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Airsoft guns and air travel

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by wannabeagunsmith, May 1, 2012.

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  1. wannabeagunsmith

    wannabeagunsmith Member

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    I understand airsoft guns are NOT firearms, but I would rather ask you guys this question than the various airsoft forums where the average age is 14....

    I will be taking a trip by air to basically the airsoft capital of the US and I am hoping to bring an airsoft replica firearm home with me. I understand they have to be in checked luggage, non-carryon but do airsoft guns have to be in a locked hard-sided case like real guns? Thanks.
     
  2. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Ship it home via UPS. There's no good reason to hassle yourself at the airport.
     
  3. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    What Dr. rob said. Or check with the TSA before you go and maybe get something in writing or see if their regs cover it.
     
  4. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Member

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    Not a firearm.
    Mail it like it was a brick. Heck, mark it "machine parts" :rolleyes:
     
  5. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Member

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    Just curious, wannabeagunsmith, where is this airsoft capital you speak of?

    I've been known to partake of airsoft now and then. :cool:
     
  6. wannabeagunsmith

    wannabeagunsmith Member

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    I'd tell you, but my personal op-sec says no....ok, heck I'll PM you....
     
  7. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    It's not a firearm, so you don't have to deal with any of the TSA BS regarding flying with one. However, good luck convincing the TSA of that. The simplest thing as noted would be mail it to yourself. Barring that, I'd pack it in it's original box, sealed, etc. in your checked baggage.

    -Jenrick
     
  8. ken grant

    ken grant Member

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    The USPS claims an AirSoft
    pistol is the same as a handgun and can't be mailed
     
  9. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Member

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    I've received a couple of airsoft pistols via USPS. :confused:
     
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Technically, you can just throw it in your luggage...heck you could even put it in your carry-on...but, I'll lay you long odds (very long odds) that:

    1. Screening will stop you
    2. They'll have no idea how airsoft is different than a real gun
    3. You're likely to have to leave it, if you haven't left enough time to retrieve your check in luggage and still make your flight.

    I'd even say that having it in your checked luggage will cause a problem, as it looks just like a gun in the x-ray scan.

    As stated earlier, the easiest thing is to just mail it to yourself. Go to the post office and throw it in a flat rate box...you don't have to tell them anything or label it in any special way...just make sure you've drained it of all gas.

    If I had to guess, I'd guess that the airsoft capitol of the US is in Alanta
     
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure the last package I received from AirSoft Atlanta came via USPS also
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd ship it insured so you don't have to lug it, but if you want to bring it back with you keep it in the box and put it in your checked baggage to avoid any conflict with TSA over having something in the cabin with you that could be used to bluff others into thinking you have a real firearm.
     
  13. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Member

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    I'm interested too.
    Cite your source?
     
  14. Jorg Nysgerrig

    Jorg Nysgerrig Member

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    I'm not sure about that. Realistic replicas are prohibited in carry-on baggage and most of the airsoft guns I've seen (except the clear ones) look pretty realistic to me.
     
  15. Gtimothy

    Gtimothy Member

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    With all of the hullabaloo that the TSA has generated recently, I don't know why you would even consider trying to go through an airport with anything resembling a gun. :what: :eek:

    Air soft guns are toy guns that shoot plastic BBs, I get that, but the TSA seems to need very little provocation to flex their muscle. If you are going somewhere to purchase one to play with while you're there, then just ship it back via UPS and be done with it. No need to spend the extra bucks for a locking case to bring it on an airplane.

    I'm just tired of turning on the news and seeing TSA stupidity! :banghead:
     
  16. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Member

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    The TSA actually has very little power other than not letting you board the plane. They can't really do anything besides that other than call and wait for local police.
     
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Sarcasm...forgot the smilie :p
     
  18. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Member

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    They can put you on a list to have your pilot/mechanic/etc. certs revoked with little to no recourse.

    We aviation folks dont like 'em much either.
     
  19. mp510

    mp510 Member

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    Are you sure about that? The most recent USPS regulations clearly say something else

     
  20. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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  21. wannabeagunsmith

    wannabeagunsmith Member

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    Hey all, thanks for the tips!
    Yeah, like that girl they barred from her flight cause a pin on her purse looked like a revolver so therefor it was a "replica". LOL.
     
  22. SeawolfIV

    SeawolfIV Member

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    Just registered to provide an answer from a buddy on my airsoft boards...


    "I travel with firearms all the time...and airsoft quite a bit. You do not need TSA locks for a firearm and it's actually discouraged. If TSA wants to inspect a bag designated as a firearm they will contact the passenger for the combination. Use combination locks not keys you will inevitably misplace a key. Have a couple of spare locks in the box for when they are damaged in transit...you can't get your bag back on the airplane for the trip home without locks and finding locks as you rush to the airport is a pain in the ass.

    Don't buy a $12 gun box and expect it to pass inspection. If it's too flexible and can be significantly separated even with the locks on; they will reject your firearm for transport. It needs to be pretty rigid...ask around and see if you can borrow a Pelican box or something for transport.

    It is a very straight forward process at the airport. Shooting equipment is accepted as checked baggage. All your other gear INCLUDING BBs should also go as checked baggage. Your bayonet in checked bag, no problem, your BBs, no problem, DO NOT bring stuff like fake grenades and mines these are a problem. Fake grenades I won't travel with at all, they are a pretty big grey area that I don't want to have to be the Supreme Court test case on. Don't plan on bringing anything airsofty in carry on baggage...when you are tired or late you will make a mistake and end up with some 'splaining to do.

    The airline you are flying has firearms requirements listed on their websites. Don't bother telling them its airsoft, just declare it as a firearm and do the process...its easier than explaining what airsoft is with 1000 people eyeing the apparent "guns" your transporting. You can have the batteries in the case, I just recommend that they aren't in the gun...it looks funny on xray and they are more likely to want to dig around in there. The "process" entails you opening the box to show the lady at the counter that its a firearm telling her it is unloaded and mostly likely telling her that she needs to give you one of the day glow orange tags behind the counter to fill out since she may or may not know. Then you put the tag in the box, lock it up and tell her you'll stand around until TSA clears your bag, if you don't have to bring it to TSA yourself of course...this also depends on the airport. DO NOT let them tell you the firearms tag goes on the outside of the bag, it does not, it goes on the inside.

    BBs show up as metal due to the barium in them...put these on top of any luggage you have them in so that TSA doesn't have to dig through everything to find them. Over-pack your BBs in a zip-lock bag so that if/when the crappy bag they came in bursts at the seams you don't have BBs all over the inside of your luggage. Do not transport your magazines with BBs in them...especially drum magazines...guess what they look like on xray!

    Have your name, address and phone number on the inside the case as well as on the outside of the case so there can be no question who they should need a contact for a stray bag. Lastly, I very much recommend putting a piece of duct tape on your bag(s) and in big sharpie put the destination airport code on there. Yes, the bag tag has it too but it can be torn off. Doing that has gotten sensitive equipment to the right airport for me on more than one occasion; after that its just a matter of going to the airline office at your arrival airport and saying where's my "lost" bag. This is much easier if it's not at DCA when you are in SFO.

    Your gun box will sometimes though not always show up at the special bag pick up, not the carousel. It really depends on the airport.


    So to sum up when checking a firearm, you must:
    Declare to the representative that you are checking a firearm (If a Security Checkpoint is prior to the ticket counter, you must declare the existence of a firearm to security personnel.)

    Present firearm(s) unloaded and sign a "Firearms Unloaded" declaration. Basically just a little Orange tag that goes INSIDE the box. Do not let them tell you it has to go on the outside, it does not.

    Lock the firearm(s) in a hard-sided, crush-proof container."
     
  23. wannabeagunsmith

    wannabeagunsmith Member

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    Hey thanks a lot....yeah I might just mail it home in a box, instead of all that....but thanks! :) And welcome to THR!
     
  24. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    I wouldn't try to bring it through airport security, unless getting molested via the TSA was my kind of fun. Just mail it like others have suggested.

    It would still be interesting to know TSA's stance on airsoft guns.
     
  25. Panzercat

    Panzercat Member

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    1) We don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter-- It even profiles as a gun, it stops.

    2) A lot of us do. Most of us know the guts of a real firearm versus airsoft/nerf/nintendo gun etc on an Xray, but see bullet #1. The front line has zero leeway regarding the matter.

    3) Maybe. Maybe not. Local police determine if it's ultimately real or fake and the TSA has some say in it. Between the manditory stop and two authority organizations involved, I'd just say save yourself the trouble and recommend against a carry on.

    As far as checked baggage, the airline has just as much say in how it goes as the TSA, so check with them too. But again, unless you have a burning need to have it on site the moment you step off the plane, I'm thinking UPS is less of a hassel. Sure, you'll pay, but I wouldn't want to pay the price of running afoul some policy or human error with my expensive gear.
     
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