Another TSA story


July 30, 2004, 02:45 PM
I flew on United Airlines from Charlottesville, VA to Seattle, WA yesterday with two handguns and 60 rounds of ammunition. Both handguns were in locked cases and were enclosed in a locked "expedition" duffel bag. The ammunition was in the manufacturer's boxes and was locked in a suitcase. I carried on my person a copy of the airline's rules, a copy of the TSA's regulations, and some material printed from the NRA-ILA website. Finally, I arrived at the airport about half an hour early to allow time for resolving any problems.

Check-in at the airline ticket counter went smoothly. I then carried my bags over to the JBTs at the TSA baggage check station and, expecting the worst, alerted them to the firearms and ammo. They had me unlock the bag with the guns in it, asked me to step away, and then......conducted a quick search, showed me that the lock had been re-locked, did a quick swab for the bomb-sniffing machine, and sent me on my way. Total elapsed time was about 3 minutes. They did not ask me to unlock the actual gun cases. Now, I know that the Charlottesville airport probably isn't typical, and I would have been mighty upset if anything had happened to those guns, but these guys actually impressed me with their no-nonsense, professional approach to the whole thing.

I know this thread won't get a lot of hits -- good news isn't interesting -- but these guys obviously had the proper training and attitude to do their job well. Kudos to them and their supervisor.

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July 30, 2004, 03:04 PM
You were happy with the way things went down, yet you still felt the need to call them JBTs?

Anyway, I'm glad things went smooth for you, and you and your guns arrived safely at your destination. I hope your trip to VA was enjoyable.

July 30, 2004, 03:11 PM
DMF, that was said with tongue planted firmly in cheek. (Can't we get a smilie for that?)

July 30, 2004, 03:14 PM
Glad to hear it went well for you. I'll be flying from WI to Lafayette, LA this winter and hope that it goes as well.

July 30, 2004, 03:46 PM
I dunno, Unisaw: some of the LEOs around here are pretty sensitive to that JBT sobriquet--maybe a "winkie" smiley next time, huh?

TFL Survivor

July 30, 2004, 03:48 PM
Good idea. I am extremely pro-LEO (thought seriously about it as a career) and wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea.

July 30, 2004, 04:21 PM

I live in Lafayette, LA and have flown out with handguns in checked baggage several times, once right after 9-11. No problems at all. We have a LOT of hunters and such in South Louisiana, and a mostly pro-gun attitude, so the TSA employees appear to be used to it.

Last time I flew out, late April '04, I declared my weapon at the ticket counter, signed the orange card delcaring the weapon and confriming that it was unloaded, locked the gun case, and closed the bag. They told me not to lock it, since the TSA would inspect it next.

They sent me to the TSA table where the quite friendly TSA agent opened the bag in front of me (I advised him of the weapon beforehand and he only nodded), inspected the bag, tested for explosives, watched while I locked the bag, put a tag saying it had been inspected and sent it on its way.

Arrived at my destination with everything intact.

Can't say as much upon my return from Tucson, AZ. Some hassle there, but that is a story for another time.

Good luck, Godspeed, and welcome to "The Heart of Acadiana".

BTW: We just opened a private 300 meter rifle and 75 yard pistol range about 30 minutes outside of Lafayette. Send me an email and maybe you can be my guest.

We also have a 25 yard indoor range in north Lafayette (Barney's) that is quite nice and reasonable.

Stay well, stay safe, stay armed. Yorktown (Courtesy of the late "Harpseal" of


July 30, 2004, 05:56 PM
DMF, that was said with tongue planted firmly in cheek. (Can't we get a smilie for that?) There was no smiley in your initial post so I had no idea it was a tongue in cheek reference. I have seen so much cop hating here lately, I find it hard to see that term as anything other than an insult, unless there is some indication that it's delivered in jest. Sorry I mistook your joke. :cool:

4v50 Gary
July 30, 2004, 06:23 PM
On our return flight from Louisville, we had a positive experience with TSA. My uncle almost went through the check point with his Swiss Army knife and realizing his oversight, we ran back to the baggage counter. We explained it to the TSA folks who cheerfully retrieved his luggage (it had not gone downstairs yet) and inserted his knife. Kudos to TSA in Louisville.

BTW, whenever I take wood carving chisels (check-in), they want to see what they are as it looks like "darts" to them.

I have a horror story to tell, but that will have to wait.

July 30, 2004, 06:36 PM
Well from a LEO perspective TSA has always been very helpful, and professional with me when flying armed, or when transporting in luggage. However, the airline folks can be hit or miss.

Just my 2 cents. YMMV.

July 30, 2004, 06:53 PM
Good idea. I am extremely pro-LEO (thought seriously about it as a career) and wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea. Except TSA types are not commisioned LEO's.

FWIW the TSA and their government authorized intrusions into folks lives at OUR airports is little better than that of the Gestapo in NAZI Germany - no matter how civily one is treated. A pile of dung that smells like a rose is still a pile of dung.

AND yes I am serious.

Walk into an airport and one instantly becomes a criminal with no right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. No right to be free from self incrimination. No right to free speech. I won't even address the RKBA since that died 70 years ago.

Walk into an airport and 3 of one's fundamental rights are essentially tossed into the trash - all in the name of public safety. Personaly I'll take my chances of a hijack over being treated like a criminal every time I want or need to fly. Which is why I don't fly anymore. Being treated like a criminal by a government I support with a lot of my tax dollars is more than I can bear.

July 30, 2004, 06:59 PM

You are entitled to your opinion and I'm glad you have the option to not fly commercial.

July 30, 2004, 07:11 PM
And so it begins again......:rolleyes:

I've said it before, when it comes to airtravel getting through the TSA checkpoint has typically been the smoothest part of the journey for me. We usually hear one said of somebody's allegedly bad experience and the whole agency and process gets slammed. I'd love to know how many guns "travel" daily. If even 2 or 5% of the flying population is traveling with a firearm, thats a heck of a lot of checks that nobody hears about.

As for the soon to be complained about "ignorance of rules" by TSA employees, maybe, maybe not. How we interpret the rules may be different thann their interpretation, and I am pretty certain who is gonna win the first round.

July 31, 2004, 02:55 PM
Last September, flew Northwest, Detroit to Washington, then Washington to Alaska on Alaska Air. Round trip with a handgun and ammo. No problems.
I was worried because it was my first time flying with a handgun in checked baggage.

Westland MI

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