Airport Firearm Declaration-Semantics?

Airport Firearm Declaration-Semantics?

This is a discussion on Airport Firearm Declaration-Semantics? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I thought I'd share an interesting occurence not long ago while flying. Flying down, handgun stowed and declared at Dallas Love Field checkin-counter with no ...

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Thread: Airport Firearm Declaration-Semantics?

  1. #1
    Member Array jbfortehwin's Avatar
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    Airport Firearm Declaration-Semantics?

    I thought I'd share an interesting occurence not long ago while flying.

    Flying down, handgun stowed and declared at Dallas Love Field checkin-counter with no incident. Very easy and professional. I was simply asked to "place card on top of the contents inside my suitcase".

    Short stay in San Antonio and then...

    Upon my turn at Southwestern's check-in counter, I again declared my firearm in my suitcase, stating it was "unloaded and locked in a handgun case". I had opened the suitcase while making the statement.

    I was then handed and filled out the declaration card. 30 sec later, I then handed it back to the ticket agent and he then stated "ok, open the case and place it with the firearm".

    I had only 1 suitcase...it was already open...the only other "case" to open was...my handgun case.

    I replied "Excuse me?"

    His face then went confused...and we both seemed to agree I needed to bring my luggage to luggage security, which at that time I was asked to place the card in my "suitcase".

    Perhaps it was in-experience, confusion on semantics by me, him, or both of us. Maybe they should be the ones to place it in the "case".

    Thoughts?


  2. #2
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    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    My three check-ins on last trip involved declaration into case - and one involved opening the gun case.

    Funniest thing, which I related on another thread - was one of the three check-ins on our trip to Tulsa in April, the TSA guy took suitcase to a room aside from check-in area (Denver this was) - and opened case after putting it thru a scanner - and then proceeded to show interest only in our 2/3 full bottle of nice whiskey - which he proceeded to wave a wand over .

    That was a new one on me LOL! Hard not to laugh at the time.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Member Array jbfortehwin's Avatar
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    Funny you should mention that.....right after the card issue..my suitcase made it through x-ray without a glitch.

    Girlfriends suitcase came up next...next thing we know..they are rummaging through it, and pull out the souvenir bottle of Coca Cola given to us by a friend. They proceeded to swipe and test for explosive residue.

    Two days later, was the London arrests concerning liquids..Guess that might explain their curiosity.

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    Member Array speedlinehobbies's Avatar
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    Airport

    I made 3 trips from Tampa to Philadelphia this year on 2 different airlines . Each time they insisted that the declaration was to go inside the case that the firearm was in . I asked if they were sure that's the policy and i was assured that it was . I havent had any problems so far . Its easy to see that they are really inexperienced with this process .
    Anyone make a IWB holster for my AR ??

  5. #5
    Member Array jbfortehwin's Avatar
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    Were they Airport Security Personnel or ticket agents? I would have thought ticket agents wouldn't be the ones asking (to open the case)
    Last edited by jbfortehwin; August 22nd, 2006 at 09:57 PM. Reason: clarity

  6. #6
    New Member Array dejadoo's Avatar
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    The first time I declared a hand gun when flying the ticket agent placed the card in the case with the gun, which I thought was odd since the case itself was locked seperately in the suitcase.

    On the return trip the agent placed it on top of the case. When I inquired as to why and related the earlier experience I was told that it should not be placed in the case, especially since I keep it locked seperately. If TSA opens the suitcase they need to be able to verify that the gun was declared.

  7. #7
    New Member Array mbuesing's Avatar
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    I have flown with guns a lot. Usually back from AZ to IL for fall bird hunting. A few times to TX for geese. Mass for seaducks last January.

    I travel, for a living, so airports and security are something I am always used too.

    I can say that I have ALWAYS had the desk agent check my guns. This always involved opening the case the gun is in and proving to the agent the gun is not loaded. Then putting my little tag in the case and locking the case.

    I have never had this procedure done by TSA. I have had them open the case and inspect/swip the case for explosives, but never had an issues.

    It surprises me how good this operates. I guess you have some agents who do not know the regulations, but I have always been prepared to ask for a supervisor. But, never had too. Guess I'm lucky, or the airlines are just good at training people. I'll side with agents.

    The other thing is to know the procedure yourself. Almost every airline has a section in their website on how to fly with firearms. If I have ANY dought, or I am flying a new airline, I print a copy and take it with me. But, again, have never had to tell them their policy.

    Like everything else gun related the best way to handle ANY situation is to be prepared and be informed.

    Travel safe!!!!!
    Mike Buesing
    Scottsdale, AZ

  8. #8
    Member Array DParker's Avatar
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    I flew American Airlines yesterday out of Oklahoma City with my carry weapon. First time ever for me.

    At the American check-in counter, I told the lady that I had a firearm to declare in one bag. She asked me to open the bag (locked with a TSA approved combo lock) and then asked me to open the locked gun case that was also cable locked to the suitcase frame.

    I unlocked the cable first, then unlocked the gun case. She handed me a small card to sign that confirmed that the weapon was unloaded. She then instructed me to place it in "the case". I placed it inside the gun case and locked it back up. This seemed to be what she wanted me to do and she seemed satisfied.

    She then asked me to hang around for ~15 minutes in case TSA wanted me to open it for them. The bag was taken away (placed on the conveyor belt with all the others) and after ~15 minutes of waiting, she waived me on to the terminal.

    So....was this correct, or was the card supposed to be outside the gun case?

  9. #9
    New Member Array mbuesing's Avatar
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    Everytime my guns are inspected the tag goes inside the gun case, with the gun. In my experience she did the correct thing.

    Now having you wait around for TSA to give final clearance, well...all things considered, it is usually a good idea to make sure they don't have an issue. Which they shouldn't have.
    Mike Buesing
    Scottsdale, AZ

  10. #10
    Member Array symr00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbuesing View Post
    I have flown with guns a lot. Usually back from AZ to IL for fall bird hunting. A few times to TX for geese. Mass for seaducks last January.

    I travel, for a living, so airports and security are something I am always used too.

    I can say that I have ALWAYS had the desk agent check my guns. This always involved opening the case the gun is in and proving to the agent the gun is not loaded. Then putting my little tag in the case and locking the case.

    I have never had this procedure done by TSA. I have had them open the case and inspect/swip the case for explosives, but never had an issues.

    It surprises me how good this operates. I guess you have some agents who do not know the regulations, but I have always been prepared to ask for a supervisor. But, never had too. Guess I'm lucky, or the airlines are just good at training people. I'll side with agents.

    The other thing is to know the procedure yourself. Almost every airline has a section in their website on how to fly with firearms. If I have ANY dought, or I am flying a new airline, I print a copy and take it with me. But, again, have never had to tell them their policy.

    Like everything else gun related the best way to handle ANY situation is to be prepared and be informed.

    Travel safe!!!!!
    +1

    That's always been experience as well.

  11. #11
    Member Array arcticelf's Avatar
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    Last time I flew w/ a fire arm it was from VA to MA. The ticket clerk was very happy for her 15 min break to walk me over to TSA, and jump the line for me, so they could X-Ray, then open both the suit case and gun case. TSA seemed supprised that I wanted to watch every thing that happened after I gave them the keys to the gun case.

    The TSA inspection invovled checking that the mag was removed, then looking down the barel (slide closed), and then closing everything back up. No attempt to actualy check the chamber or anything. But at least he didnt muzzle me, only himself and another TSA guy.

    The declaration tag went outside the gun case, held on with packing tape.

    AE

  12. #12
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    I've only transported guns to Colorado and back around a month ago, both ways with American Airlines with no hassle. The first time the lady at the ticket counter checked it and placed the tag in the gun case, and the other way a TSA security guy went through my entire bag and placed the tag inside the gun case. In both instances they were very polite and professional, and the security guy thought my 640 was "cute."

    My Camelbak carry-on went through the x-ray twice. It was half-full of water and they scrutinized it.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array gregarat's Avatar
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    My last trip. I had to open the case and demonstrate that the firearm was unloaded. In Gainesville, the agent then told me that my "clip" couldnt be loaded. I picked the magazine up and said "The magazine is unloded." I wanted to ask if he could actualy tell the difference, but thought agenst it. He then asked "what I planed on using the firearm for?" I replyed "plinking". He then asked what plinking was ?

  14. #14
    Member Array Dingle1911's Avatar
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    Each time that I have flown with firearms the tag has been placed in the case right on top of my pistol. It did seem a little odd the first time I flew with firearms and I was asked to open my case at the check-in counter right in front of everyone, but I have since learned that is just the way it goes.

    Funny side note: one time when I was leaving TX they told me that my ammo and my firearm could not be in the same bag so they made me take my box of ammo from the tightly packed gun case and place it loose in my wife's case. When we got back there there were rounds floating all over her suitcase. Now to make sure that everyone is happy I have a seperate padded case for my ammo.

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