Sorry but IMO the 4th amendment is being blatantly ignored in the name of security and with increased security comes a greater and greater loss of freedom. Sometimes doing the right thing for the right reasons can lead to the wrong thing happening.

The price of living by the ideals established in the constitution can be very high. It is those freedoms established by the constitution that make us so vulnerable. It's a tough choice - live by our ideals and suffer some attacks or up the anty - turn into a police state and maybe prevent some attacks.

IMO most folks would rather live in the police state than pay the price of freedom. Most folks (or more likely their children) will someday learn the error of that choice.

George Orwell got it wrong. It wasn't 1984 - it'll be sometime in the future to be determined (next 10 years IMO). Everything else Mr. Orwell got right.

davidtdm
December 22, 2003, 11:19 AM
Thanks everyone for their comments . However, It seems that the topic is getting a bit off. Please feel free to start another thread on the constitutionality of the tsa.

I was just wanting to know what other peoples experiences were when they fly with their firearms.


thanks,

Dave

Oleg Volk
December 23, 2003, 12:28 AM
Flew with three pistols last weekend, no problems.

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