Declare or not????

Declare or not????

This is a discussion on Declare or not???? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've read all the stuff about what the TSA wants you to do, when travelling with a firearm, unloaded, bag must be checked etc.......I don't ...

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Thread: Declare or not????

  1. #1
    Member Array ENSANE1970's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Declare or not????

    I've read all the stuff about what the TSA wants you to do, when travelling with a firearm, unloaded, bag must be checked etc.......I don't remember seeing anything about telling them at the ticket counter, that I have a weapon in my checked bag. I haven't flown with a gun yet, I was wondering from you people here who have, how did you handle it and what should be done to avoid a hassle.
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  2. #2
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    I do declare that you do need to declare a firearm if one is checked in your luggage. They check to make sure its unloaded (sometimes) and then they put a red tag on the bag. Its really not a big deal in most places.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    @ Wits' End
    You need to declare that you are traveling with a firearm (which is different from walking in and loudly proclaiming, "I have a gun!" )

    I suggest that you ask for an airline supervisor and a TSA Agent to make sure that you are dealing with someone who knows what they are doing.

    I flew in September-piece of cake. No problems (unless you count the 4" knife in my laptop bag that I forgot was there until they discovered it. )
    Last edited by miklcolt45; November 6th, 2007 at 06:05 PM. Reason: clarity
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  5. #4
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Allow an extra half hour perhaps in case of delays and tell the clerk at the book-in counter that you have a gun in checked baggage. The orange label deal will be produced for signing and maybe they'll check the gun - quite often once this is done TSA won't even be interested.

    Check the TSA rules on firearms transportation - it's on their site - also check with your chosen airline as to how they wish you to proceed.

    All being well - it'll be easy and painless.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

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  6. #5
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    NW PA
    I've never had trouble. They'll usually ask as you check in, if they don't just say "I have an unloaded firearm in a locked case in my checked bag that I would like to declare." It's worked OK for me so far.
    - Kurt
    “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
    Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V

  7. #6
    Member Array lopadrino79's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    Quick question. What kind of reassurance do you have that your weapon won't "accidentally" be lost? Knowing that you can no longer lock baggage do they make an exception for transporting a weapon?

  8. #7
    Member Array Dusty Miller's Avatar
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    That's a big question for me too. I'm sure an overwhelming per centage of the employees are honest but it only takes a very small per cent to make one's life a living hell.

  9. #8
    Member Array ttpete's Avatar
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    May 2006
    You can use a TSA approved lock. Only the TSA has a key to open it.
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    Opinions expressed here are based upon Michigan state law ONLY. Other state laws may differ. Know and observe your local laws.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array AirForceShooter's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Central Florida
    There is no indication on your bag there's a gun inside.
    You have exactly the same chance of everybody else of getting your bag on arrival everybody else does.
    Have a nice flight

    Gun control is hitting what you aim at

  11. #10
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    Array limatunes's Avatar
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    Yes, you need to declare your weapons. And say, "I would like to declare a firearm," not "I've got a gun."

    I've flown A LOT with handguns, and it's not hard as long as you are up front, comfortable and abide by all rules..

    check out this article for help

    Also, on the likelihood of the gun being "lost"...

    While every airline's policies are different none of the airlines I have flown with have EVER put a sticker or tag on my bag marking it as being loaded with a weapon. From the outside my luggage looks the same as everyone elses.

    What has happened in the past, with me, is that I go to the check-in counter. I declare that I have a firearm. The individual at the desk hands me a tag stating that the gun is unloaded and is housed in a way that is acceptable to TSA standards. I sign the tag and take it over to the TSA agents.

    I inform the TSA agents that I am declaring a firearm and I show them my tag that was given to me by the check-in clerk.

    Sometimes the TSA agent wants to see the gun himself, sometimes he doesn't, but he will ask you to put the tag in the case with the firearm. I proceed to ask the agent where he would like me to do this as to not alarm fellow travelers. Usually they will point you to a pretty safe place if they don't already have one set up. You open the case, put the tag in the case with the gun, and unless otherwise instructed you CAN lock the hard-sided case that the gun is housed in, although it's good practice to ask the TSA agent just in case. Inform them that you have placed the tag in the case with the firearm and that you would like permission to lock the case. They will instruct you as to what is appropriate and probably ask you to stand by as they run your baggage through the check just in case they have any questions and need you to unlock the case.

    Once the luggage has gone through they will give you a thumbs up, or you can politely say, "Hey, am I done here?" They will usually say that you are and you can go to your gate and boarding area.

    Try your best to get a direct flight, that way your luggage isn't changing hands and it minimizes the possibility of it being lost or stolen.

    Be polite, be courteous, be patient and be ready for anything.

    I've flown with handguns more than 6 times now. Once I even needed to tell the check-in clerk what to do. You get used to it and it goes pretty smoothly. Just follow the rules and there'll be no problems.

  12. #11
    Member Array GHFLRLTD's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Orlando, Florida

    Flying with Firearms

    Having traveled a number of times, here's how I go at it:

    1. Put the unloaded weapon(s) in a lockable hard-sided case with locks only you have the keys to open. TSA locks are not allowed.

    2. Check the airline(s) you are flying on:

    o Determine if the ammo MUST be in boxes OR can fly in loaded magazines.
    o If loaded magazines are permitted, make sure the pouches fully cover the magazines.
    o The round from the pipe(s) must be in a box, not loose.

    3. Secure and protect magazines and ammunition boxes from possible damage.

    4. Put the lockable hard-sided case with the weapon and the ammo/magazines into a cheap, non-descript bag - with clear labeling outside and inside - for checking in. The labeling should be limited to:

    o Your Name
    o Your Cell Phone - if you have one, or your home phone if you do not
    o Your personal email address - if you have one

    5. Other stuff - like shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc, could be in this checked bag also.

    6. Check this non-descript bag at the airport. Have the rules for the airline in hand.

    7. Make sure you have the keys to the lockable hard-sided case with you and you alone (Per Federal Regulations § 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals - at all times. You will have to open the lockable hard-side case to demonstrate to the airline that the weapon(s) are not loaded at check in, and if the TSA wants to see.

    8. Have the serial number(s) and descriptions of your weapons on you, so if they "disappear" you can report the loss/theft to the airline, local police and the ATF (National Firearms Theft Hotline - 888-930-9275) immediately.
    Other points to ponder:

    1. Can you possess the weapon at all your stops.

    2. Where can you carry and how at all your stops. Check

    3. What are the deadly force rules in each state you are visiting. Check

    4. Have a copy of the Don Young Transportation Letter on hand -;20letter.pdf. This covers changing methods of travel - car to plane to car - in a single journey.
    George H. Foster
    Orlando, Florida

  13. #12
    Member Array razz's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Check out this site.

    You can see how many and what kinds of stuff are lost due to employee theft at your airport.

  14. #13
    Member Array helitech's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Tucson, Az
    I just returned from a trip to San Angelo Tx. While I was waiting in line at the ticket counter in SA, I noticed several long hard cases at the side of passengers. All out of towners returning home after the local deer hunt toting there deer rifles and pistols. TSA opened all of them.

  15. #14
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    Array ppkheat's Avatar
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    I flew out of a small airport a while back, followed all the rules etc, declared my firearm. Two TSA people were summoned to the ticket counter and wanted to see my gun. Ok, no problem at all for me. The only thing, we were in the midst of about 30 people all in the ticket line, and TSA wanted to examine the gun, right there at the edge of the entire crowd. No problem, I opened the case pulled out my Sig, they asked me to pull the slide back so they could see that the pipe was empty. They nodded okay, and I put everything back in order. The funny thing, when I finished there were 30 pairs of eyes scrutinizing me pretty closely, I guess they were wondering who I was and was I on their side.

    I thought it was sort of in inappropriate place to do inspect a firearm, it was a small airport and terminal space was very limited, but it was their call, not mine.
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  16. #15
    Distinguished Member
    Array StevePVB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
    You can use a TSA approved lock. Only the TSA has a key to open it.
    This spring we flew home from Seattle. Our bags were locked with TSA locks. When we picked up our luggage the lock was missing on one bag. No "note" from TSA. Another of our bags had been searched. They left a pre-printed card in it stating they had opened and inspected the bag.

    I complained about the missing lock. Anyone want to guess what happened

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