Air Travel & Firearms

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by onephxguy, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. onephxguy

    onephxguy New Member

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    Anyone have any solid information or experience in traveling by air with firearms. I understand the need for a disclosed, approved, and locked case. I'm contemplating a handgun hunt next year, and my question is if my disclosed, approved and locked handgun case can be carried INSIDE another larger checked bag? I want to avoid additional bag fees if possible, and also avoid my smalllish case growing legs in transit.

    I've already asked TSA in person at the airport several times on other trips and got three basic answers; absolutely yes, absolutely no, and most scary of all, absolutely maybe depending on who does the screening. In line at the counter is no place to find out.

    Maybe I should avoid the whole mess and just UPS it there and back.

    Any thoughts? Thanks.
  2. HunterAlpha1

    HunterAlpha1 Former Guest

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    i think you need to ship it to an FFL if it's going across state lines.
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    First, Hunter, if you are sending it to yourself, you can ship it directly. No FFL needed because it is not being "transferred". If I wanted to go hunting with you, up in Virginia, I would ship it to Alpo, c/o HunterAlpha1. UPS brings it right to your door. You CANNOT open it. When I get there, I open it and take out my gun. Absolutely legal.

    Second, onephxguy, yes you can. That is the only way I have ever taken a gun on a plane. Put it in one of them little plastic MTM cases (lockable hard case - perfectly legal) and stick it in my suitcase. I also lock my suitcase with a lock that TSA can't get in. Again, absolutely legal. Get there at least one hour before the flight (two is better), and if the clerk squawks, say, "Get a supervisor here, now".

    Printing out the pertinent parts of TSA regs (lockable hard case, locked, only you have the key) comes in handy if you get someone that does not believe.

    I have had one problem, and have probably flown a dozen times with a pistol. Ticket clerk one time insisted that the FIREARMS tag went on the outside of the suitcase. I raised so much fuss that the TSA guy showed up. I told him what she wanted, and told him that was illegal. He said, "You're right, that's illegal. It goes inside". I said, "I know that. Tell her."

    That's the only time.
  4. dons2346

    dons2346 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Here is what TSA has to say. http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

    I have traveled with firearms in a locked container within a suitcase and had no problems. I did have to show the pistol and that it was unloaded and that it was in a locked container.

    I also carried the latest regs from TSA as a backup if they wanted to take the weapon.
  5. Petethefishman

    Petethefishman New Member

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    It's pretty easy really. I fly from Denver to Anchorage every year with firearms. Last time My hard case contained 4 pistols. You have to fill out a little paper and place it inside the case, stating that the firearms are unloaded. As for the inside a suitcase bit, I wasn't allowed to do that. It had to be its own check on, as they screen it after it is locked up and checked. Never had any grow legs and walk off...but i have seen smashed cases and once an actual case flop out on the luggage carousel..followed by a Big shiny Smith.
  6. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    Very easy to do and you can even carry ammo in your checked baggage with the hand gun. Main thing is keep the key close at hand incase you are asked to re-opn for inspection at any transfers. You will need to call your carrier and find their exact regs first, be there early being you have to fill out paper work and show them the hand gun as well as lock it in front of them, and when you arrive you will have to pick up teh baggage with the firearm at a different baggage claim than the normal carrosel (sp0. I flew to Las Vegas and on to Sacremento with 3 hand guns and 4 long guns at one time with no problems at all. Had more problems at the hotel in Vegas than with airline!
  7. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps not germane to this post, but :

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=377885

    "....
    "While in temporary transit through the state of New York in possession of an unloaded, lawful firearm that was locked in a (Transportation Security Administration)-approved safe, he legally declared his possession of the firearm in his checked baggage at the ticket counter as required by law and in a manner approved by TSA and the airline, yet was arrested by port authority for said possession,...."

    Read more: Tea-party leader shocked by arrest on gun charges http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=377885#ixzz1glEvx9cQ

    This is the latest of several "high-profile" cases in NY/NJ metro area airports involving "in transit passengers with firearms" running afoul of local intrepretations of federal/local gun law. >MW
  8. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    The Germans got nothing to do wit it!!!!





    Sorry, couldnt resist......
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    That story leaves a few things unanswered.

    It says "temporary transit through" New York. That would be like going from Maine to California. But if that is the case, why is he telling them he has a gun. You do that when you first get to the airport. He shoulda done that in Maine, and it would not have to happen again.

    I can see two possible reasons for him declaring the gun at a New York airport.

    Either he spent at least one night in New York, intentionally, in which case he BROKE THE LAW.

    Or a plane he was on, that stopped at New York, didn't go on, either because of bad weather or bad plane. In that case he gets his baggage, spends the night in a motel and checks onto a new plane the next day. That's also technically illegal. They arrested a guy in New Jersey for that, a year or so ago. He was flying somewhere and they had to make an emergency landing in New Jersey, and when he tried to get on the new plane, he declared his gun and was arrested for having an unlicensed gun. He beat that rap, but it took a while and a whole buncha money.

    But if that Tea Party guy was visiting in New York, and took along a gun for protection, then he broke the damn law. The law sucks. It's a really crappy law. But it's still the law.
  10. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    My brother used to shoot the three gun matches in Vegas at the SOF outings. He's also been to Africa twice for big game hunts.

    To my knowledge, he's only been bothered once. Firearms locked in one case, ammo in another. The only time he got hasseled was when he had some of his ammo was in magazines (even though it was in a separate locked case). They made him take the ammo out of the mags and put it back in the paper boxes.:rolleyes:

    I guess primers in paper boxes are safer than in metal magazines. :confused:
  11. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You have been given some good advice already, but, I will give you my first hand experience also. As long as you have a lockabe APPROVED case you can take a firearm and you must declare that firearm when you check your baggage. They will give you a tag for your bag that marks it as having a firearm in it and you may carry ammo as well in its original or approved container. I had one TSA cop act a little goofy on me in phoenix, but no big deal. Its perfectly legal. Just follow their guidelines and all is well.
  12. HunterAlpha1

    HunterAlpha1 Former Guest

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    if you want to avoid all the headaches, you can try this one simple trick:

    don't fly! :D

    i know, it's the fastest way to get from point A to point B, but personally i would rather take the long and safe route than the quick and completely disarmed and helpless route. as far as i know, buses and trains haven't outlawed weapons on board, so if you can't drive that far take the bus or train.
  13. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  14. dons2346

    dons2346 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    "They will give you a tag for your bag that marks it as having a firearm in it and you may carry ammo as well in its original or approved container. "

    This is the part that scares me. Having a bag marked as having a firearm radiates STEAL ME
    I know it is the law but I believe that the less known about what is inside a bag makes it less likely to be "pulled aside" for the TSA yahoos to do a further "inspection".
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  15. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    When I was still working, I flew from Louisville to Tampa. When I got to the check-in, I informed them I had a semi-auto .45cal Thompson style rifle. They put it in the captains locker until I reached Fla..
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