Airport Silliness

Airport Silliness

This is a discussion on Airport Silliness within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was waiting in the first class line at San Diego airport for my flight back to the east coast. My NC CHP does me ...

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Thread: Airport Silliness

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
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    Airport Silliness

    I was waiting in the first class line at San Diego airport for my flight back to the east coast. My NC CHP does me no good in CA, so I didn't need to check in my ccw as I didn't have it with me.

    The middle-aged guy in front of me in line leans forward and tells the agent he is checking a handgun. She hands him the orange tag, then says she has to see the gun is unloaded. This seems to surprise the guy. He struggles to pull a large plastic box out of his bag, then fumbles with a key to open the big brass lock.

    He shows her his Glock. Magazines are next to it in the padded case. She says, "I need to see that it's unloaded." So this guy proceeds to rack the slide while pointing the gun at her legs. I was aghast. I blurted out, "Careful, there, dude."

    He looks over his shoulder and gives me a dirty look. I then told him I use a empty chamber indicator, and it's a lot safer than racking your Glock while pointing it at the check-in agent. I didn't mean to be a smart-aleck, but he had all the right gear, but didn't seem to show much sense. He softened a bit once he knew I fly with a ccw, so I told him I thought some of the rules silly as well...


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Thanks MadMac. It truly is amazing how many stories are out there on unbelievably stupid handlings of firearms. It is so basic but apparently very difficult to understand. Sure does not help the 2A folks.

  3. #3
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    Don't expect a ticket agent to understand the meaning or symbolism of an empty-chamber flag.

    If the guy shot you a dirty look, he was probably just nervous about what he was being asked to do. Your point about muzzle discipline is a good one, though.

    My favorite experience was when I was commuting to AZ and was migrating the defensive toys to the new home. I opened my heavy steel lockbox to show a 1911 in a Summer Special and a .38 snub in a pocket holster. The ticket agent looked up at me with a smile and asked, "Criminal justice?" I said nothing, just smiled back at her, showed empty/clear, and buttoned it all back up. We both were happy.
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    Member Array MN2Go's Avatar
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    I'm certain your input helps him next time. Thank you for straightening him out.

    But for the agent to demand the guy to show an empty gun at the counter is just ridiculous. What if the gun was loaded and the guy nervous and an accident happened? The procedure requires to be overhauled ... In reality, what is wrong with a loaded gun in a case that is inside your luggage?

    I hate to fly anymore ...

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Yeah...my response (if I was the guy with the Glock) would have been....mind your own business.

    However, I usually run a zip-tie down the barrel through the action so that it is obvious it is unloaded. Given that the passenger rep asked him to show clear, there wasn't a clearing barrel available, and the guy wanted to be low key about it, there was no where else to point it...Can you imagine the hue and cry if this guy tried to point it in a "safe" direction surrounded by people?

    You're right--the empty chamber indicator was the way to go....BEFORE he got to the airport.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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  6. #6
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    This is why I laways put mine in the case with the slide locked open. Of course I never have been asked to take it out to show anyone either though.
    "Those who would give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety" -Benjamin Franklin-
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Don't expect a ticket agent to understand the meaning or symbolism of an empty-chamber flag.
    +1 And as far as muzzle discipline and checking unloaded, I remember catching part of the old TV show "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol" I cringed as he lifted the gun pointed it at is face and looked down the barrel to make sure there wasn't a round in the chamber I actually went on the couch as he did it. I haven't had to fly with a firearm yet, however most new handguns do come with a cable lock that goes through the barrel and keeps the slide from closing, I'd imagine this would make it easier to present that it's clear without having to manipulate anything in front of any that might remember seeing it in a movie and think you're trying to load the gun. As was said having it taken care of before you get there can be preventative and keep the jitters from causing a mistake.

    I certainly can see the airline wanting to check that it is unloaded as cases aren't required to stop a bullet, and there's some firearms that could under extreme circumstances discharge if the bag is dropped on the tarmac or there is extreme turbulence. Is not one of the 4 rules that a gun is always loaded. So I can see from a liability and ND prevention measure that the airline would want to verify such information.

    Between your advice, and just gaining the experience of going through it all, I'm betting his next experience will go much smoother.

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    I've never been asked to show that it was unloaded either...just asked if it WAS unloaded.
    Never hassled at the airport.
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    Member Array JasoninSD's Avatar
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    If I remeber correctly the TSA regs were changed a few years back and you should only be asked if it is not unloaded, not asked to demonstrate. But of course the rules are subject to different interpretation or misinterpretation at every airport.

    I was once flying on Midwest out of Orlando and was declaring a handgun. The ticket guy asked me to open the case and when I did he grabbed my SW 638 and began fumbling with it trying to figure out how to open it. All the while he had it pointed at my chest. I took it from him and politely explained which end was the dangerous end and opened it to show him an empty cylinder. After the flight I contacted Midwest corporate and they tracked the situation down. Seems the ticket guy had recently gotten his FL CCW and assumed he was well qualified to start waving a revolver around while trying to figure out the controls.

  10. #10
    Member Array Vinixd's Avatar
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    Airline

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMac View Post
    I was waiting in the first class line at San Diego airport for my flight back to the east coast. My NC CHP does me no good in CA, so I didn't need to check in my ccw as I didn't have it with me.

    The middle-aged guy in front of me in line leans forward and tells the agent he is checking a handgun. She hands him the orange tag, then says she has to see the gun is unloaded. This seems to surprise the guy. He struggles to pull a large plastic box out of his bag, then fumbles with a key to open the big brass lock.

    He shows her his Glock. Magazines are next to it in the padded case. She says, "I need to see that it's unloaded." So this guy proceeds to rack the slide while pointing the gun at her legs. I was aghast. I blurted out, "Careful, there, dude."

    He looks over his shoulder and gives me a dirty look. I then told him I use a empty chamber indicator, and it's a lot safer than racking your Glock while pointing it at the check-in agent. I didn't mean to be a smart-aleck, but he had all the right gear, but didn't seem to show much sense. He softened a bit once he knew I fly with a ccw, so I told him I thought some of the rules silly as well...
    Not that it matters at this point but I was wondering what Airline you were flying? Might be interesting to see what their company website says about checking in... Again it is a done deal but the rest of us might make take notes... Thanks

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Don't expect a ticket agent to understand the meaning or symbolism of an empty-chamber flag.
    Agreed, but my experience is that since it looks like a safety feature (being orange, plastic, and with the little flag) all I have to say is, "This orange doodad means it's been inspected and is assured of being unloaded."

    No agent has questioned that or requested further fondling.
    Last edited by MadMac; May 7th, 2010 at 12:30 PM.

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    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    I've never been asked to show that it was unloaded either...just asked if it WAS unloaded.
    Never hassled at the airport.
    +1 same here

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    I think if the idiot ticket agent wants to be sure the locked up gun is unloaded then she deserves to be swept by the muzzle a few times. I know I would be very uncomfortable unlocking, removing from case and showing a weapon at the ticket counter.
    I havenít heard any of the journalists who volunteered to be waterboarded asking to have their fingernails wrenched out with pliers, or electrodes attached to their genitals.

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    Member Array Phantoms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I think if the idiot ticket agent wants to be sure the locked up gun is unloaded then she deserves to be swept by the muzzle a few times. I know I would be very uncomfortable unlocking, removing from case and showing a weapon at the ticket counter.
    Someone else asking you to do something you don't want to does not give anyone the throwout safe handling and being a responsible gun owner.
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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoms View Post
    Someone else asking you to do something you don't want to does not give anyone the throwout safe handling and being a responsible gun owner.
    I agree.

    Removing the slide from the Frame seems to be a pretty clear indicator that it's unloaded, and most bottomfeeding handguns can be re-assembled pretty quick in the seat of a rental car.

    Biker

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