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Flying with an expensive firearm

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by BobTheTomato, Dec 28, 2012.

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  1. BobTheTomato

    BobTheTomato Member

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    So I am curious about flying with a firearm. Santa brought me a desert eagle for Christmas and I am currently in the process of moving to Texas from PA. I know to fly I would need to lock the case and declare the firearm. I guess my question is should I be worried about my expensive pistol "walking off"? Has anyone flown with an expensive firearm?
     
  2. MrTwigg

    MrTwigg Member

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    You trust the TSA ?

    I'd either drive or ship it to an FFL in the area.
     
  3. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

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    Yes.

    I think there is less handling of luggage compared to parcels.

    Airport security systems are far more sophisticated than UPS / FedEx Depots. It is considerably harder to steal in an airport.

    I pack my firearm in a bright yellow pelican case and lock it to the luggage with aircraft cable.
     
  4. texasgun

    texasgun Member

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    I've flown AA with 5 more or less expensive handguns (incl. a custom shop Kimber, some HKs and a SIG P226 Elite in stainless) when I moved from Dallas to Seattle.

    - get a proper gun case from Cabelas with TSA locks
    - place the gun case into a hard-sided suitcase and put TSA locks on that as well
    - GET ALL the insurance you need. I took $5k insurance out from AA at the check-in counter (wasn't cheap... ) and hope that nothing goes missing.

    alternative: go to FedEx and check out their rules/regulations regarding fire-arm shipments. I do trust FedEx and their packages can be insured and can be tracked AND they are not opened by the TSA. you might be able to ship the gun to your new location. for cheaper than flying with it and it's less hassle as well.
     
  5. Arp32

    Arp32 Member

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    No TSA locks! I once misspoke on here about that and then realized what I said.

    Putting a TSA lock on a Pelican is like leaving the keys in an unlocked car. Only you are supposed to have the key, not everyone with a TSA master...
     
  6. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

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    Good point about the locks, and I forgot that in my post.
     
  7. jj1962hemi

    jj1962hemi Member

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    Our cousin got his elk rifle stolen between O'Hare airport and the airport in Montana. I don't know how he stored it. You could ship it from FFL to FFL (it would probably cost $100, between shipping and trf fees), or from yourself to an FFL (I've done that with a warranteed handgun before).
     
  8. junyo

    junyo Member

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    I'm pretty sure that a lost firearm case sets off a ton more alarm bells than your usual lost luggage. Sturdy case, non-TSA locks, good to go.
     
  9. BobTheTomato

    BobTheTomato Member

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    Hmmmmmm.....I guess my ar-15 will shoot hogs just as dead. I suppose it would be best to wait until I move the family down and drive it. Thanks for the advice.
     
  10. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    I often travel with guns.
    Put the gun in an approved case along with an extra set of locks left unlocked.
    Leave enough room in your luggage if you are taking pistols to slip the locked Pelican case inside your luggage.
    Leave for the Airport with enough time to spend a half hour getting your guns through TSA.
    If you are travelling with a long gun, same thing but I have found that the luggage handlers will give you your case and never look at your ID in most cases. Thats probobly how most long guns get stolen.
    I was a bit upset that they would hand me my case without checking my ID and let them know about it.
     
  11. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    You don't have to do a transfer of a firearm you already own. You can ship it to yourself. Personally, I'd get a Pelican case and fly with it. Not a big deal, people do it all the time.
     
  12. texasgun

    texasgun Member

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    no TSA locks??? Lol..

    you are violating airline and TSA policy with that. also: when you check your firearm you have to walk it over to a TSA guy who will make sure that you have TSA locks and that he can inspect what's inside. without TSA locks the TSA won't accept your gun suitcase.
     
  13. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    Wrong. Check the TSA website, they recommend that you use a lock that only you can access, if they need to get into the case they will page you. You can use a TSA lock if you want but, personally, I don't want anybody accessing my guns without my knowledge or permission (especially the TSA). I've flown numerous times with guns over the last decade and have yet to have an issue with my non-TSA accessible gun case.
     
  14. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    First a DE is not an expensive firearm - a custom made English shotgun is. Follow the airline regs for lockable container and go on your trip - thousands of people do it every single day without hassle

    As top locks, you do NOT use a TSA lock on the gun case itself. If it enclosed in a regular suitcase, that suitcase will have the TSA lock, but the gun can only have a lock that YOU have the key for
     
  15. texasgun

    texasgun Member

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    I still think shipping with FedEx and the proper insurance is cheaper and more hassle free.... FedEx probably ships thousands of firearms every day... every online gun I bought was shipped with FedEx to the dealer and every warranty repair was FedEx as well...
     
  16. Pismopal

    Pismopal Member

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    No TSA locks on gun cases. The TSA does not want anyone but you to be able to open the gun case. This is why you go to the luggage TSA people and let them inspect the item if they need to before putting it on the plane. You will be directed to the TSA people by the gate agent. After this step is completed you will lock the case WITH YOUR OWN LOCK in their presence and then the process is complete. TSA locks are required for all else unless you don't mind the possibility of having a broken lock in the event they need to open your other bags.
     
  17. Chevelle SS

    Chevelle SS Member

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    You trust the TSA......................?
     
  18. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

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  19. Ian

    Ian Member

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    A few months ago I had to travel with a pair of irreplaceable German WWII rifles. I looked into shipping them separately, and concluded that checking them as baggage was more secure, as well as far less expensive. The TSA never asked to look at them, just to have me put the "unloaded" signature card in the case and then lock it up (with locks they did not have the keys to). I had no trouble at all.

    I think the theft of a firearm in an airport would be treated much more seriously than the theft of a gun in the mail. Having had to deal with lost package claims from the USPS and FedEx, I know for sure that if they lost a gun you would basically just be SOL. On an airline, it becomes a federal matter, and hopefully that would at least be more of a deterrent.
     
  20. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    My brother is a sales rep in the industry and flies dozens of times each year with firearms. Never had a problem with guns walking off. Stealing a gun is much worse than an ipad. You're better served with laminated copies of TSA regulations and regulations of the airline you will fly. Most of them do NOT know their own policies and will tell you contrary, technically illegal things. You'll need the printed regulations to firmly, but politely educate.
     
  21. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    So.... you work for the TSA?
     
  22. jmace57

    jmace57 Member

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    Or in my case, the TSA threw my bag on the X-Ray belt (going into checked luggage) ...never noticed the 2 pistols in it. Bag was unlocked...case was unlocked for their inspection. They said "sorry, it's already gone"
     
  23. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

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    No.
     
  24. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

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    As in you can pick up your luggage at your destination?

    How do you know they didn't see the firearms with their search equipment? Firearms in secure stowage are not necessarily a threat. Did you ask for a supervisor?
     
  25. distra

    distra Member

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    I've flown several times with my expensive (to me anyway) shotgun. The best advise is to get a high quality case. For a pistol, I would go with a good Pelican case as these are used for all sorts of sensitive equipment and are not easily ID'ed as a pistol.
     
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