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 ...
May 6th, 2010 04:30 PM
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...
May 6th, 2010 04:30 PM
May 6th, 2010 04:34 PM
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.
May 6th, 2010 04:39 PM
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.
NRA Endowment Member
May 6th, 2010 04:42 PM
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 ...
May 6th, 2010 04:53 PM
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.
- know the difference
is a fancy name for crappy fighter
You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know
May 6th, 2010 06:55 PM
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-
NRA Endowment Life Member
May 6th, 2010 07:13 PM
May 6th, 2010 07:25 PM
I've never been asked to show that it was unloaded either...just asked if it WAS unloaded.
Never hassled at the airport.
"That I cannot do."
"Give this to, uh, Clemenza. I want reliable people, people who aren't going to be carried away. After all we're not murderers in spite of what this undertaker thinks."
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
May 6th, 2010 11:50 PM
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.
May 7th, 2010 12:13 AM
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
Originally Posted by MadMac
May 7th, 2010 07:56 AM
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."
Originally Posted by gasmitty
No agent has questioned that or requested further fondling.
Last edited by MadMac; May 7th, 2010 at 11:30 AM.
May 7th, 2010 11:53 AM
+1 same here
Originally Posted by retsupt99
May 7th, 2010 12:12 PM
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.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Ió
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
May 7th, 2010 12:21 PM
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.
Originally Posted by atctimmy
May 7th, 2010 01:30 PM
Originally Posted by Phantoms
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.
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