I just posted this link to another thread I started on a similar topic. DEFCON 17: Packing and the Friendly Skies - YouTube
It's worth watching and I'd be interested in other perspectives.
This is a discussion on First time flying with gun TSA question within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi, In a few weeks I'll be flying on Frontier Airlines from Michigan to Phoenix. I would rather not miss my flight because I am ...
In a few weeks I'll be flying on Frontier Airlines from Michigan to Phoenix. I would rather not miss my flight because I am in a small room with several TSA agents for hours and hours trying to answer every question of theirs I have a question here. I plan to declare my P229 .40 in my checked luggage and keep it in a COM locker (safe) inside my suitcase and the gun will be empty.
From the Frontier Airlines website (below) they say that I can load up my magazines with ammo and seal the exposed portion with duct tape. I can then keep both loaded magazines in the same safe as the gun is in.
From the TSA website (below) they say that small arms ammo may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm is in as long as it follows the packing guidelines described above.
My question is that how I am reading the TSA website no where does it really say that I can load up my magazines with ammo, seal the exposed portion with duct tape, and then put the magazines and the unloaded gun in the same hard sided safe
What is your experience dealing with the TSA and how do you carry your ammo/gun through the TSA checkpoint?
From the TSA website…
1. Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such
as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging
specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
2. Firearm magazines and ammunition clips must be securely
boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an
3. Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not
exceeding .75 caliber for a rifle or pistol and shotgun shells
of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case
as the firearm, as long as it follows the packing guidelines
From Frontier Airlines website…
1. Any ammunition transported must be securely packed in the original manufacturer's packaging; fiber (such as cardboard), wood, or metal boxes; or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
2. Ammunition may be packed in magazines or clips if the exposed portion is covered (e.g., sealed with duct tape) or the magazine/clip is placed in a pouch, holder, holster, or lanyard. The ammunition must be secure.
3.The ammunition may be located in the same hard-sided locked case as the firearm, as long as it's properly packed as described.
I've only flown with a firearm a couple of times but both times were quick and easy.
When I went to check in, I told the attendant that I had an item to declare. They had me fill out a small orange slip with my name, the date, and my flight number, and then I signed it and had to place it in the case that I was carrying my firearm.
The bag with my firearm was then taken to a special screening room where it was x-rayed (I locked the case and didn't have to give them the key/combo). A couple minutes later, they were finished and sent my bag on to get checked and put on the plane.
I haven't had any issues so far and haven't been delayed more than a couple of minutes longer than if I didn't have a firearm. YMMV.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9
“The purpose of the law is not to prevent a future offense, but to punish the one actually committed” - Ayn Rand
Regardless of what Frontier says about shipping it in loaded magazines, I'd follow the rules of the TSA. Their rules supersedes the airlines regulations.
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NRA Life Member
+1 on no loaded mags...
Use an ammo box (plastic ones at Gander mountain, etc works fine, but do tape them shut), otherwise, simply use the box factory ammo comes in.
having done this many times, I recommend taping shut any box that has ammo in it, as the ham-handed baggage loaders will find a way to throw your bax in a way that caused ammo to come loose in your luggage.
After a little more searching on the tsa.gov site here's their answers about ammo.
Firearm magazines/clips do not satisfy the packaging requirement unless they provide a complete and secure enclosure of 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).
The ammunition may also be located in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it is properly packed as described above.
From the looks of it all that has to be done is to secure the open part of the magazine with duct tape. Thanks all.
I have flown many times with firearms and with ammunition. Take a close look at their regulation about ammunition. It says ANY ammunition and then goes about tellling you how it needs to be contained. They will not let you take it on the plane in a magazine. I have taken spare ammo (for a skeet shoot) in a sealed tupperware container that was taped so it could not open. They brought the container out to me and told me it could not go on the plane in that manner and had to be in original boxes or in plastic ones made for ammo. You are asking for problems if you take it in the clip, no matter how much you tape it up.
Midlife: simply put, do NOT travel with ammunition in your magazines. I've seen TSA people even look askance at the plastic cartridge boxes reloaders use for handloads. If you travel with ammo, the best way is in a manufacturer's original box. There is a wide variation in how individual TSA agents interpret the rules, even at different terminals at the same airport (e.g., Sky Harbor in PHX), so why leave it to chance? Minimize the amount of thinking the low-wage TSA folks have to do.
AZCDL Life Member
NRA Patron Member
NROI Chief Range Officer
Although it might be technically kosher to use the mag holder, you may well save yourself some headaches from a TSA type by unloading the magazines and using the factory ammo boxes. Just make sure you have less than 11 pounds of ammo.
I fly frequently and I would recommend using something like a large hard sided pelican type case as a suitcase with the smaller case inside. The large case can be locked with non-TSA locks and all your other stuff in the suitcase will also be less likely to be stolen by TSA or baggage handlers. You may need to wait an extra 10 minutes at the ticket counter in case TSA needs to get a key from you to open a case but other than that it is no big deal.
Thank you all for your info. I have another question.
After reading your comments I probably won't put the ammo in the magazine's and duct tape them shut. I expect to keep the ammo in the original manuf. fiber boxes and just bring 50 rounds in 1 box.
My question is can I keep the ammo in the original manuf. fiber boxes loose in my suitcase or does the ammo have to be in another hard sided steel box? I am asking because the gun and the 50 round box won't fit in the same box?
I have a gun safe with a combonation lock and an ace key lock. The pistols go in that container unloaded. I have a second plastic pistol box that a pistol came in. In that box I put my loaded magazines. The magazines are in cheap Uncle Mike carriers, bullets down. The carriers have velcro flaps to keep the magazines in. The plastic pistol box has a feature for a padlock. I padlock the ammo in the plastic pistol box.
Both go in my locked suitcase. My leather gear goes in my carry on or suitcase depending on space. I have worn my leather holster and mag carriers on acccasion depending on my mood. Yes you can carry loaded magazines. They just have to be secured. Also don't use TSA locks. I also put my knives in with the magazines.
PS Don't duct tape your mags. You will have that goop in you gun.
"Marines don't surrender-they win or die." from Brute
JasoninSD, the 11 lb maximum is an airline regulation and not a TSA reg. TSA does not care how much you have in your luggage. Also the limit varies between airlines. When I was handed back the tupperware box, it came from my checked piece of luggage that contained about 40 pounds of shotgun ammo. One thing I have found out is that the airlines never check the amount of ammo. If they do, it is not against any law, just afoul of their rules.
A few suggestions;
Take copies of Frontier and TSA rules with you.
I normally just take ammo in original boxes in the outer suitcase.
The inner box with the gun should be locked with a lock only YOU can open. Don't use one of those "TSA" locks except on the outer case if you want.
Tape a note to the gun case saying;"To open please call (your cell #)".
" Keep On Packin' On The Bimah"
U.S.A.F. 1966-1971 1821-H O-3
N.R.A. Certified RSO
Her is my advice...........
Follow their rules and know them better than they do. More than once I've had check in staff in a tizzy looking through their computers and paperwork trying to figure out what to do. At that point I offer them my binder with printouts of both theirs and the TSA rules and regulations. Each time they have thanked me.
As far as the ammo goes, keep it in the original box and wrap it with several rubber bands to keep the contents where they should be. Then stuff the box somewhere in the middle of your clothing to give it extra protection.
I use a COM safe with the cable wrapped around the frame of the suitcase. This prevents a quick grab of the pistol and case. I also use a TSA approved lock that shows if it's been opened without the combination being used.
Hope this helps.
CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.
Thank you all for some good solid advice that I (and others) can use!