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Anyone know anything about flying with a firearm?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by martinc64, Mar 8, 2010.

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  1. martinc64

    martinc64 Member

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    I need to fly from raleigh north carolina to Bangor maine and I need my rifle to get there also.

    Can I just walk into the airport with a gun case and check it in? What about ammo?

    There is one stop in philadelphia.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. D94R

    D94R Member

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    Read TSA's rule and regulations.
     
  3. John Q. Pirate

    John Q. Pirate Member

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    I've done it many times, although with a pistol; never a long gun.

    But yes, you bring the firearm (in a locked, hard-sided case) to the ticket counter and tell them you'd like to declare a firearm. They'll give you a "Firearms Declaration" tag which you sign & date, which goes into the firearm case.

    Depending on location, they'll occasionally have you open the case right there in front of the ticket agent (in order to demonstrate the weapon is unloaded), at which point you slip in the tag, lock it back up, and then go over to TSA (accompanied by the ticket agent), whereupon they open it up again (ostensibly to confirm said tag is present, and never outside your presence), close it up, put it through the x-ray machine and send it on its way.

    This has been my experience, anyway.

    However, D94R's advice is well-heeded. You can find their info here:

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

    Print yourself a copy and bring it with you

    You should also check with the airline and the airport for any additional rules/regulations, or modifications thereto.
     
  4. flyinrob

    flyinrob Member

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    It's not as big a deal as you might think.

    Unloaded, in a locked hard-sided case. They can make a stink about ammo being in the mfg packaging. Obviously read the rules. They change little details all the time.

    I love the expressions on the faces of the reps at the check in counter when you declare the firearm. Some of the agents at O'hare act like you have a live snake and visibly cringe when you show them the gun.
     
  5. tkopp

    tkopp Member

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    Again, not a big deal. You can have up to 11 pounds of ammo in factory containers. If they're in magazines, you need to seal the tops of the magazines to the satisfaction of the TSA agent to prevent the ammunition from coming loose. Weapons unloaded. If you have a rifle case, it will not go through normal baggage handling at the receiving airport but will instead be carried to you (in the baggage claim area) and your ID will be checked before you're given the case.

    Various airlines have limits on the number of firearms you can carry, but nobody's ever counted mine.

    The case itself must have a lock that is not a TSA lock. This means locking latches or a masterlock, with the latter prefered.
     
  6. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    Not to be rude, but a quick search would have brought up numerous threads discussing this exact topic, many with detailed explanations of what has to be done in order to fly with firearms.
     
  7. GHF

    GHF Member

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    How I Go At It

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

    1. Review http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm to understand TSA policies and procedures. Have a copy with you when you reach the airport.
    2. Put the unloaded weapon(s) in a lockable hard-sided case with locks only you have the keys/combination to open. TSA locks are not allowed.
    3. Steps that will make it easier to show that the weapon is unloaded - especially when x-rayed.
      • If the weapon is a:
        • semi-automatic
          • lock the slide open
          • put a cable tie through the barrel and out the breach to show that the chamber is empty
        • revolver, flip the cylinder out
      • Do not put the magazines in this locked case with the gun(s):
      • it invites questions about them being loaded
      • if the gun case is "liberated" from the checked bag by a Criminal Entrepreneur, the lack of magazines frustrates the "Liberator", since the weapon is now initially a single shot one
    4. Check the airline(s) you are flying on:
      • To determine if the ammo
        • MUST be in boxes (plastic reload boxes work)
        • can fly in loaded magazines
      • If loaded magazines are permitted, make sure the pouches fully cover the magazine top where the cartridges are visable.
      • The round(s) from the chamber(s)/cylinder(s) must be in a box, not loose
    5. Secure and protect magazines (separately from the weapon) and ammunition boxes from possible damage.
    6. 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.
      • If possible, develop a way to attach - in a lockable way - the hard-sided case to the piece of luggage it has been placed into.
      • 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
        • NO ADDRESSES, JOB TITLES, ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD BE INDICATED
    7. Other stuff - like shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc, could be in this checked bag also.
    8. Have the rules for the airline in hand when you check this non-descript bag at the airport.
    9. Make sure you have the keys/combinations to the lockable hard-sided case with you and you alone (Per Federal Regulations 49CFR § 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals - http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/tex...v8&view=text&node=49:9.1.3.5.9.2.10.6&idno=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 (a signed form/tag indicating that will go in with the weapon(s))
      • if the TSA wants to see
    10. 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.
     
  8. rha600

    rha600 Member

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  9. WC145

    WC145 Member

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  10. Rickstir

    Rickstir Member

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    Allow extra time. In a busy airport this can be a hassle. I fly out of St. Lous and it is usually not a problem. But coming out of a busy airport like Ft. Lauderdale you need to add at least an hour. I am leaving MO for FL a week from tomorrow. Here we go again!
     
  11. swinokur

    swinokur Member

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    Be careful and check your airline's web site, as not every airline allows 11 lbs. of ammo.
     
  12. Wildyams

    Wildyams Member

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    I'd recommend on spending money on a nice hard case. Kalispel Case hard cases are really nice, probably the last case you'll ever have to buy
     
  13. rha600

    rha600 Member

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    FLL is easy. I live right down the street and have flown with the guns many times. an hour is a bit more than you'll need. Specially if you fly out early in the morning.

    try doing it out of someplace like Philly. :( actually it was still pretty easy but WAY busier.


    BTW,what brings you to SFL?
     
  14. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

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    You should check your airline beforehand. I have flown only with a handgun. I had it in a locked hard case that was in my luggage UNLOADED with the ammo in the factory box. You just walk up to the baggage counter and tell them you have a firearm to declare. Get your firearm box out of the luggage and unlock and open the case. You sign a declaration paper and put it in the case. Lock it and put the case in your luggage. It is that easy. I've never declared a long gun or travled with a lot of ammo...just a handgun and a box of ammo for self defense. I've heard the airlines take good care of your luggage and will do whatever possible to find it if it doesn't get to its destination because there is a gun in it.
     
  15. Ranb

    Ranb Member

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    Alaskan Airlines allows up to 50 pounds of ammo on their domestic flights. I am taking 25 pounds with me to Vegas tomorrow. I have had two problems when flying with firearms the last 20 years. The airline lost a suitcase with several hand guns in it for three days. I got it back intact with no guns missing.

    When I flew to Vegas last year the TSA man did not notice the silencers in my rifle case until he X-rayed it, then he had a problem. By the time I got back to the ticket counter, he had called the airport police and picked my locks open. I ended up showing them my ATF form 1's and educating them on the fact that I did not need a license and there were no WA State restrictions on owning or traveling with silencers.

    Ranb
     
  16. Win1892

    Win1892 Member

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    I've flown with firearms dozens of times and this was my only issue.

    Coming back from the Tulsa show about 5 years ago, I declared 4 old Winchesters and a Smith Model 60. The ticket agent wanted me to open the case and demonstrate that each firearm was in fact unloaded. I suggested we do this behind closed doors to avoid issues with gun shy travelers, but she insisted right here, right now. As I lifted the Model 1876 out of the case, I heard behind me "he's got a gun". Those four words made their way across all the ticket counters in a matter of seconds. I set the gun down and backed away quickly just as 2 armed officers with their hands on their holstered weapons burst through the crowd. I am pretty sure that I would have been in danger had I still been holding that rifle.

    TSA showed up and quickly took control of the situation, admonished the ticket clerk and demanded her supervisor be called "right now!!". We then took the case behind closed doors for a better look.

    Delta 0, TSA 1
     
  17. bottom shelf

    bottom shelf Member

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    No problem. I fly out of RDU all the time with various long guns and handguns. Never had a problem, although I always use Delta. I would imagine all airlines at the same airport would have pretty much the same awareness, so it'll probable be easy.
     
  18. swinokur

    swinokur Member

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    50 lbs? Doesn't leave much room for clothing. Most airlines havea 50 pound limit on baggage per passenger and after that you get charged extra.
     
  19. Ranb

    Ranb Member

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    Money talks. The limit on a suitcase is 100 pounds. Up to 50 pounds it is free or a nominal fee, they charge an arm for 50-75 pounds and an additional leg for 75-100 pounds. Carry-on is for clothes. Can't take the money with you when you die, so you might as well blow it on something worthwhile, like checking hand loaded subsonic ammo that is avalable no where but my reloading bench. Hell, I had to search high and low for 22lr subsonic, and no one was carrying 7.62x39 and 338 rum locally.

    Ever since TSA geared up, I have never seen a ticket agent touch my gun case. When I collapsed under the weight of my gun case near ticketing, she just asked how much it weighed. She did not question my "50 lbs" claim. I had to take my wife's purse out of the suitcase with the ammo in it to reduce it to less than 50 pounds, but I will carry a damn purse to make sure the ammo gets through. :) Sacrifices must be made when leaving the oppression that is WA for a weekend of suppressed gunfire in Vegas.

    Ranb
     
  20. swinokur

    swinokur Member

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    wow-I thought hauling 11 lbs. was a big deal. Guess Not. Unfortuntely when I fly to Vegas, I go on United. They have an 11 lb. limit.

    cool beans. have fun. you're right-you only go around once. Might as well go armed !!
     
  21. sophijo

    sophijo Member

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    flywith a firearms

    Anyone know anything about flying with a firearm?

    Gotta flap your arms REAL hard. :)
     
  22. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Not sure, but I believe that the 11 pound (5kg) limit is per CFR 49 and the transportation of hazardous materials on passenger planes, as there is a total limit for the plane, been 4 years since I read the whole damn thing, and it's in a sub section, but referenced in the UN listing for ammo, main point being, don't violate the airline policy or tsa policy, it will just be a huge pain.
     
  23. Ranb

    Ranb Member

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    That is why I picked Alaskan. Their policy was 50 pounds on domestic flights. I have heard that Allegiant restricts a passenger to 120 rounds of center fire ammo

    Ranb.
     
  24. pittspilot

    pittspilot Member

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    Did it out of LAX one time with a handgun on Southwest. I was concerned but both the ticket agent and the TSA treated the situation as if it were routine and were very professional and polite. Indeed, the young TSA fellow was very friendly.
     
  25. Ranb

    Ranb Member

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    I got home on Monday. Las Vegas handles gun cases a bit differently than SeaTac. The TSA inspects in an unsecure area while TSA in Las Vegas brings the case back to a secure area and requests that you wait 10-15 minutes. This time one of the TSA employees came to me and requested the lock combos to open the case for inspection as the swipes (smears) came up positive for nitro (no kidding!). I was reluctant to give the combos while not being present , but he assured me that the place was well monitored by security cameras. As I did not want to return home without a gun case full of rilfes pistols and silencers, I gave up the combo and the case went on its way a few minutes later.

    The ticket agents as usual do not handle the gun case at all, so it was never weighed. :)

    Ranb
     
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