Another "flying with gun went fine" thread (CO - TX)

Another "flying with gun went fine" thread (CO - TX)

This is a discussion on Another "flying with gun went fine" thread (CO - TX) within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I flew from Denver (DIA) to Dallas (DFW) and back on United this weekend, checking a firearm for the first time. It all went very ...

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Thread: Another "flying with gun went fine" thread (CO - TX)

  1. #1
    Member Array MountainPacker's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Denver, Colorado

    Thumbs up Another "flying with gun went fine" thread (CO - TX)

    I flew from Denver (DIA) to Dallas (DFW) and back on United this weekend, checking a firearm for the first time. It all went very smoothly.

    Checking in at DIA, they didn't have tags at the station I was checking in at so someone walked me to the end of the counter, asked if it was unloaded and locked (never looked), gave me the tag and had another person walk me to TSA a short distance away. They ran it through an X-ray, allowed me to lock the suit case (haven't done that in a while) and I was on my way.

    Checking in at DFW was so smooth, it was a real twilight zone experience. I flew through the rental car return and there was a shuttle waiting for me. My airline was the first stop. I guess there wasn't much going on at that time. There was NO ONE in line at the United check-in. Three people waited on me there. I declared the firearm. They commented that they hadn't done one in a long time (seems odd for Texas), gave me the tag and told me I should put it inside the locked case. I instead followed the TSA guidelines and tossed it in the suitcase with the locked gun case. I didn't argue with them. They weren't really paying attention to what I was doing anyway. Then they just tossed the bag on the conveyor like any other suitcase. They said that was what they were supposed to do with guns checked in regular bags. Rifle cases go to oversized luggage. I commented that it was odd I didn't have to go to TSA. They seemed fairly confident that they were doing it right and said if they screwed it up, they'd just page me at the gate and fix it there. I went on to security. No one was in line there either. It all took just a minute or two including security. My gate was across the hall from security. I ended up at the gate 3 hours early.

    Waiting at the gate, I had a lot of time, so I asked a TSA agent about the odd deviation from the stated procedure. He said that's how they do it at that airport since the TSA check is "in-line". He also said the check will kick out any bag with contraband for inspection. At that point they'll see the tag in my bag (since I didn't put it in the gun case). He said if they needed into the case, they'd call me up to the gate.

    I picked up my bag in Denver. All was well. There was one of those little information leaflets in my bag saying it had been searched by hand.

    I suppose I could have educated the gate agents at the United counter, but I didn't want them to insist I put the tag in the wrong place. That's why I just tossed it in as I did.

    I arrived home to the hugs and kisses of my wife and kids. That's the best part.

    ETA: It's probably good to use a plastic locking case rather than a metal one. The ease of which they could X-ray through the case probably decreased the likelihood I'd need to be paged to unlock it. A heavy metal case would have been a black hole to the X-ray and I'm sure they'd have to find me. If they can't find you under those circumstances, your bag doesn't go on the plane.

  2. #2
    Member Array riverkeeper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Washington's Olympic Penninsula
    I've heard other folks have had minor problems but I've flown with at least one handgun maybe 10 round trips since 911.

    Know the routine, have a lock, declare it at the desk and cooperate, anticipate questions ... Slowly and clearly -- "I have an UNLOADED handgun in an internal lockable box and NO AMMO to declare for the flight""

    There've been some minor variations in the routine even within the same airline ... sometimes in my favor.

    Nothing to fear here.
    Old testament....Shooting to Live 1942
    Newer testament... Kill or Get Killed 1976/1987

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    I fly frequently. I field strip my 1911, put the upper and lower in ziplock bags, and tell the clerk it is unable to fire. Magazines go in another section of the checked luggage. Never have I had to explain a thing, except once when the TSA dingdong asked me why I had a holster in my bag. Never mentioned the gun that fit it.

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