This is a discussion on Simple Airline Travel Question within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Everyone's missing the point here. Checked baggage containing a firearm is the EXCEPTION to using TSA-approved locks. You're supposed to use a NON-TSA approved lock ...
Everyone's missing the point here.
Checked baggage containing a firearm is the EXCEPTION to using TSA-approved locks. You're supposed to use a NON-TSA approved lock if your baggage has a weapon.
TSA: Traveling with Special Items
"The container must be locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from access by anyone other than you"
"We recommend that you provide the key or combination to the security officer if he or she needs to open the container. You should remain present during screening to take the key back after the container is cleared. If you are not present and the security officer must open the container, we or the airline will make a reasonable attempt to contact you. If we can't contact you, the container will not be placed on the plane. Federal regulations prohibit unlocked gun cases (or cases with broken locks) on aircraft."
Last edited by rhenriksen; November 7th, 2009 at 04:31 PM. Reason: corrected grammar
I strongly advise everyone to carry yourweapon in a case inside another bag. Any firearm case displayed is an invitation to theives.
Having traveled a number of times, here's how I go at it:
- Review TSA: Traveling with Special Items to understand TSA policies and procedures. Have a copy with you when you reach the airport.
- Put the unloaded weapon(s) in a lockable hard-sided case with locks only you have the keys/combination to open. TSA locks are not allowed.
- Steps that will make it easier to show that the weapon is unloaded - especially when x-rayed.
- If the weapon is a:
- lock the slide open
- put a cable tie through the barrel and out the breach to show that the chamber is empty
- revolver, flip the cylinder out
- Do not put the magazines in this locked case with the gun(s):
- it invites questions about them being loaded
- if the gun case is "liberated" from the checked bag by a Criminal Entrepreneur, the lack of magazines frustrates the "Liberator", since the weapon is now initially a single shot one.
- Check the airline(s) you are flying on:
- To determine if the ammo
- MUST be in boxes (plastic reload boxes work)
- can fly in loaded magazines
- If loaded magazines are permitted, make sure the pouches fully cover the magazines
- The round(s) from the chamber(s)/cylinder(s) must be in a box, not loose.
- Secure and protect magazines (separately from the weapon) and ammunition boxes from possible damage.
- 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.
- If possible, develop a way to attach - in a lockable way - the hard-sided case to the piece of luggage it has been placed into.
- The labeling should be limited to:
- Your Name
- Your Cell Phone - if you have one, or your home phone if you do not
- Your personal email address - if you have one
- NO ADDRESSES, JOB TITLES, ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD BE INDICATED
- Other stuff - like shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc, could be in this checked bag also.
- Have the rules for the airline in hand when you check this non-descript bag at the airport.
- Make sure you have the keys/combinations to the lockable hard-sided case with you and you alone (Per Federal Regulations 49CFR § 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals - Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:) 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 (a signed form/tag indicating that will go in with the weapon(s))
- if the TSA wants to see
- Have the serial number(s) and descriptions of your weapons on you, so if they "disappear" you can report the loss/theft immediately to the:
- FAA Regional Office
- ATF Regional Office
Other things to consider:
- Check Handgunlaw.us and/or Pack-N-Go Carry Concealed Trip Planner to determine:
- If you can possess the weapon at all your stops
- Where and how you can carry at all your stops
- What are the deadly force rules in each state you are visiting
- Have a copy of the Don Young Transportation Letter on hand - http://www.anjrpc.org/DefendingYourR...s%20letter.pdf. This covers changing modes of travel - car to plane to car - in a single journey.
George H. Foster
Don't know if this has been addressed here yet, but on another thread someone gave the idea to lock the slide back for transport to eliminate the necessity of handling the weapon too much. A disassembled weapon (locked in it's case) would answer the issue as well of nervous TSA staff (all of them).
That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...
Don’t mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.
Convenire Volui Spectatus
Yes... and no, never lost the luggage. Delayed once, but not lost.
I often travel with my ccw to reciprocal states. It actually isn't that bad a process. Since I have to participate in the goofy TSA security theater anyway, I may as well have my piece on the other end - as long as it's legal.
I flew today with firearms and ammunition as I frequently do.
I have trigger locks on the pistols which are in locking Glock cases which are locked in a Pelican Case which has 2 non TSA combination locks, each with a different combination. Also 12 unloaded magazines and 10 lbs of ammunition in original boxes.
Small laminated copies of purchase receipts as well as TSA regs, US Law and names and phone numbers of Law Enforcement Agencies at each end of the trip are also in the case.
I declare to the airline that I am travelling with unloaded Firearms and ammunition, less than 11 lbs. They fill out a declaration which I sign and they place in the Pelican case. I then lock the case. The Customer Service Rep then takes the case, tells me to wait at the end of the screening machine until the case clears TSA and hands it to the TSA screener while telling the screener that the case contains firearms and ammunition. The case goes through screening and is placed on the baggage belt by the screener.
When I arrive at my destination, I make it a point to get to bagggage claim as quickly as possible so that a Pelican Case with external locks isn't riding the carousel as an attractive target.
Since today's destination was ERW (Newark, NJ) where I don't have CC priviledges, I rode the airtrain to the car rental and then proceeded to my destination, where I can legally have the pistols, without any detours or stops.
No big deal. I also travel through LGA and JFK in NY with no hassles.
Great information here!
I will be traveling to Pennsylvania, pick up a gun and fly from Scranton, Pennsylvania Airport to Ft. Lauderdale Florida and will be bring a handgun with me.
I am reviewing the TSA: Traveling with Special Items link above and make sure I cover everything properly...
But just wondering if anyone has traveled through that airport in Scranton and have any comments to be aware of when going their.
I'll research further but... I am bringing back a Sig in it's original hard case and was hoping that putting a lock around the handle which is part of the case will suffice and then put that in my baggage case.
Any comments will be appreciated.
This will probably not work. Note on the TSA site about the ability NOT to pry open.I'll research further but... I am bringing back a Sig in it's original hard case and was hoping that putting a lock around the handle which is part of the case will suffice and then put that in my baggage case.
Two better choices:
Flambeau Outdoors Hunting Products - Gun Cases
In Car Gun Safe
In Car Gun Safe
Currently using the first (was only about $10.00 back in 2004), going to get the second.
George H. Foster
That is a fantastic idea... I plan to use a similar setup next week... flying from Pennsylvania to Ft. Lauderdale. I'll be using the factory Sig case because it has a little hole at the handle for a lock and use a simple Master lock then I would like to cable the case to my carry luggage case just like that.
Can anyone tell me where can I get a cable just like that?
thanks for the suggestions... I found out the case has a lock hole on it so can lock it that way and will be ok. Just wanting to cable it now securely to my luggage and hope that is the set up i can go with.
I guess another option if in a pinch was that i can find a UPS store in Pennsylvania and ship it back to me in Florida?
I love that incar case and if i had more time to order and wait for it i would. hope my gun case is good enough.
The problem with the big gun cases, is that they look like a gun case. I have one of the old (bought in 1998) big Pelican travel vaults and it works. I do worry that someone with a good knife could just slice through it. I've been trying to find one of those hard sided golf club bags with wheels and then I can just lock my pistol case inside.
I've checked my gun only on Alaska Air flights, and I haven't flown for several years, so things may have changed (and may differ from one airline to the next).
At the check-in counter, they always made me open my suitcase, open my gun case, sometimes demo unloaded (but usually not), close gun case, (sometimes) show them I'm locking it, place disclosure form inside suitcase, close suitcase (I don't lock it), wait for escort to take me and my suitcase to TSA, wait outside TSA area for them to come get my gun-case key, they bring back my key, and everything after that is normal.
There seemed to be a lot of variability, on different flights, in how things were handled...I think the kinks were still being worked out...may be more consistent now.
Once, they put a big sticker on the OUTSIDE of my suitcase, indicating some kind of special status. I was unhappy that my suitcase was being marked as "special" in such an obvious way. That's never happened again (maybe a very small sticker, but not obvious to most people).
They don't require that I lock my suitcase, and I don't. I don't want to call any special attention to my suitcase.
I usually put my gun case in the middle of the suitcase, for cushioning by clothes on all sides, with a note taped to the top of the gun case asking that they leave it in that position.
Several times, they never came out and asked for my key. Other times, they did.
All-in-all, it seemed pretty chaotic and haphazard to me.