Checking firearms at the airport - Page 2

Checking firearms at the airport

This is a discussion on Checking firearms at the airport within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It's been my experience that the TSA is more concerned with checking the padding in my gun case for contraband than they are concerned about ...

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Thread: Checking firearms at the airport

  1. #16
    Member Array DarthMuffin's Avatar
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    It's been my experience that the TSA is more concerned with checking the padding in my gun case for contraband than they are concerned about the gun itself--they just ask me if it's unloaded, I say yes, that's that. Also, different airports handle it differently. Smaller airports take it out, have you unlock it there (usually in a back room), manually check it (and the rest of your luggage) and then shunt your luggage to the "head of the line" as it were. Kind of nice that I get to be there for my luggage inspection. The bigger airports which have the sophisticated x-ray machines just want to know about the existence of the gun in there so they don't freak out when seeing it on x-ray. They ask you to hang around while it's scanned, none of them have ever asked to open the luggage.

    Factory box for the ammo. I have travelled so much my box was starting to get worn so I wrapped it a few times with clear packing tape. Now I have a sturdy factory "travel" box.

    I also make sure to put my cell phone number at least on my luggage tag if not on the gun case itself.

    I'm astonished that it gets no special treatment when dumped on the baggage carousel. I was at an airport once where all the flights were cancelled due to weather. They just dumped my bag on the carousel and about 4 HOURS later when they finally admitted I wasn't going anywhere I went out to find that my bag, with the gun in it, had been on the carousel alone the whole time--anyone could have taken it.


  2. #17
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    This confirms what I thought...never,ever,ever go to or even think of,visiting NYC...period

  3. #18
    Member Array libertarian5's Avatar
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    TSA has a web page on the subject:

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1666.shtm

  4. #19
    New Member Array Strapped's Avatar
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    I recently traveled on SW Airlines with a firearm and my experience was the same as the OP except for the following:

    When I turned my bag in to TSA, they searched my whole bag behind a wall and I had to standby until they were done.

    I could not have any ammo inside the gun case.......it had to be in the factory box in which it came and separate from the gun itself.

  5. #20
    New Member Array bwavec's Avatar
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    At the small airport where my flying experience always begins, taking a handgun in your luggage makes the check in superfast.

    As soon as I get in the building, I grab a TSA employee (there are usually a couple of them just loitering in the main lobby), and tell them I have a firearm that I need to check.

    They take me right up to the ticket counter (and past everyone in line) and we take care of business and any checks they need to do....time from the curb to the security checkpoint: less than 8 minutes.

  6. #21
    Senior Member Array Matthew Temkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe R View Post
    If your airport of origin or destination is in NYC, one had BEST have a NYC handgun license or one will face arrest. No exceptions.

    The same applies in the rest of NY, except there are exceptions for hunting or formal target shooting or handgun training events. Best have documentation (hunting license, hunting trip booking, match program, traning class admission form, etc.) to prove your need of a handgun.

    Just bringing in a handgun to have along (even if not concealed) into NY state is illegal without a NYS pistol license and they don't give those out like candy.

    However, regardless of what NYC Port Authority Police thinks, someone connecting through NYC airports, with his origin and destination elsewhere, is covered by the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986.

    Don't expect NYC police to respect Federal law when it doesn't suit them, though.

    Best advice is to avoid that place at all, for any reason.
    Not exactly.
    If you check your bags in Ohio for a flight to Maine--via a stop over in NYC--- you will have no problems if the airline makes the transfer via the baggage handlers.
    The problem arises if your connecting flight is canceled and you have to spend an unplanned night in NYC.
    If this happens and you take your bags to the hotel then you will be in big trouble when you check in for your next day's flight.
    Hey --I don't like these laws but they are what they are.

  7. #22
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    I have flown from FL to MI and back several times...always on Delta!
    Never had a problem...

    Note to self...stay out of NYC...
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  8. #23
    Senior Member Array Matthew Temkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squawker View Post
    First, thanks GHFLRLTD, for the Don Young letter. There's now a copy on my hard drive. As far as flying with handguns checked in luggage, I've flown a few times with a few guns, between Las Vegas and BWI. It's always so far been on Southwest. Each time, I've checked the guns at the desk, and told the agent that I was flying with handguns. The first time, I was asked to open the case, the second, I wasn't. I filled out the card each time, and put the case back in my luggage. Then, regardless whether it was Vegas or BWI, the bags have then been placed on the conveyor, just as normal baggage, and I didn't see them again until I picked them up at the other end. I've never gone to see a TSA agent at either airport. With the exception of going inside instead of using curb side check in, and having to open my bag, there really hasn't been any difference between travelling with and without handguns.
    As far as NYC, I don't ever want to go there again, with or without hand guns. The only chance that I would have of going there with my guns, would be in the event that the flight was diverted. I'll always have a copy of the Don Young letter with me, any time I fly to the east coast, just in case. I've read horror stories of people arrested in NYC because there were guns in their luggage, and the flight had been diverted to NYC. While I have the highest regard for law enforcement in general, the NYPD are fascists when it comes to hand guns.
    Hey, don't blame the NYPD for this.
    It is the Port Authority police who are enforcing the laws at the airports.
    And don't blame the cops for enforcing dumb laws that moronic politicians pass.

  9. #24
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    These are great posts, very informative to say the least. My biggest concern is when I travel to FL next year and have to fly out of either O'Hare or Midway Airports. I have read conflicting stories about Chicago airports, especially because I am not subject to Chicago handgun laws since I live about 45 miles outside the city in another county.

  10. #25
    New Member Array LightsOut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squawker View Post
    While I have the highest regard for law enforcement in general, the NYPD are fascists when it comes to hand guns.
    Before you insult a police agency as an enemy of the Republic and ally of Benito Mussolini, you might want to get the target of your acerbity correct.

    FYI, the NYPD has 0 jurisdiction over LaGuardia Airport or John F. Kennedy International Airport.

    The Port Authority Police of New York/New Jersey do.

    http://www.panynj.gov/AboutthePortAu...thorityPolice/

  11. #26
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    Large round magazine at airport

    Does anyone know if I will have any difficulty passing through Chicagos Ohare with 15 round magazines in checked luggage as City of Chicago has laws against more than 12 rounds? Thanks

  12. #27
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    Always check (on line) with your specific Air Carrier's polocies on Firearms and Ammunition.

    Print the information from the internet with the Air Carrier's logos on the printed paper. Take that with you since you might need it to 'educate' the Air Carrier's ticket agent.

    Assume that the person at the check-in desk is not at all even remotely aware that you are legally allowed to transport Firearms and Ammo. Be very polite and explain it to them.

    Granted, at some airports/locations, when leaving, like Las Vegas and Jackson, Wo, they are very aware of Firearms and Ammo since this is normal for them. At places like San Francisco International and other more 'Progressive Geographically located places', the clerk will often interject thier personal politics into the interaction, regardless of the fact that you are totally legal and are abiding by that specific Air Carrier's rules. I've been there and done that with raging anti-gun ticket agents (who think they can change the rules because they are 'important') - I've always won and twice used the TSA Shift Manager to defend me (yes, that works - to the TSA's credit!).

    Always, and Always (did I say Always?) check where you are transferring or travling through like NYC (^^^^^ above poster nailed it for at least a 60 mile radius - and include all of NJ just to be safe) to make sure that you don't violate any anti 2A illegal restrictions. Note: If you are just transferring aircraft, and your bag will be transferred, you might take that chance, but don't bet on it...... if for some reason the bag gets cracked, you will be in local violation.

    As far as I have seen, the TSA Agents (remember, they are not sworn Peace Officer and have no offical capacity - so they have to always get the local LEO to arrest) are very helpful, as long as you are talking about declaired and 'checked' baggage.

    Lastly, of this way overstated post of mine, you do not need to use the OEM plastic box that you firearm came in (handguns). Read the Air Carrier's specifications. Go out an buy a very nice case that cannot be opened. I have a stainless case with internal locks for my SD handguns that I fly. The bigest thing they will refuse you on is if they can even remotely pry up an edge of the case when it is locked............... so most OEM plastic cases are worthless for meeting this basic rule.

    Overall, other than the ocassional Air Carrier ticket agent who has a personal agenda against firearms ownership, flying with weapons has been 'easy peasy'.

    Edit Added: ^^^ above poster DarthMuffin..... yes, I've had my padding pulled out of my stainless case with the TSA Agent aplogizing while doing it.... but that Agent was very professional and put everything back in a way that the finish would not be affected by the contents of the case rubbing against each other.
    Last edited by ANGLICO; November 23rd, 2012 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Added last not about TSA checking Case Padding.
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  13. #28
    Member Array Cougar8000's Avatar
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    Checking firearms at the airport

    Most likely you will not have trouble as checking is done by carrier personnel.

    I just flew from and into Chicago with my kahr. Lady in Chicago didn't even wanted to see my gun. Lady in Orlando just asked if it is unloaded. That was it

    Cops or anyone who has any day in the mag capacity never came into the picture


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  14. #29
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    Ohare airport

    Thank you for the advice. Next week I will be driving through states of which I can legally conceal a firearm and then flying back to Il-annoys(otherwise spelled Illinois). This is a first for me and I want to be certain to do it correctly.

  15. #30
    Member Array BadHabit's Avatar
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    Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it..... AKA>>> Search, Baby, Search. This kind of top has been hashed out several times before.

    FAA Firearm Requirements

    Flying with your Firearm in Checked Luggage

    First Trip on an Airline w/handgun

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