No escaping it!


February 7, 2003, 05:23 PM
Susan and I will have to travel by commercial airline before long.

We have always brought our carry guns in the then-approved mode of "unloaded, breech/cylinder open, with factory ammo in original box/carton, in locked/approved firearms case." That case, when checked by airline employees at the ticket counter was then locked, and they placed a tag on it - and the case then went into your checked luggage, and the suitcase was locked.

The TSA says luggage can't be locked now - so what do you suggest? Anybody got the skinney on the rules for bringing a firearm in your checked baggage? Anybody have current experience?



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February 7, 2003, 05:33 PM
I have no idea!! The only thing I can suggest is seek guidance from your airline!! If you are going to at your destination long and can justify the hassle and expence, you could have them shipped there, to an FFL, ahead of you by next day air!! :rolleyes: :banghead:

February 7, 2003, 05:42 PM
Can you Fed-ex it to yourself at your destination?

February 7, 2003, 05:46 PM
for allowing passengers to transport their firearms. At least they did before 911. Call your airline and ask them directly. They all have been helpful to me in the past. Good shooting;)

February 7, 2003, 05:48 PM
We'll be having to travel across State lines. No way to just mail it to myself.

We are two openly gay women, and we'll be complete strangers in a major city (for that area), staying several days in a decent hotel. I'll be alone while she's in conferences and meetings. Not armed? Out of the question. Our CCW permits will be accepted in that State - so. . .

Maybe I should just write the TSA!


February 7, 2003, 05:53 PM
I talked to one of the TSA agents here a week or so ago and they said that the firearm case should be declared and locked just like before but the outer suitcase shouldn't be locked. He said that you could tape a lock or ziptie to the suitcase and they would put it on after they inspect it.

Disclaimer: This is just what I was told here at the airport I work at, if you have any doubts just walk up and ask the TSA people they'll let ya know what to do.

February 7, 2003, 05:56 PM

Thank you!

I'm writing the TSA now. . .


February 7, 2003, 05:58 PM
Contact the airline(s) that you will be using. Let them know that you've done this before 9/11 and have approved cases. Find out *exactly* what procedures are to be followed. Get a supervisor on the line if the agent doesn't know.

Notice I said "call the airline(s)". If you booked through a Travel Agent don't bother contacting them for info on this. They will just look it up in the airlines on-line info. Trust me, I used to be a Travel Agent in another life. :)

If you can back up that information with something published on their website, print it out and bring with you.

February 7, 2003, 05:58 PM
I spoke with a couple TSA screeners within the last week about this very thing, for similar reasons. (From LAX, but should be national guidelines.)

Guns have to be unloaded (surprise, surprise) and locked in a "hard sided" container. That can be in your suitcase. Ammo has to be in a separate container, in either original packets or boxes specifically made for ammo. I believe it has to be in a different suitcase.

The baggage has to be unlocked with you present for the final check and x-ray whatever. Then, when all is cleared and your bags and firearms are "cleared" (for lack of a better word), the "Unloaded Firearms" tags are placed inside the baggage and you lock it.

Then it is put on the belt to be loaded. Right in front of you. None of the baggage apes downstairs know nothing about your bag except it has been checked and okayed.

Like Denfoote said, check with your airline. Some have different restrictions regarding number of guns and amount of ammo. Call a day or two ahead of time. Get the name of whoever you speak to. Do not try to impress the Security people. I've had a couple of cop friends do the "I'm a cop." routine. (They can't really help it.) It did NOT speed up anything.

February 7, 2003, 06:03 PM
Bring your firearms in a locked case. You declare it at check-in, they have you sign a tag that goes inside the case. The tag is coated with a chemical that is detectable during baggage screening. Airlines usually insure baggage up to 2500. If its worth more, insure it. If they have to break the locks to your gun case, then file a claim and they will have to replace what they destroyed. The check-in usually does not look at your firearm during check-in, this is their chance to look at it. Later, if they need to break the locks, they'll have to pay.

Check the website for your airline and they should have the policy for transporting firearms.

I fly and I lock my baggage, the TSA is seriously delusional in saying that passengers shouldn't lock their baggage. What's next, "please leave your car unlocked while at the airport, if we need to search it, we don't want to have to break a window" It's my property and I'll secure it as I see fit.

February 7, 2003, 07:14 PM
You should read these two threads over at GlockTalk:

Vart works for TSA and is one of the genuine Good Guys™.

The second thread will illustrate that things are still not going too well in our nation's commercial airports (and reinforces the fact that I will NOT fly commercial until sanity reappears in the system).

February 8, 2003, 05:51 AM
I wouldn't bring anything that would cause too much grief to lose.

February 8, 2003, 03:50 PM
Try finding a gun store in the area you plan to travel, call them, and see if, for a fee, you could mail your guns to them, go pick them up when you get there. You could avoid air travel with the guns, but still be able to be armed.

Chris Rhines
February 8, 2003, 03:57 PM
Air travel with guns is not a real big deal. I do so a couple times a year, and have never been blown any more than the usual amount of pseudo-security hassle.

Guns - put them in a hard-sided container and lock it. Put the container in your bag. Seal your bag with a brightly colored zip-tie (brightly colored so that if some sticky-fingered baggage handler cuts it off, you'll notice before leaving the airport.) If TSA wants to cut off the wire tie, they can, but in my experience they don't bother.

Ammo - there's some debate over whether ammo can be in the same suitcase as the gun. If you're taking two suitcases anyhow, pack them seperately. Original factory boxes, etc.

Put the guns and ammo on top of the other suitcase contents, less of a struggle if they want to inspect your guns. That will happen maybe one in five times, and is again, no big deal. Four rules, always.

- Chris

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