My experience traveling through Hartsfield Atlanta Airport

This is a discussion on My experience traveling through Hartsfield Atlanta Airport within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was headed from Atlanta to Philadelphia for an extended business trip and being that Pennsylvania has reciprocity with Georgia I decided to take a ...

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Thread: My experience traveling through Hartsfield Atlanta Airport

  1. #1
    Member Array DurrtyBoy's Avatar
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    My experience traveling through Hartsfield Atlanta Airport

    I was headed from Atlanta to Philadelphia for an extended business trip and being that Pennsylvania has reciprocity with Georgia I decided to take a couple friends with me. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the whole transaction went.

    I carried my ammo in its original containers in a separate checked-in bag. I chose a M&P 40c and LCP and carried both, unloaded in the M&P's case secured with a Masterlock. The AirTran rep asked where was the ammunition, I told her in the other bag. She could see they were both unloaded with the slides locked back. With the case unlocked, she placed a red tag on top and had me sign it stating it was an unloaded firearm and then she sent me to TSA.

    The TSA agent then confirmed it was unloaded, commented on the beauty of the M&P, then taped the red tag to the top of the case with a TSA Inspection sticker. He then let me relock my case and my luggage and off to Philly I went!

    Hopefully the return trip will be just as uneventful.

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  3. #2
    Member Array broknindarkagain's Avatar
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    I flew recently from Atlanta as well. I didn't have any problems at all checking in my pistol. I had my pistol in its original box, and ammo in its box packaged together in a small safe that I put in my normal check in luggage. They didn't seem to have a problem with it. They never even asked me to open it for them.

    The return trip from Austin was a little more of a hassle though.
    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

    Smith & Wesson M&P9c

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    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    So the case was inside a suitcase? I ask because of the "red tag"-- supposedly, there is not supposed to be any external marking showing there's a gun inside, right?

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    That is correct.
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    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    I would be concerned about any external markings indicating the presence of a gun. Outta site, outta mind might help reduce any temptations while it is out of your sight.

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    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    So, can someone explain: the idea is that you check in, show them it's clear, lock it away, and it immediately gets x-rayed. Then, there is some kind of generic designation that the luggage has been checked and cleared, and that's why they don't ever need/try to look inside again?

    Because, what I don't understand is, say you were just locking your suitcase. Wouldn't the fact that you had an uncuttable/non-TSA lock still be a pretty good indication to someone that there's a gun inside?

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    It's the container with the firearm in it that get's tagged to show that it has been inspected, not the suitcase. There are no marking on the suitcase itself to indicate there is a firearm in it.
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

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    Member Array merlin82plus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    So, can someone explain: the idea is that you check in, show them it's clear, lock it away, and it immediately gets x-rayed. Then, there is some kind of generic designation that the luggage has been checked and cleared, and that's why they don't ever need/try to look inside again?

    Because, what I don't understand is, say you were just locking your suitcase. Wouldn't the fact that you had an uncuttable/non-TSA lock still be a pretty good indication to someone that there's a gun inside?
    The suitcase has a TSA lock on it - so TSA can get inside if they need to. The gun case inside the suitcase has the non-TSA locks. Typically the airline folks will take you from the counter directly to the TSA guys who x-ray your bag while you wait nearby. That way if they need to inspect the gun case, you are there to unlock it for them. Once it clears the x-ray machine, it's probably headed to the baggage handlers.

  10. #9
    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    Well, according to this video (Deviant Ollam - Packing & The Friendly Skies on Vimeo) and as I read the language on the TSA website, there's nothing stopping your suitcase from being the locked, hard-sided container. The video basically suggests using this rule and getting large secure cases to pack everything in, then throwing a gun in each case. (Well, not "throwing," but packing safely and securely.) That way, your suitcases get scanned/checked right away at check-in, the lock goes on, and no one can get into your suitcases for the duration of the trip, keeping whatever else you have in there (meds, cameras, expensive sex toys, whatever) safe from potentially thieving fingers.

    Because there's a problem with this:

    The suitcase has a TSA lock on it - so TSA can get inside if they need to. The gun case inside the suitcase has the non-TSA locks.
    If TSA folks can then open this suitcase, and if they have larceny in mind, now there's an obvious handgun case sitting there inside, which they can conceal a lot easier than a large, non-TSA-locked suitcase.

    Anyway, it's a thought-provoking video--basically the guy says that he purposely travels with guns anywhere he can precisely for this added security. I have no idea if he's got the right interpretation of the regs, of course, so obviously everyone will want to double or triple source his recommendations.

  11. #10
    Member Array merlin82plus's Avatar
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    @Ishmael - I've seen his video and believe it to be correct. But my sex toys are inexpensive, and so is my luggage, so I go "old school". True, anyone with the TSA keys will be able to take what they want from my suitcase... so far, no problems.
    Ishmael likes this.

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    I've flown to and out of Atlanta several times with guns. They really have it down pretty well. Never had a problem. Other airports I have flown into and out of with no problems at all with guns in my luggage are Memphis (best experience of all here actually) and Indianapolis.

    **As a Warning to those of you who fly with a firearm in your checked baggage. Be sure that you use a high quality hard sided suitcase that does NOT employ zippers to close it. These are extremely simple to break into, even if the two zips are locked together with a padlock a person can get into your bag with just a pen and leave NO indication that it ever happened other than your gun being missing when you get to your destination.**
    ,=====o00o _
    //___l__,\____\,__
    l_--- \___l---[]lllllll[]
    (o)_)-o- (o)_)--o-)_)

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