Flying with a handgun


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creighton1
July 7, 2004, 07:21 PM
I'm hoping someone can provide some insight for me. I plan on taking a handgun with me on a trip I'm taking to Wyoming. Problem is I'm flying, not driving. I've called the airline and have been told I need to have the gun (unloaded of course) in a hard-sided case with a lock. My question is: is the plastic case the gun was shipped from the manufacturer in (already equipped with a ring for a lock) sufficient, or do I need to purchase something more substantial? Although I would prefer something more substantial, this trip was a last minute affair (leave tomorrow morning) and I may not have time to purchase something else, so I just need to know what is considered sufficient.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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kulika
July 7, 2004, 07:42 PM
Creighton--

I do not know about the case, but be sure to keep the key in your possession at all times. I read in another posting where they tried to inspect one gun owner's weapon outside of his presence and that apparently is against federal regulations. Be sure to check the federal transportation authorities regulations by websearch. It is my understanding that you are not to surrender the key and they must inspect with you present. You may also want to print the regulations and take a copy with you since you may encounter a bureaucrat that is more full of their own self-importance than a good knowledge of their own rules. You may also need to leave yourself extra time to go through airport inspection.
Please let us know how your experience goes.

Fly320s
July 7, 2004, 07:44 PM
Yes, the OEM plastic case is sufficient. That plastic case should be packed in your checked luggage, as opposed to being checked by itself. Some airlines may require you to use a hard-sided suitcase as well, but considering that most luggage is of the soft-side variety, that will probably not be required.

Also, if you are taking ammo, leave the ammo in the original cardboard packaging.

Go to the airport early since you may need more time to check-in and go through the TSA procedure.

Good luck, good shooting.

Rob62
July 7, 2004, 08:26 PM
Here is some great info about flying with guns that someone else has put together.

-------------------------
Flying with firearms and the TSA

I pretty much fly every weekend and so far the only airport that has had the TSA inspectors BEHIND the ticketing area has been in Indy. I ALWAYS fly with firearms, at least two handguns if not more. When the TSA inspector is outside the ticket area it is no problem for me to stand there while they do the search, whether manual or with the CAT Scan machine, wait for the okay and head off to security. I flew out of Indy on Thursday. As usual the bag disappears, the counter clerk calls TSA to let them know that guns are on the way and I wait for the call that everything is okay. I get a call that they want to do a manual inspection and want me to send the keys and combination down to TSA. No way, no how. That is a violation of federal regs. From this day forward I will carry the pertinent regs with me when travelling and I suggest that you do the same.

From the FAA:
http://www2.faa.gov/avr/AFS/FARS/far-108.txt
or
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi...1&TYPE=TEXT
This is the Code or Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 14, Chapter I,
Sec. 108.11 Carriage of weapons.
(d) No certificate holder may knowingly permit any person to transport, nor
may any person transport or tender for transport, any unloaded firearm in
checked baggage aboard an airplane unless--
(1) The passenger declares to the certificate holder, either orally or in
writing before checking the baggage, that any firearm carried in the baggage
is unloaded;
(2) The firearm is carried in a container the certificate holder considers
appropriate for air transportation;
(3) When the firearm is other than a shotgun, rifle, or other firearm
normally fired from the shoulder position, the baggage in which it is carried
is locked, and only the passenger checking the baggage retains the key or
combination; and
(4) The baggage containing the firearm is carried in an area, other than
the flightcrew compartment, that is inaccessible to passengers.

Note: The 'certificate holder' is the airline.
Note: 108.11, (d), (3) specifies only for handguns does this apply, but as we will see according to the actual TSA regs it applies to all firearms.

And for the regulations that apply to the TSA folks (which they did not know and you would think that they would) It appears that 14 CFR 108 has been recoded in 49 CFR as follows:

This is the reg that applies to the individual travelling:
CFR Title 49, Subtitle B, Chapter 12, Part 1540, Section 1540.111
or more commonly referred to as 49CFR1540.111

http://squid.law.cornell.edu/cgi-bi...1&TYPE=TEXT

TITLE 49--TRANSPORTATION
CHAPTER XII--TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
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.


This is the reg that applies to the screening of the baggage for the TSA to follow:
49 CFR 1544.203
http://squid.law.cornell.edu/cgi-bi...3&TYPE=TEXT

TITLE 49--TRANSPORTATION
CHAPTER XII--TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
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
(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,.

Note: Here the rules are for any firearm, not just handguns as found in the FAA regs under 14 CFR 108.11.

Here is the FAQ on the TSA website:
http://www.tsa.dot.gov/public/faq.jsp or http://129.33.119.130/public/faq.jsp

Can I still transport a firearm in checked baggage? Subject to state and local restrictions on transporting firearms you may still transport a firearm in your checked baggage. However you should first check with your airline or travel agent to see if firearms are permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. Ask about limitations or fees if any that apply. Firearms carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded packed in a locked hard-sided gun case and declared to the airline at check-in. Only you the passenger may have the key or combination. Ammunition may be packed in the same locked container as the firearm so long as it is not loaded in the firearm. Small-arms ammunition must also be declared to the air carrier and placed in an appropriate container ? securely packed in fiber wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amount of ammunition. In addition small-arms ammunition must also be declared to the air carrier and placed in an appropriate container: "securely packed in fiber wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition." Ammunition may be packed in the same locked container as the firearm so long as it is not loaded in the firearm.

creighton1
July 7, 2004, 09:03 PM
I may be slightly more confused now than I already was. I was under teh impression I needed to check the handgun as a separate piece of checked baggage. However, after reading some of the posts, it seems that I should be packing it, in the locked, hard-sided case, within another piece of checked baggage, a suitcase for example. Am I missing something, or maybe if varies from commerical carrier to commercial carrier?

Thanks for all of your replies.

Rob62
July 7, 2004, 09:25 PM
The way I understant the regulations (wich may vary by carrier) is that a handgun must be transported in a locked container approved for firearm storage. A inexpensive example of this would be a Doskill or Pelican brand case.

Once inside this locked case the handgun (still in case) then *may* be further placed inside your suitcase. Many airlines will also require that this "outer" case also be locked. Placing your locked handgun case inside your bigger suitcase is a smart move IMO - there's less chance that it will get stolen.

In any event the best bet is check with the airline prior to your travel. If you have any problems at the check in counter, one person that should be able to help you is the airlines G.S.C. (Ground Security Coordinator) Ask to speak to him or her about any problems. The GSC's I've dealt with have been uniformly knowledgeable.

HTH,

Rob

gbran
July 7, 2004, 09:39 PM
I flew to Alaska from CA for a vacation. Took my pistol. I put the unloaded pistol in the OEM hard case and a box of ammo in a second hard case. I put matching locks on both cases and put both in my suitcase. I did not lock my suitcase and kept the key in my pocket.

I went to the check-in counter and told them I was declaring a firearm. They gave me a form to sign and told me to put it in my firearm care. Then my luggage was sent behind the counter. I was told to stand by with the key. A TSA person did come and ask for my key, then opened the firearm case.....did not touch the gun, relocked it, retuned the key.

No problem at the other end, no special procedures, just grab your bag and go.

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