1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Questions about airport and guns

Discussion in 'Legal' started by DentThat, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. DentThat

    DentThat Active Member


    I'll be declaring one unloaded handgun in my luggage when I'm traveling this holiday season.

    I already understand the safety procedures such as how the unloaded handgun has to be in a locked hard case and the ammunition in a separate locked hard case

    I'll be traveling from Columbus, OH to Chicago, IL (Midway airport)

    What sort of paperwork do you fill out when you declare a handgun?
    Do I need to SHOW any special paperwork? (receipt of firearm purchcase, etc)

    I read there's a piece of paper that goes inside the gun case.
    Is it just a piece of paper claiming that the gun has been checked and unloaded?

    Does the paper go inside the hard locked case with the gun or just taped to the outside of the case?
    (I know it's not suppose to hang on the outside of your suitcase)

    When I arrive at my destination (Midway airport), how is TSA suppose to view the paperwork if it is inside the LOCKED gun case?

    Thanks! Any help is much appreciated as this is my first time traveling with a handgun and I want it to go as smooth as possible

  2. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    1. You fill out a firearms declaration stating the gun is unloaded. The woman at the ticket counter at O'Hare earlier this year asked to see the gun was unloaded (which they can). I've never had anyone else ask to see the gun. No reciept or permit required.

    2. I believe the ink on the card you put in your gun case has metal in in so they can see the gun was declared if they xray it. This has to be in the gun case. The TSA guys have sometimes precleared my suitcase with the gun was in so no one would bother to xray it.

    3. Goes inside. TSA regs say NOTHING goes on the outside.

    4. When you arrive you pick up your luggage at baggage claim and TSA has no interest in your checked firearm anymore.

    Go to TSA website and print out the regs and have them with you in case someone says you did something wrong. Also check with the airline you're flying as I have heard some airlines don't allow guns in checked baggage. Don't know which as they don't get my business.
  3. Mainsail

    Mainsail Well-Known Member

    I've never heard this before. I flew out of Columbus last week with four boxes of ammunition (no gun though) and TSA was OK with it in my suitcase.
  4. REB

    REB Well-Known Member

    First most airline allow you to transport the firearm and ammunition in the same locked case. You will sign and date a small card declaring the firearm is unloaded and place it in the case or on the outside of the case, it varies from airport to airport so I ask them where they want it.
    It can not be visible on the outside of the suitcase. At your destination you pick up your suitcase as you normally would and no one knows the difference.

  5. DentThat

    DentThat Active Member

    Thank you for the great and thorough responses. This forum does not fail! :)

    What about when I board at Midway airport?
    Do I have to present my FOID card to TSA or the airline?
  6. 45Badger

    45Badger Well-Known Member

  7. gmark340

    gmark340 Well-Known Member

    The ammo can go in with the gun so long as the ammo is in the box or carton it came in when you purchased it or other suitable container. You would want it in something so rounds aren't rattling around, anyway. I avoid the "is it unloaded" question by putting a plastic-coated cable lock through the ejection port and mag well so they can see it is unloaded. The paperwork, as stated above, is your attestation that the gun is unloaded. Again, as stated above, nothing goes on the outside of the case to indicate there is a firearm inside. The paperwork just goes in with the gun. I've had the ticket agent walk the case down to the TSA guys or sometimes call them over, depending on how busy she is. They x-ray it, may or may not want to look inside (if they have to look inside, you open it. Do not give them the keys or combination since they aren't supposed to have access once they check it), and once they are done it should be locked or the combination spun. They do not, after that, get the combination or the keys. Sometimes they put blue tape on the case to signify that it has been checked by them so no one down the line should tamper with it. On the arrival end, it's just a piece of baggage and no one should have any interest in it at all, except for you. I've never had a problem, other than getting a few dings in the hard aluminum case and wondering how hard someone had to work to do that.
  8. DentThat

    DentThat Active Member


    I figured having my gun entirely field stripped would be a good indicator to the airline and TSA people that the gun is unloaded. Is this the smartest method?
  9. subknave

    subknave Well-Known Member

    Look at the TSA website for instructions. I would not field strip it but thats your choice. A question no one has asked is where are you going when you get there? Be VERY careful in Cook County and I would leave it in the locked case until I was out of the chicago area and Cook County just in case I was pulled over for some traffic violation or something. As far as I have seen the Chicago police are NOT very understanding.
  10. everallm

    everallm Well-Known Member

    Full details at the NRA-ILA site.

    I would also recommend reading the Interstate transport of firearms section as well.



    Airline Transportation of Firearms

    To answer questions new airline security procedures have raised for NRA members transporting firearms in their checked baggage, NRA-ILA staff contacted the Office of Security Regulation and Policy at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

    You can transport a firearm in your checked baggage subject to state and local restrictions, but 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 that may apply at this time. NRA-ILA is working toward achieving uniformity and fairness in the rules and regulations that law-abiding gun owners face in their travels.

    While surely few NRA members could forget this, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants to remind all travelers that attempting to bring firearms onto a plane in carry-on luggage is a serious federal violation. This is a “strict liability” offense, and TSA says violators can be, and have been, convicted regardless of criminal intent, or even if they simply forgot they possessed a firearm. TSA is obliged to enforce all the existing laws within its jurisdiction and will do so vigorously.

    Firearms carried as checked baggage must be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container and declared to the airline at check-in. Only the passenger may have the key or combination. Small arms ammunition must be placed in an appropriate container: "securely packed in fiber, wood, or metal boxes, or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. " Under TSA regulations, ammunition may be packed in the same locked container as the unloaded firearm, but airline rules may differ.

    Some airlines, as private businesses, have imposed additional restrictions or requirements, such as limiting the number of guns that can be transported in a single case, or providing different standards under which gun cases may or may not be exempt from excess baggage limitations. Especially for international flights, many airlines follow industry guidelines that limit ammunition to 11 lbs. per passenger. Again, NRA-ILA is working to secure fair and uniform rules.

    Following Congress's mandate that all checked baggage must be screened for explosives, many travelers have become concerned by announcements that passengers should leave bags unlocked to allow hand inspection. This suggestion, the TSA made clear, does not apply to baggage containing firearms. All gun containers must still be locked after they are declared at the ticket counter.

    Checked bags—including those containing firearms—will then be screened for explosives by various means. Depending on the airport, methods may include high-tech "sniffers" that analyze chemical vapors, X-ray machines, trained bomb detection dogs or a combination of these systems. Not all of these methods can differentiate explosives from the gunpowder residues on a fired gun or in loaded ammunition.

    If the screening detects explosive materials other than those associated with ammunition, or if screeners can't determine the exact nature of the alarm, and if all means available (such as X-rays) cannot rule out the possible presence of explosives, TSA screeners, working with airline representatives, will make every effort to contact the passenger so that the passenger can supply the key or combination to open the case, eliminating the need to break locks.

    Cases will not be labeled as containing firearms. That practice was outlawed almost 10 years ago. Federal law now states: "No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm." [18 USC Sec. 922(e)] TSA will warn any airline that is marking cases that it is in violation of the law.

    As always, since some airline counter clerks may have little training or experience in these procedures, gun owners should contact the airline in advance, obtain a written copy of the airline policy from a reservation clerk or the airline's website, and bring it to the airport in order to answer any questions that arise at check-in. For further information, see: www.tsa.gov.
  11. chuckusaret

    chuckusaret member

    Never had a problem flying on Delta. Declared the gun, demonstrated that it was not loaded. Locked it in a Store It lockable pistol safe
    with one magazine of ammo well taped and signed a unloaded weapons document and was on my way.
  12. GHF

    GHF Well-Known Member

    The Full Monty on Airline Traveling

    Having traveled a number of times, here's how I go at it:

    1. Put the unloaded weapon(s) in a lockable hard-sided case with locks only you have the keys to open. TSA locks are not allowed.
    2. Check the airline(s) you are flying on:
      • Determine if the ammo MUST be in boxes OR can fly in loaded magazines.
      • If loaded magazines are permitted, make sure the pouches fully cover the magazines.
      • The round from the pipe(s) must be in a box, not loose.
    3. Secure and protect magazines and ammunition boxes from possible damage.
    4. Put the lockable hard-sided case with the weapon and the ammo/magazines into a cheap, non-descript bag - with clear labeling outside and inside - for checking in. The labeling should be limited to:
      • Your Name
      • Your Cell Phone - if you have one, or your home phone if you do not
      • Your personal email address - if you have one
    5. Other stuff - like shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc, could be in this checked bag also.
    6. Have the rules for the airline in hand when you check this non-descript bag at the airport.
    7. Make sure you have the keys to the lockable hard-sided case with you and you alone (Per Federal Regulations § 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals - http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/tex...v8&view=text&node=49: at all times. You will have to open the lockable hard-side case
      • to demonstrate to the airline that the weapon(s) are not loaded at check in
      • if the TSA wants to see.
    8. Have the serial number(s) and descriptions of your weapons on you, so if they "disappear" you can report the loss/theft immediately to the:
      • airline
      • FAA Regional Office
      • ATF Regional Office
    Other things to consider:

    1. Check www.handgunlaw.us and/or http://apps.carryconcealed.net/packngo/index.php to determine:
      • If you can possess the weapon at all your stops.
      • Where and how you can carry at all your stops.
      • What are the deadly force rules in each state you are visiting.
    2. Have a copy of the Don Young Transportation Letter on hand - http://www.anjrpc.org/DefendingYourRights/us letter.pdf. This covers changing modes of travel - car to plane to car - in a single journey.
  13. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Well-Known Member

    If Chicago is your final destination, you'll be going to jail, as Chicago still has a handgun ban. If you are passing through Midway on your way somewhere else, you'll be ok because of FPA '86.
  14. DentThat

    DentThat Active Member

    My final destination is my parents house which is in DuPage county. Chicago is Cook County.

    Will I be fine?
  15. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Well-Known Member

    Does DuPage have a handgun ban?
  16. larry_minn

    larry_minn Well-Known Member

    IMO if I was flying to Chicago, New York, NJ, etc I would either leave the gun at home or mail it to myself...
    I seldom go into Chicago. (try to avoid the entire state if possible) I make dang sure I do NOT spend a penny in that state (I prefer to support free states)
  17. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    Be absolutely certain to check laws for every airport you will pass through. People have been pulled out in NYC and jailed for handgun possession. In Indianapolis we have a new airport that has suddenly posted signs everywhere that state anyone with a weapon on airport property will be prosecuted. They have not been able to explain how you are supposed to bring a weapon in and declare and fly with it. Some airports now are under the impression that their home state laws do not apply on airport property. Do your home work and be very careful.

Share This Page