Air Travel With Handguns

This is a discussion on Air Travel With Handguns within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; From TSA.gov TSA screens every passenger's baggage before it is placed on an airplane. While our technology allows us to electronically screen bags, there are ...

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Thread: Air Travel With Handguns

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    From TSA.gov

    TSA screens every passenger's baggage before it is placed on an airplane. While our technology allows us to electronically screen bags, there are times when we need to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal "master" keys so that the locks may not have to be cut. These locks are available at airports and travel stores nationwide. The packaging on the locks indicates whether they can be opened by TSA.
    Checked baggage is luggage you check in at the ticket counter or curbside. It will not be accessible during your flight. When locking your checked bags, please use a TSA Accepted & Recognized Lock. TSA is mandated by Federal law to screen 100% of checked baggage. If your baggage alarms, unrecognized locks may have to be broken to access your bags. TSA will not reimburse passengers for unrecognized locks broken as a result of the security screening process.
    To lock...or not. In some cases screeners will have to open your baggage as part of the screening process. If your bag is unlocked TSA will simply open and screen the contents. However, if you decide to lock your checked bag and TSA cannot open it through other means, then the locks may have to be broken. TSA is not liable for damage caused to locked bags that must be opened for security purposes.

    TSA suggests that you help prevent the need to break your locks by using a TSA-recognized locking mechanism. These "special" locks can be opened by TSA using tools provided to us by participating industry members and can be purchased at multiple retail outlets.
    Moreover, while TSA certainly regrets that occasionally checked baggage and locks are damaged by secondary screening, TSA is not responsible for certain damage caused by secondary screening. Should checked baggage generate an alarm for the presence of explosives during the screening process, TSA must resolve the alarm for the safety and security of the aircraft and its passengers. Access to the interior of the bag is often required to resolve the alarm, even if it must be forced. In the event that access to a bag must be forced, TSA will not be responsible for broken locks or unavoidable damage in opening a locked bag. Passengers can avoid this type of possible damage by either not locking their bags or using a TSA recognized lock that can be opened by TSA without damage.
    I found NOTHING stating that you are required to use a TSA lock, only that it is strongly recommended.

    Locking a Checked bag with a firearm with a non TSA lock, since it has already been screened [with you present] and tagged with their special fru-fru sticker, there should not be any problems down the line short of your baggage tag becoming separated from your luggage.
    Sticks

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  3. #17
    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasoninSD View Post
    I frequently fly with a handgun in my checked bag. There are the TSA regulations that should apply at every airport but it seems that there are different interpretations at every different airport and airline. You should not need to demponstrate that the handgun is unloaded but a few days ago I was asked just that by the gate agent. Sometimes I need to put the declaration form in the pistol case and other times it goes in the suitcase with the pistol case. Sometimes TSA will want to dig through my underwear and other times they will just x-ray the bag and I will be on my way.

    Anyway, the general procedure for me is to put the pistol into a small hard sided case and then put that in a locked hard sided suitcase. I would strongly recommend a Storm or Pelican case as your suitcase. Then that is locked with non-T&A padlocks. This also gives me the advantage of knowing that everything is locked securely in my suitcase and can not easily be stolen by TSA or the baggage handlers. Also the Storm or Pelican cases are almost indestructable. I never worry about damage to my suitcase.
    you MUST lock the box the gun is in

  4. #18
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    All flying experiences are different. Below is a link to an old post of mine about this. When I fly and transport I always put my gun and ammo in a COM type case and secure the cable to the inside of the suitcase. In case the OP is not familiar with this type of gun case below is a link to it. Several companies make similar ones.

    Gun Case
    In Car Gun Lockers


    Same Airline, 2 different experiences-Both Good

  5. #19
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    I like that idea to secure the smallish locked gun case to the bag via a cable. Sure, someone could still get it out but it seems to me that the more work you make it the less likely someone would succeed getting it without notice.

    I so agree with the procedures being all over the place with airports, airlines, and agents. I would really think this would be more standardized.

  6. #20
    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JasoninSD

    Anyway, the general procedure for me is to put the pistol into a small hard sided case and then put that in a locked hard sided suitcase. I would strongly recommend a Storm or Pelican case as your suitcase. Then that is locked with non-T&A padlocks. This also gives me the advantage of knowing that everything is locked securely in my suitcase and can not easily be stolen by TSA or the baggage handlers. Also the Storm or Pelican cases are almost indestructable. I never worry about damage to my suitcase.




    Quote Originally Posted by apvbguy View Post
    you MUST lock the box the gun is in
    He did, by declaring the firearm his hard sided Pelican "suitcase" became his "lock box" and he can use non TSA locks because it is inspected in a separate/special area, he installs the locks of his choice, on the scene after the inspection and the bag is tagged as such and sent on. Only problem is, if a second inspection is required for some reason he will have to come to the inspection area and open the case or it may be left behind.
    TN_Mike likes this.
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  7. #21
    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jem102 View Post
    Originally Posted by JasoninSD

    Anyway, the general procedure for me is to put the pistol into a small hard sided case and then put that in a locked hard sided suitcase. I would strongly recommend a Storm or Pelican case as your suitcase. Then that is locked with non-T&A padlocks. This also gives me the advantage of knowing that everything is locked securely in my suitcase and can not easily be stolen by TSA or the baggage handlers. Also the Storm or Pelican cases are almost indestructable. I never worry about damage to my suitcase.






    He did, by declaring the firearm his hard sided Pelican "suitcase" became his "lock box" and he can use non TSA locks because it is inspected in a separate/special area, he installs the locks of his choice, on the scene after the inspection and the bag is tagged as such and sent on. Only problem is, if a second inspection is required for some reason he will have to come to the inspection area and open the case or it may be left behind.
    the gun box itself must be locked, placing it in a locked suitcase is not sufficient

  8. #22
    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    If the gun box is large enough it can also be your suitcase and it's totally legal. I know guys who transport expensive electronics and photo equipment. They put a pistol in the box to make it the gun box and lock it up with non TSA locks.. Totally legal.

  9. #23
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    I've said it many times get an eye bolt from a hardware store and a couple of fender washers in the bolt shank size 1/4 -5/16",drill or punch a hole to bolt the eye bolt thruand using lock nuts run one nut on the bolt then a fender washer,put eye bolt thru the hole then add fender washer followed by second lock nut,tighten down and remove excess bolt sticking out past lock nut,you then can attach a cable lock that comes with a lot of firearms and run it thru the eye bolt and handle of your gun case,even if they open your bag they will need cable cutters to get your gun,and they probably don't have any on hand
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  10. #24
    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    I really, and I mean REALLY, like the idea of being able to lock my stuff in a hard sided case with a non TSA lock. I take comfort in the fact that my stuff, even if it is just my dirty underwear, is as secure as it can be and not available for 'inspection' or anything else. If they have a legitimate concern, they will page you and deal with it in an official manner.

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apvbguy View Post
    the gun box itself must be locked, placing it in a locked suitcase is not sufficient
    Incorrect: if the suitcase meets the lockable hardsided requirements of the TSA regulations then it is approved to pack an unlocked pistol case inside the suitcase.
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  12. #26
    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apvbguy View Post
    the gun box itself must be locked, placing it in a locked suitcase is not sufficient
    Not to my understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    If the gun box is large enough it can also be your suitcase and it's totally legal. I know guys who transport expensive electronics and photo equipment. They put a pistol in the box to make it the gun box and lock it up with non TSA locks.. Totally legal.
    Yes as I understand it.
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