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Travelling With Firearms to Domestic & International Locations

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by vasilia zheitseva, Dec 27, 2006.

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  1. vasilia zheitseva

    vasilia zheitseva Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    midwest, usa

    It looks like I will be travelling to some destinations this year through work - A hotel suite will be home for up to 16 weeks at a time. (with humour, someone has to do it, the pay will make my life a lot more comfortable when I come back & It would give me some distance from a disasterous relationship that broke vasila's heart...foolish, but the truth.)

    I'd appreciate some input from experienced travellers on travelling with a firearm. I'm an average female, nothing special to look at, just tall. I will be travelling alone most of the time, especially on the domestic flights. I will have a companion (coworker) on the intenational flights, but I will be rooming alone.

    I have done some research, & I see that travelling outside of the USA does require plenty of written permission, notices, etc. that I will not be able to qualify under since I am a basic civilian working abroad. I am aware I may have other choices available for personal protection once I arrive that I may be able to obtain.

    1) Any clever ideas for protection when you're working in: London? Mumbai (Bombay)? Kingston(Jamaica)?
    2) Some things I've considered are: purchasing a blade or two after I've reached destination for carry - I'm not unfamiliar with them (said with a bland look on my face...:evil: ); refreshing my skills at aikido before I go; a nice cricket bat in London (humor..); even hiring out someone's brother or cousin in Mumbai with said firearm to escort me around for a day or night if I deem it necessary.

    Domestic travel seems to allow firearms & ammo as checked baggage, with many rules attached. The hotel chain I am using has an in-room safe in all rooms. I'm expected to go to California (Chico), Texas, Atlanta, & Florida.

    1) My primary choice will be my Sig Sauer P239. I'm going to put on night sights before I go. And practice more with it, too. Good choice? Or is it a pandora's box? I doubt a shotgun or rifle would be appropriate, please advise.

    2) I will be checking out reciprocal laws on CCW & local laws on firearms before I go. Anything you experienced travellers run into in those states that you would want me to know?

    3) Should I take out an insurance policy on my firearm since I'll be travelling with it?

    *sigh* I'll probably have more questions later, but that's all my brain can come up with for tonight...

    many thanks,

  2. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Utah, inside the Terraformed Zone
    As far as flying domestic with a firearm goes, I've done it several times on Northwest and never once had a problem. It just needs to be in a lockable, crush-proof case, separate from any ammunition (ammo has to be in unopened original boxes, better if they're taped shut). You need to declare it as you're checking in. They're verify that it's unloaded, give you a tag to fill out, and then you put it back in your luggage. Nothing goes on the outside of your suitcase that says you have a firearm in there.

    Hell, I even lost my luggage once with a gun in it. Sent my suitcase to San Jose instead of Salt Lake City with my old Model 57 in there. Got it back the next day.

    Don't know if the rules have changed, but the last time I flew with a pistol was February of 2006, and I had no problems.
  3. Travis McGee

    Travis McGee Member

    Jan 12, 2003
    NE Florida
    Hmmmm.....tall, basically unafraid female, with Aikido training and handy with a knife....I'd say you are good to go!
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    There are so many problems involved that I would not even consider it unless I had valid reasons to have the gun (travelling to matches, travelling to a state where I have a residence, etc.) and have done all the homework and paperwork. Landing in some states (NY, NJ, MA) with a firearm will get you in trouble, and the airline may/will notify the authorities that you have checked a handgun. At best you will be detained and harassed and it is likely the gun will be confiscated. At worst, you can be sent to prison.

    International, even assuming you could get the gun on the plane, landing in most foreign countries with a gun will get you into BIG trouble. Customs agents do check baggage, and often like to really dig into women's luggage. In most countries a gun in your suitcase can get you a mandatory prison term; at least at one time, the penalty for smuggling arms in some countries was execution. Fortunately, I have no experience in that area, but suspect neither is any fun. And forget about the U.S. sending the Marines or the ambassador to get you out. If you violate the laws of a foreign country, you pay the penalty, just like a foreigner does here.

    I recommend you brush up on your unarmed combat, and forget about carrying a weapon. I have been in quite a few foreign countries and honestly never felt threatened or wished I was armed. (I have never been in Iraq, though.) I do try to blend in as much as possible (impossible in many countries, of course), avoid trouble spots, and not make waves. No loud demands in English, no drunken arguments over cab fare, no proclaiming to the world how bad the country is and how the U.S. is better, etc. If possible, go about and dine with a male companion or co-worker. In most countries, taxi service is OK, and public transport is safe (though often, well, interesting). Even where there are anti-American elements, they usually do not target individual Americans.

    If you care to list some of the countries, you might get more info. In most of Europe, you will be unlikely to have any problems. In most of the Middle East, keep to western areas, and dress modestly. You don't need to go to a burkha, but prancing down the street in a thong bikini is a no-no. In most of Central and South America, even in areas where the government is anti-American, Americans are seldom bothered or attacked.

    In Japan, Australia, NZ. and the Philippines, dress and act pretty much as you would at home. In China, I don't know, never having been there.

    Go to the State Department web site,


    for travel advisories on the countries you will visit.

    But defiitely, leave the gun and knife at home.

  5. GHF

    GHF Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Orlando, Florida
    As Far As Checking Guns on the Plane

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

    1. Put the unloaded weapon(s) in a lockable hardsided case with locks only you have the keys to open. TSA locks are not allowed.
    2. Check the airline(s) you are flying on, and 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. Secure and protect magazines and ammunition boxes from possible damage.
    3. Put the lockable hardsided 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
    4. Other stuff - like shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc, could be in this checked bag also.
    5. Check this non-descript bag at the airport. Have the rules for the airline in hand.
    6. Make sure you have the keys to the lockable hardsided case with you and you alone at all times. You will have to open the lockable hardside case to demonstrate to the airline that the weapon(s) are not loaded at checkin, and if the TSA wants to see.
    7. Have the serial number(s) and descriptions of your weapons on you, so if they "disappear" you can report the loss/theft to the airline, local police and the ATF immediately.
    Other points to ponder:
    1. Can you possess the weapon at all your stops.
    2. Where can you carry and how at all your stops. Check www.handgunlaw.us and www.packing.org.
    3. What are the deadly force rules in each state you are visiting. Check www.packing.org.
    4. Have a copy of the Don Young Transportation Letter on hand - http://www.anjrpc.org/DefendingYourRights/us letter.pdf. This covers changing methods of travel - car to plane to car - in a single journey.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2006
  6. shooter503

    shooter503 Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Travelling by taxi.

    In many asian countries the only cabs that are permitted to pick up at hotels are hotel approved. Basically, if you get a taxi at the hotel doors you are probably getting a trustworthy cab company. Returning to the hotel is another problem. The safest thing to do is to find out from the hotel which cab companies are safe. They will usually have distinctive colored vehicles. Use those cabs only.

    Places like Singapore and Hong Kong are safe. Singapore at almost any time. Hong Kong unless you end up in a seedy area at the wrong time. China is safe almost any time in the main streets of the cities.

    Unfortunately, you mention Bombay. You will be continually approached by the most pathetic spectacles on Earth. It takes strong will power not to give money. If you do give money you will attract a crowd of beggers all touching you holding on to your clothes and pleading - not fun. The pick-pockets move in with the beggars.
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