Flying and Declaring handgun in your checked bag

This is a discussion on Flying and Declaring handgun in your checked bag within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My wife and I went on a house hunting trip 700+ miles from home and had to fly. I locked my firearm to the car ...

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Thread: Flying and Declaring handgun in your checked bag

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Flying and Declaring handgun in your checked bag

    My wife and I went on a house hunting trip 700+ miles from home and had to fly. I locked my firearm to the car seat frame in the airport parking lot and felt completely naked until we returned to the car this afternoon (4 days). It was a very uncomfortable feeling the entire trip. My SA was on ultra high alert, no incidents at all, but I also chose places to eat, get gas, and times to do these things wisely as to not put myself at any more risk than necessary.

    I didn't realize until the night before we left that I could have checked my bag and declared a handgun unloaded in an appropriate locked container and a small amount of ammo (the airline specified it had to be in the original packaging and not locked in the container with the weapon). I didn't feel any of my plastic gun cases really met the requirement of "not easily pryed open" and I didn't have time to go buy a metal lockable case. I wish I had done my homework ahead of time and been prepared. We had planned on carry-on to save time, but if I had known I could take both a firearm and a small amount of ammo, I would not have minded a little bit of a wait.

    I've flown quite a bit in the past, but not in the last several years and never with a firearm. I'm not sure what to expect when you declare it in a checked bag with regards to extra wait, hassles, etc. If anyone has experience with declaring a firearm, please share with me your experience and what kind of container you had. I will be very soon buying a container specifically for this purpose and need to know the do's and don'ts. Thanks for your help.
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    Array Rock and Glock's Avatar
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    I've done it a few times in the past with this: In Car Gun Lockers

    I have the keyed version, and cable locked it into the baggage.

    Extra wait was minimal, but I always allow a lot of extra time regardless. I keep a box for ammo specifically for travel.
    BugDude, TN_Mike, MadMac and 1 others like this.

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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    Kind of depends on a few things.

    What city were you flying to?

    What city were you flying through?

    Did you have to change airlines?

    I don't know about other cities, but if you were flying into Atlanta, you can expect a delay to re-claim your bag of 45 - 90 minutes. I never check a bag into Atlanta, if I can help it.
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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    Bug there are several post by myself detailing my trips thru JFK airport in NYC.

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    Member Array b52ace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    I've done it a few times in the past with this: In Car Gun Lockers

    I have the keyed version, and cable locked it into the baggage.

    Extra wait was minimal, but I always allow a lot of extra time regardless. I keep a box for ammo specifically for travel.
    I use the same "safe". I use one for my pistol, one for my ammo.
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    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    Do a search on this site; there are at least a couple of threads with personal stories of flying with a firearm.
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    It's less painful than a flu shot.

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    This gives you a good base of info and then you check the airline you will be flying with for any specific quirks.

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    Check the TSA website for info. By their rules, ammo can be in a plastic ammo box, as it designed specifically for that purpose.
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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    It really isn't much of a hassle at all. I've flown with a gun and ammo in my checked bag several times and never had a problem with it. I do make it a point to print out and have with me a copy of the TSA regulations and the rules of the particular airline I am flying just in case someone doesn't know the rules and wants to be a jerk about it. So far, I have not needed those printouts at all.
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    Member Array mongovb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Check the TSA website for info. By their rules, ammo can be in a plastic ammo box, as it designed specifically for that purpose.
    Don't forget, the airlines can impose their own rules on top of TSA. I will be making a trip soon with my AR, RIA 2011 TAC and a Chihuahua just in case I need any ankles bit. I already shipped a bunch of ammo out to my buddy.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!!! I read some of the previous threads and the links provided in them and here. Looks like the COM safe with cable lock is the way to go as well as printing the TSA and specific airline rules and regs to take with me. No more need to travel unarmed!!! Thanks to all.
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    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKinNY View Post
    Bug there are several post by myself detailing my trips thru JFK airport in NYC.
    with all due respect your trip reports while good do not offer good info for those who don't possess a NY permit. My advice would be to avoid NY when flying, there have been too many horror stories from there for people who are passing through with their guns.
    I have flown numerous times with my guns, other than having to check the bag at the check in desk there have been no delays or unusual events. Just stick to places that honor your permit or allow weapons possession without a permit. Places to avoid are NYC, NJ, DC, MD, IL, all of which have severe anti gun laws and restrictions.
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    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    Thanks guys!!! I read some of the previous threads and the links provided in them and here. Looks like the COM safe with cable lock is the way to go as well as printing the TSA and specific airline rules and regs to take with me. No more need to travel unarmed!!! Thanks to all.
    Bufdude, I was really surprised to see that you, having been a member here for quite some time had not seen past threads about flying with guns. I have seen several. I think the scariest was one where the flight was diverted to a non-gun friendly city, NYC, I believe. The OP retrieved the checked bag and was then charged with illegal possesion of a handgun because they did not have a NYC permit. I don't know what the best option here would be, I guess all you could do is refuse delivery of the bag and request that it be forwarded to the original destination.

    I have never checked a handgun before, and if I do, I am sure I am going to be really nervous, and make sure I do all the research I can, making sure to print out all TSA and airline rules to carry with me.

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    The only issue I ever had was while declaring my guns, an impatient pencil neck standing behind me stated out loud, " oh great! We have the terminator on our plane".

    Of course, I turned around and looked him straight up and asked him if he had an issue. Then I winked at his girlfriend.
    But, that's the only issue I have encountered.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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