Questions before a trip and my first flight with a handgun

This is a discussion on Questions before a trip and my first flight with a handgun within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; All, I'm looking for some friendly advice. I am a MN CCW holder and carry everywhere legal (out of personal principal / duty). I have ...

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Thread: Questions before a trip and my first flight with a handgun

  1. #1
    Member Array EchoDeltaSierra's Avatar
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    Questions before a trip and my first flight with a handgun

    All,

    I'm looking for some friendly advice. I am a MN CCW holder and carry everywhere legal (out of personal principal / duty). I have an upcoming trip where I will be traveling from St. Paul, MN to San Diego, CA (work meetings), then returning to Denver, CO to help a daughter move back to St. Paul. I really don't want to drive cross-country without packing, but I need to get my firearm (by plane) from Minnesota to San Diego, CA, to Denver, CO; the drive from Denver to St. Paul is simple and I've done that several times before with a handgun. Also, I know 'how' to fly with a firearm and have suitable equipment to do so (a large pelican case to secure both the firearm and my luggage).

    My questions mainly pertain to laws traveling into and out of San Diego.

    1. Can I bring a handgun into San Diego? I will keep it under lock and key the entire time there.
    2. Are there issues flying into / out of San Diego?
    3. Is there anything else I'm overlooking?

    Thanks in advance for any other suggestions / advice / assistance.

    Cheers.
    -e

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  3. #2
    Member Array Harvester's Avatar
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    When I was Active Duty in California the laws for transporting a gun was that it had to be enclosed in a locked container with the ammo separated from the weapon. Also federal law protects you while transporting a gun across state lines as long as the gun is locked in a container with the ammo separated from the weapon. As long as you transport your gun through California the way the TSA lists on their webpage I don’t foresee you having any problems.
    Molon Labe

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    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    I have no personal knowledge of CA laws. I would suggest a Google search. I would also imagine that you are familiar with FOPA NRA-ILA | Guide To The Interstate Transportation. You might also checkout Handgunlaw.us
    Scott, US Army 1974-2004

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    Since you won't be able to carry while in CA, could you ship your gun from a gun store there, to a gun store in the Denver area and retrieve it upon arrival there. I realize it may be inconvenient, but saves the CA hassle.
    Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.

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    Perhaps lock your handgun with empty mags in something like a GunVault Nano and ship it to your daugher in CO. Since it's not a sale, you don't need to involve FFL's / gun shops for shipping.
    Pack your boxed ammo in your luggage and travel through CA without the firearm and potential hassles.
    When you get to CO. retrieve the package with your handgun and then you're ready for the drive home.
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    Warning bad advice

    Quote Originally Posted by whoppo View Post
    Perhaps lock your handgun with empty mags in something like a GunVault Nano and ship it to your daugher in CO. Since it's not a sale, you don't need to involve FFL's / gun shops for shipping.
    This is wrong and illegal! Personally owned firearms may be mailed or shipped only to dealers, gun smiths or manufacturers. A private individual may not ship a firearm to another private individual across state lines.

    You have to send it to a FFL
    NotMallNinja likes this.
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    Ex Member Array NotMallNinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
    When I was Active Duty in California the laws for transporting a gun was that it had to be enclosed in a locked container with the ammo separated from the weapon. Also federal law protects you while transporting a gun across state lines as long as the gun is locked in a container with the ammo separated from the weapon. As long as you transport your gun through California the way the TSA lists on their webpage I don’t foresee you having any problems.
    Wrong. The journey must begin and end in a state that you are permitted the weapon and you cannot generally have a delay enroute. See http://www.atf.gov/publications/down...f-p-5300-4.pdf

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    Member Array odysseus's Avatar
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    I'm a little suspicious about your statement that you have a large Pelican case for your gun and luggage. I have flown with a handgun (did so about a month ago), and my understanding is the unloaded gun must be in a separate container just for itself (ammo can be carried in the same container, but in a factory ammo box). To prevent hassle and wasted time, keep the unloaded pistol locked open and carry ammo in a box as if it were on sale at a store. Put the pistol and ammo in separate compartments in a Pelican case (compartments that you have cut into the foam). Declare the case to the airline person checking you in and have 2 combination locks (I use TSA approved combination locks) to lock the case after inspected by the airline.

    First, check with the airline to make sure what their rules are, they can vary among airlines. Second (or First), check the state laws to see what your obligations are.

    One of the major hurdles for me is to make sure everything is going to be approved by the airline agent. Being "right", but still questionable to the agent, can make you miss your flight.

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    Member Array Adam_SDG's Avatar
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    During my CCW class, our intructor went through the ways we can transport our firearm THROUGH a state that doesnt allow it. He said we can only transport our firearm thorugh if that state is not a destination. If it is not a destination, you would follow the instructions given above (I.E firearm must be in locked, hard case without ammo as far as possible away from you).

    Since you are going to San Diego for something specific, that is a destination. You are not travelling through. If California law is anything like Illinois, you won't be able to bring your firearm. But I would recommend looking into Cali law specifically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NotMallNinja View Post
    Wrong. The journey must begin and end in a state that you are permitted the weapon and you cannot generally have a delay enroute. See http://www.atf.gov/publications/down...f-p-5300-4.pdf
    Can you post a specific quote instead of linking to a 242 page document and calling me wrong?
    Molon Labe

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    For California

    You must have a Permit/License to carry a loaded handgun in any vehicle.
    The transportation or carrying of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person by any citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or is temporarily within this state, and is not within the excepted classes prescribed by Penal Code Sections 12021 or 12021.1 or Welfare and Institutions Code sections 8100 & 8103, provided that the following applies:

    1. the firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the vehicle's trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle other than the utility or glove compartment,

    2. and when the firearm is carried by the person to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose, the firearm must be contained in a locked container while being physically carried. (Penal Code § 12026.1.)
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    This is wrong and illegal! Personally owned firearms may be mailed or shipped only to dealers, gun smiths or manufacturers. A private individual may not ship a firearm to another private individual across state lines.

    You have to send it to a FFL
    Wrong. It can't be shipped through the post office, but he can ship it to himself at the daughters address via UPS or Fedex. Federal law allows you to do that for any lawful purpose, as long as you are shipping it to yourself, even if it's in the care of someone else until you arrive.

    CA is not somewhere I would like to fly to with a gun. Heck, I wouldn't want to go there period, but that's another story. I'd just cut that idea completely out of the picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidey2011 View Post
    Wrong. It can't be shipped through the post office, but he can ship it to himself at the daughters address via UPS or Fedex. Federal law allows you to do that for any lawful purpose, as long as you are shipping it to yourself, even if it's in the care of someone else until you arrive.
    You are correct but that is not the advice that was given. Per the ATF

    Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service?

    A nonlicensee may not transfer a firearm to a non-licensed resident of another State. A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. The Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.

    [18 U.S.C. 1715, 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5) and 922 (a)(2)(A)]

    Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?

    A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by a common or contract carrier to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm.

    [18 U.S.C. 922(a)(2)(A), 922(a) (3), 922(a)(5) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.31 and 478.30]

    Q: May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity?

    Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by odysseus View Post
    I'm a little suspicious about your statement that you have a large Pelican case for your gun and luggage. I have flown with a handgun (did so about a month ago), and my understanding is the unloaded gun must be in a separate container just for itself (ammo can be carried in the same container, but in a factory ammo box). To prevent hassle and wasted time, keep the unloaded pistol locked open and carry ammo in a box as if it were on sale at a store. Put the pistol and ammo in separate compartments in a Pelican case (compartments that you have cut into the foam). Declare the case to the airline person checking you in and have 2 combination locks (I use TSA approved combination locks) to lock the case after inspected by the airline.
    Being a past attendee and longtime follower of the (mainly IT) security field, I found this to be extremely enlightening on the subject of flying & packing. DEFCON 17: Packing and the Friendly Skies - YouTube

    This is how I plan to fly when I travel for backpacking trips. Ruck and gear in a 'locked case' along with my handgun. That way I minimize the risk of cool & expensive stuff being stolen from checked luggage.

  16. #15
    Ex Member Array NotMallNinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
    Can you post a specific quote instead of linking to a 242 page document and calling me wrong?
    Sure, I'll do better for you:

    California Penal Code section 12025 does not prevent a citizen of the United States over 18 years of age who is not lawfully prohibited from firearm possession, and who resides or istemporarily in California, from transporting by motor vehicle any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person provided the firearm is unloaded and stored in a locked container.

    The term "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment. For more information, refer to California Penal Code Section 12026.1.

    See Traveling with Firearms in California | State of California - Department of Justice - Kamala D. Harris Attorney General

    The above is consistent with 18 USC § 926A which states:

    "Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console."

    See 18 USC § 926A - Interstate transportation of firearms | LII / Legal Information Institute

    So this means that you can travel to California and have your weapon with you but there are specific rules you must abide by. California Penal Code Section 12025 is designed to ensure the transportation rules don't run afoul of 18 USC § 926A. There are several other relevant California statutes that govern storage and usage of the handgun beyond the two laws cited above.

    With respect to the OP's original questions:

    1. Can I bring a handgun into San Diego? I will keep it under lock and key the entire time there.
    A: Yes, so long as you comply with both the transport and storage laws.
    2. Are there issues flying into / out of San Diego?
    A: Not if you follow TSA guidelines and the relevant federal laws. For TSA guidelines see TSA: Traveling with Special Items
    3. Is there anything else I'm overlooking?
    A: California has very specific requirements for storage of a weapon. Ensure you avoid violating California Penal Code 12035 (Criminal Storage of a Firearm) and that you comply with California Penal Code 12036. See 12020 thru 12040 Unlawful Carrying and Possession - Dangerous Weapons Control Laws - Dangerous Weapons Control Laws - Bureau of Firearms - California Dept. of Justice - Office of the Attorney General for relevant California Penal Code.

    If you intend to go to a range, hunt, etc. make sure you become aware of the laws governing those activities as well.

    I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV but I have slept at a Holiday Inn Express.

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