Success! Traveled Southwest Airline from Orlando to St. Louis and Back with Firearm

This is a discussion on Success! Traveled Southwest Airline from Orlando to St. Louis and Back with Firearm within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I recently flew to St. Louis from Orlando and successfully checked my firearm in my luggage. Before leaving, I checked TSA and Southwest regulations: TSA: ...

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Thread: Success! Traveled Southwest Airline from Orlando to St. Louis and Back with Firearm

  1. #1
    Member Array CharlieMike's Avatar
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    Success! Traveled Southwest Airline from Orlando to St. Louis and Back with Firearm

    I recently flew to St. Louis from Orlando and successfully checked my firearm in my luggage.

    Before leaving, I checked TSA and Southwest regulations:

    TSA: Traveling with Special Items
    Southwest Airlines Travel Policies - Guns and Ammunition

    So, I packed my unloaded firearm, empty magazines, and ammunition in a locked Pelican 1400 case. I placed the case in my soft-sided luggage. When I arrived at the Southwest check-in counter in Orlando, I discretely mentioned that I'd like to declare a firearm.

    I didn't know what to expect and I was prepared for anything up to and including, "OH MY GOD! YOU HAVE WHAT? POLICE, ARREST THIS MAN!" Instead, she didn't skip a beat. She knew exactly how to handle the situation -- very professional. She asked me to open the case and show that the firearm was clear (which I did, again, discretely). She seemed to genuinely know how to tell that it was clear. Then she had me complete a "Southwest Airlines Firearm(s) Inspection Tag" which had a form for my address and telephone number on one side and the actual firearm(s) declaration on the other:

    I understand that the carriage of a loaded weapon is a violation of federal regulations. I therefore declare the following regarding the firearm(s) contained in my luggage:
    1. The firearm(s) chambers are free of ammunition and the magazine clip has been removed (when applicable).
    2. Loaded magazines or clips are packaged to prevent accidental activation of the primer.
    3. The unloaded firearm(s) is inside a hard-sided locked container and I alone am in possession of the key or combination.
    4. My total allowance of checked luggage contains no more than 11 pounds of ammunition and it is securely packaged in an appropriate container.

    I also understand that state laws vary regarding registration, possession, and carriage of weapons. I acknowledge that I am responsible for knowing and following the firearm laws of the state(s) to and through which I will be traveling.
    After filling out the form and signing the declaration, the attendant placed the card in my Pelican case and asked me to lock it. She escorted me to an area where the TSA X-rays luggage and asked me to wait until they've cleared me. After about a minute of waiting, they told me to have a nice flight.

    The process was almost identical on the way back.

    On both ends, the Southwest and TSA employees were very friendly and professional. The procedure seems to be safe, reasonable, and efficient.
    Last edited by CharlieMike; April 14th, 2008 at 02:46 PM. Reason: fixed minor grammar errors.
    ironmike86 likes this.

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  3. #2
    Member Array badmojo's Avatar
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    Good information. You make it sound easy!
    ‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’

    — Abraham Lincoln

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    Member Array BlueMerle's Avatar
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    Glad it worked out well for you.

    I'm glad to hear that the TSA and the airlines have a policy in place to deal with that. And no one freaks out and screams "GUN" That always ruins my day

  5. #4
    Member Array CharlieMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmojo View Post
    You make it sound easy!
    It is! :)

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    Senior Member Array Ivan4x4's Avatar
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    good info, t/u

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    Sounds identical to my experience with Frontier in Denver and Canton. I know we always feel like we are the only one that checks a gun flying but I would say by their reaction they do it a number of times a day.
    "Those who would give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety" -Benjamin Franklin-
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    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    thanks for the info.... And glad to hear a first hand experance went good.

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    Member Array Puppy's Avatar
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    It's easier in Colombia South America. There, at least according to my observations you hand your weapon to a flight attendant. After the flight she hands it back to you. I once saw a "Stew" getting off a plane carrying several handguns returning them to people..

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    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    I haven't flow in quite awhile but that has always been my experience. I did have one nice lady in FL, while waiting for the TSA guy, ask if my handgun was for hunting and I told her no, personal protection. She didn't seem to bat an eye about it.
    DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.

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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    I've flown with a firearm several times and I have had good experiences and bad ones.

    It really all depends on the quality of the TSA personnel you have to deal with at the various airports. The dumber the TSA rep, the worst your experience will be.
    ,=====o00o _
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    Member Array iball's Avatar
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    Hmmm...now that I think of it, I've flown with firearms many, many times and never had to declare them.
    Oh that's right, it was always either a C-5 or C-130 and everyone else around me was carrying as well.

    When traveling I've always found it best to have a nice red U.S. passport with you.
    When the TSA folks start asking inane questions you just politely tell them that it's none of their business and flash the red U.S. passport.
    Of course, not everyone can get one of those but if you're eligible then GET ONE IMMEDIATELY.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iball View Post
    Hmmm...now that I think of it, I've flown with firearms many, many times and never had to declare them.
    Oh that's right, it was always either a C-5 or C-130 and everyone else around me was carrying as well.

    When traveling I've always found it best to have a nice red U.S. passport with you.
    When the TSA folks start asking inane questions you just politely tell them that it's none of their business and flash the red U.S. passport.
    Of course, not everyone can get one of those but if you're eligible then GET ONE IMMEDIATELY.
    Not being up on passport info, what is a red US passport and how does one acquire one?
    ,=====o00o _
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    Member Array iball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    Not being up on passport info, what is a red US passport and how does one acquire one?
    Work directly for a branch of the U.S. Government, as far as I know.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Been through Orlando airport several times with guns, fairly smooth and easy both times. Colorado and WY, were a bit different, as the agents were interested in my guns, wanted to see them, ( wow, is that a so and so, cool, how does it shoot ?? ), rather than just toss in the inspection tags.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iball View Post
    Work directly for a branch of the U.S. Government, as far as I know.
    According to Wikipedia, the blue one is a "Regular" passport.

    The maroon one is an "Official" passport.

    Official (maroon cover)
    Issuable to citizen-employees of the United States assigned overseas, either permanently or temporarily, and their eligible dependents, and to members of Congress who travel abroad on official business. Period of validity: generally five years from the date of issue.[28] Illustration: cover -- right.
    That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

    http://www.nevadashooters.com

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