Need some advice on traveling with my pistols...asking the experts!

Need some advice on traveling with my pistols...asking the experts!

This is a discussion on Need some advice on traveling with my pistols...asking the experts! within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Fellas.....I need some help, I'd love some feedback, you guys are such an awesome resource! I'm taking a trip in a few weeks (flying) to ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 27
Like Tree4Likes

Thread: Need some advice on traveling with my pistols...asking the experts!

  1. #1
    Member Array HoganLongfellow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Way down south
    Posts
    109

    Need some advice on traveling with my pistols...asking the experts!

    Fellas.....I need some help, I'd love some feedback, you guys are such an awesome resource!

    I'm taking a trip in a few weeks (flying) to North Philly, and I'm debating on bringing my m&p....

    I've never flown with a pistol, and I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons. If I don't bring it, I have access to a pistol when I get there. My Grandpop was a cop for 20+ years so he's got pistols, however I don't like the idea of carrying someone else's gun (maybe I'm weird). I feel proficient with mine, therefore I want to carry mine...I asked my Grandmom if she was cool w/ me carrying his when i got there and she said she didn't mind (she was shocked that i have my ccw and actually carry - I still think she thought I was joking).

    I know what the "rules" are for flying, does anyone have any advice for me?? Anyone have any tips or tricks that can possibly make my travels easier if I decide to carry on the plane?

    I've tried to think it thru, so here is my thought process:

    1) the gun will be in a hard-sided locked case, unloaded, with a cable lock thru the barrel so they know for a fact it's unloaded. I actually thought about partially field stripping it just to deter anyone from looking at it (wink,wink - first they look, then it's "Missing"). Even though it's locked up it says they "reserve the right to inspect any weapon" and from what I'm reading it sounds like that means with or without me present. What do y'all think about my field stripping idea? overkill?
    2) I'm going to keep my ammo separate - on this airline you can fly with loaded mags - should I? Does this give them more reason to inspect it? I can just as easily leave the mags empty and the ammo in the box (also allowed)
    3) It's a direct flight, so the risk of my baggage getting lost is minimized.
    4) from what I hear, the city is EXTREMELY anti-gun, my CCW is good in PA, but still..something to think about.

    What do y'all think? Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    OH yeah, I almost forgot.....personally..not carrying is NOT an option. The neighborhood I grew up in (and they still live in) was a normal, working middle-class neighborhood when I was growing up. Over the past 20 years it has taken a turn for the worse. I will drive up and bring my gun before I go up there unarmed. Drugs, street crime, gang violence is all par for the course when we roll up to the ol' hood. Almost every time we go up our cars are vandalized....life in the big city I guess.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    In Delaware, East of the Mason Dixon Line.
    Posts
    797
    I have flow with firearms on many occasions, follow the rules and you will not have a problem. Refer to your airlines regulations as they may be more restrictive than TSA rules. Twice I have found it useful to have a printed copy of the TSA and airline's regulations packed with my firearms.
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

    Never argue with an idiot - they'll bring you down to their level then beat you with experience.

  3. #3
    Member Array HoganLongfellow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Way down south
    Posts
    109
    great advice, thanks, i'm def going to do that!!

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    11,215
    Done it a fair number of times, never a hassle, but - know the Fed (TSA) rules and your specific airline's rules. Airlines are NOT all the same with regard to firearm carriage.

    A couple of notes: you need to pack the handgun in a hard-sided, lockable container which may then be carried in a larger container (suitcase), hard- or soft-sided.
    A few airlines allow you to carry loaded magazines, but my experience is that most don't. Take a couple of boxes of factory ammo and you're good.
    Be prepared to open your gun's case and demonstrate to the ticket agent that the gun is unloaded. I've had ticket agents watch every step and others just ask if the gun is unloaded (as if they were afraid to see the GUN). By Fed rules, the 'declaration' tag is supposed to be placed in the gun container, but this also varies by airline and local TSA interpretation.

    After the ticket counter, then there's the TSA brain trust. At Phoenix, my experience has been that TSA takes the gun container into a room and you are not allowed to accompany it - they sprinke their holy water on it and you don't see the gun or the bag it's in until you reach your destination. At other airports, the TSA folks open your case and inspect the guns in front of you but don't handle them unless the guns fall out. My most laughable monent was when the TSA agent felt the need to swipe my long guns (rifle and shotgun) and check the residue (FOR WHAT - FREAKIN' GUNPOWDER???).

    Best you should go to both the TSA and your airline's websites and print out their rules for firearms transport. That minimizes the likelihood additional discussions when things don't go according to plan.
    Last edited by gasmitty; October 27th, 2011 at 11:45 AM.
    CaptSmith likes this.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member
    NROI Chief Range Officer

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    In Delaware, East of the Mason Dixon Line.
    Posts
    797
    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    After the ticket counter, then there's the TSA brain trust. At Phoenix, my experience has been that TSA takes the gun container into a room and you are not allowed to accompany it - they sprinke their holy water on it and you don't see the gun or the bag it's in until you reach your destination. At other airports, the TSA folks open your case and inspect the guns in front of you but don't handle them unless the guns fall out.
    Yes, the inconsistent inspection process is frustrating. In Philadelphia, the ticket agent will take your unlocked firearm "somewhere" for inspection while you wait at the ticket counter; and, as Gasmitty said you don't see it until you pick up your bags at your destination.
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

    Never argue with an idiot - they'll bring you down to their level then beat you with experience.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    589
    Just an FYI on leaving ammo in the mags from the TSA website.

    • Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging that is specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
    • Travelers may not use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
    • Ammunition may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it follows packing guidelines described above.
    Keeping them in an original box, might be the better option, just so as not to give them an excuse to make an ordeal for ordeals sake. Not that the TSA would ever....

    Glock Certified Armorer

  7. #7
    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NE FL
    Posts
    1,076
    flying with your gun usually is easy and problem free as long as you get on board with the rules and regs. you will need to visit the TSA site and the airline you are flying on site and learn the the rules and regs then follow the rules and regs to a T and you'll see flying with your guns is a snap. the majority of airport personnel see weapons being transported often enough that they aren't shocked by you and your gun{s}.

    FWIW: I flew out of phoenix last week and they didn't ship the bag off for inspection, just put it into the system like any other bag.
    the only airport I've been made to go through having the bag inspected as a special bag was DFW.

  8. #8
    Member Array tomtsr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    195
    marklind,

    At the beginning of your post you referenced your grandpop's guns and that you could carry his. This is, IMO a bad choice. Different gun, different ammo, possible different reliability and unfamiliar draw. This could put you in a bad place if the SHTF unless you carry the exact model.

    I occasionally fly with guns and there are plenty of posts with good advice. I would leave the cable lock at home unless you feel more comfortable with it. It really isn't about TSA feeling comfy.

    Double check the loaded mags statement, the airline that I fly requires the ammo to be in its original container. The problem with that is you have an empty gun and empty mags. If you are going to load up, you have to do it in your car and that can be tricky depending on whether you are renting a car or being picked up by family.

    I fly to Philly often but head straight to Delaware from the airport so I can't be much help for North Philly.

    Good luck.
    Train like your life depends on it, because it does.

    NRA Life Member

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array BkCo1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,102
    I have a gun safe that has a combo and an ace lock. I put my firearms in that and double lock it. I then load my magazines open end down in the mag carriers. You should be doing that any way. I use cheap cloth carriers that have a velcro flap. I then put the magazines in a pistol box (like what came with a pistol) that I can lock. I also put my folder in with the magazines. I then lock that box with a padlock. I then put both in a large suit case and lock it. I put my carry holsters and magazine carriers in the large suit case. Never had any problems. Check in early. Don't disassemble your weapon. It will be hard to put it back together and load up. With my method I am ready to carry in a few minutes. Have a good trip.
    Semper Fi

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nassau, NY(Long Island)
    Posts
    2,855
    I ahve several post on flying thru JFK with my firearms. Only once did I have a hick-up. Folow the rules and it wil not be a problem, heck if I can do that for NY you can do it anywhere. Send me a PM if you have any other questions.

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NE FL
    Posts
    1,076
    Quote Originally Posted by HKinNY View Post
    I ahve several post on flying thru JFK with my firearms. Only once did I have a hick-up. Folow the rules and it wil not be a problem, heck if I can do that for NY you can do it anywhere. Send me a PM if you have any other questions.
    without a NY permit you could be asking for trouble flying via NYC airports with your guns

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array MotorCityGun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    MichiGUN
    Posts
    951
    I flew from Detroit Metro to Phoenix this summer on Delta. It was a lot easier and less stressful than I had originally anticipated. I packed mine in my original S&W case, although I did drill an additional hole in the handle so that I could lock it with two Brinks brand key locks because I read somewhere that the gun case needed to be secured so that it cannot be pulled/pried open, or words to that effect. I also purchased one of those small TSA approved (key) locks for my check in (zippered) bag, in which the locked gun case was in. I then used my cable gun lock to lock the gun case to the inside of by check in bag. I heard that guns had gone "missing" during inspection and I didn't want to take any chances.

    I memorized and printed out two copies, each, of the airlines and TSA rules and packed one set of copies in the gun case, and carried the other set of copies on me just in case either the airline employee and or the TSA rep needed reminding/re-education.

    While checking in my bag, I informed the airline employee at the counter that I was transporting a firearm. She cordially/casually asked to see it and if it was unloaded, I said yes and unlocked the two Brinks locks and showed her. I've read where some people remove their slide if they're transporting a (SA) pistol. She filled out an iridescent orange "Firearm(s) Unloaded" tag which I signed and she initialled. She placed it inside the gun case [IMPORTANT], and not inside the checked bag, and that was that. I also checked a box of ammo that I packed inside a plastic ziplock bag. I believe Delta allows up to 11 lbs (?) of ammo.

    Safe travels.
    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Ben Franklin

    NRA Life

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nassau, NY(Long Island)
    Posts
    2,855
    Quote Originally Posted by apvbguy View Post
    without a NY permit you could be asking for trouble flying via NYC airports with your guns
    I have a Nassau County (Long Island) Pistol lecense and have flown out 6 times thru JFK that I can remember off the top of my head. I also carry my Congressman Young letter as well as Airline reg and TSA rules and follow the law without any problems. http://www.nraila.org/images/DOJltrTSA.pdf Most of the Port Authority officers have been great guys except one PA officer who would not listen and did not care. He got bad info to make things worse from an unknowledgeable person from Nassau County Pistol licensing. Still flew with firearm that trip. I even had one officer say. This letter would be a great defense to an arrest and the charges would likely be dropped but I see you are legit so have a great trip.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nassau, NY(Long Island)
    Posts
    2,855
    I have flown out of states like Texas,Florida and Nevada. When I informed the ticket agent that I had an unloaded firearm to declaire, they could have cared any less. Almost like saying. I love choclate.

    On one flordia trip I had the wife and kids start to unload the car at curbside checking. I walked inside, walked to the counter,declaired the unloaded firearm, signed the card,waled to the TSA screening was 6 ft way,hand it off, they screened the bag and it when onto the belt. I walked back outside before the wife had the car unloaded. She looked and me and said are you going inside? I replied I am done.

  15. #15
    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,095
    Quote Originally Posted by MotorCityGun View Post
    I flew from Detroit Metro to Phoenix this summer on Delta. ... She placed it inside the gun case [IMPORTANT], and not inside the checked bag, and that was that. I also checked a box of ammo that I packed inside a plastic ziplock bag. I believe Delta allows up to 11 lbs (?) of ammo.

    Safe travels.
    This step got me in trouble as I was flying Delta via Detroit Metro. I had been to Utah, and was going to NC. I was met at the connecting gate by two uniformed Detroit city cops. They said I had not declared my firearm because they couldn't find the orange tag inside my luggage. They took me to the TSA supervisor who politely asked me for the key for my COM gun safe that was inside my bag. I complied. While waiting for him to rifle my luggage, I showed my CHP to the two Detroit cops. They looked at the TSA supervisor, and told him I was "OK" as I had a CHP. They then walked away from me, and the TSA Supervisor cae back with my orange tag telling me next time to keep it OUTSIDE the gun case. After that little tidbit, he asked my how much my Kimber CDP had cost me, and wanted to know if I wanted to trade straight-up for his Glock. I politely declined his offer, and we shared a laugh.

    Since that time, I always ask for the "official" airline tape (all gate agents have a roll in their desk), and tape the orange tag to the top of my gun safe.

    I haven't had a problem since. YMMV. This was my experience.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

can i fly with my gun

,
can i take my gun with me to philadelphia
,
can i take my handgun to phoenix arizona
,
cops check my bags at the gate from detroit to phoenix
,
delta airline loaded magazine
,
flying delta pistol loaded magazine
,
flying out of jfk, can i take my gun?
,

nassau county ccw

,

some advices for travelling

,
traveling with a p;[istol in nc
,
traveling with a pistol in north carolina
,

traveling with my firearm

Click on a term to search for related topics.