My experience Air travel with gun: 2 lessons learned

This is a discussion on My experience Air travel with gun: 2 lessons learned within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Was flying from Florida to Louisiana last week. Did my research, asked questions here, looked up airline rules, looked up TSA rules. Did everything the ...

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Thread: My experience Air travel with gun: 2 lessons learned

  1. #1
    Member Array davidw's Avatar
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    My experience Air travel with gun: 2 lessons learned

    Was flying from Florida to Louisiana last week. Did my research, asked questions here, looked up airline rules, looked up TSA rules. Did everything the proper way. 8:00AM my wife and I are ready to leave and she says we should take her van instead of my car. "Okay, lets just go in case we need extra time at the counter" This was my first time doing this and didn't know how it would go.

    We get up to the counter and I tell the agent I have a gun to declare. She said ok, no problem. Writes on a little card, hands it to me and asks me to fill it out and sign it. Going very smooth. She asks me if it is unloaded and I said of course it is. She said ok, just open up your suitcase, take out the gun case and open it up for me. I open my suitcase, dig around for the gunsafe and finally found it. I take it out and exclaim "oh ****, I left the key at home" My wife says "what"? I explained that the key is always on my key ring with car keys and you wanted to take you car so I had left my keys home. LOL

    They lady actually said if it hasn't been fired recently the machine the luggage goes through may not detect it and you may be able to take it with you. I declined and put it in my car.

    As it turns out, everything happens for a reason. On the trip home we get to the airport terminal a little over an hour early. The line to check in luggage at the ticket counter is well over an hour long. I waited on that line and my wife on the curbside line. Curbside took an hour to get through. We made the gate just as they were boarding. Had I had my gun we would have missed the flight.

    Lesson 1) Always take my car
    Lesson 2) Always leave plenty of unexpected extra time.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array DIABLO9489's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update on your flying experience. I will be flying from Buffalo to Las Vegas at the end of May and was planning on bringing one of my pistols. Sounds like everything was going smoothly until you realized you forgot your keys. Now the only problem I will have is trying to decide which one to bring.
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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Yeah...I had that scare last month...it sucks. Fortunately I kept a spare key in my carry-on (just in case!). I always plan for arrival at the airport 2 hrs before boarding to get through the line and deal with the lowest common denominator (someone ignorant of gun carriage/process/procedures).
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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  5. #4
    JD
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    How about a lesson #3...

    MAKE SURE YOU ARE ABLE TO OPEN THE CASE/LOCK, regardless of what car you take.

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    Member Array GHFLRLTD's Avatar
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    The Full Monte On Taking A Piece With You On A Plane

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

    1. Review TSA: Traveling with Special Items to understand TSA policies and procedures. Have a copy with you when you reach the airport.
    2. 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.
    3. Steps that will make it easier to show that the weapon is unloaded - especially when x-rayed.
      • If the weapon is a:
        • semi-automatic
        • 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
    4. 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 magazine top where the cartridges are visable.
      • The round(s) from the chamber(s)/cylinder(s) must be in a box, not loose
    5. Secure and protect magazines (separately from the weapon) and ammunition boxes from possible damage.
    6. 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
    7. Other stuff - like shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc, could be in this checked bag also.
    8. Have the rules for the airline in hand when you check this non-descript bag at the airport.
    9. 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
    10. 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:
      • airline
      • FAA Regional Office
      • ATF Regional Office

    Other things to consider:

    1. Check Handgunlaw.us and/or Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity Maps 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
    2. 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.


    Regarding the key or keys - I keep a copy of the key INSIDE the unlocked travel box, to avoid just this problem. I have a second backup key inside my carry on luggage, and of course one on my key chain.
    George H. Foster
    Orlando, Florida

  7. #6
    Member Array davidw's Avatar
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    Lesson learned about keys.
    I never, ever, ever had such a long wait to check in luggage. I guess from now on I will be doing a lot of people watching in the airport when I fly.

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    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    This thread has been way helpful

    Thank you guys I had an idea of how to go about traveling with my CCW but heard no actual experiences
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    I travel with a Guvault Microvault with an electronic key pad to open the lock. A key is used as a backup if the battery goes dead. Not saying it would have helped if your batteries were dead but i normally change mine before flying.

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    flown with my gun plenty of times. has never taken more than an extra 30 sec to fill out the card. always double check that i have the appropriate keys, wallet, etc when traveling.
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
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  11. #10
    Member Array SAMI's Avatar
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    Am I safe to assume that the gun case that my SA XD40 came in will count as the lockable hard-sided case? IIRC there is a spot to add a lock.
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Hi SAMI, yes the case your SA XD40 came in will work as long as it's locked.

  13. #12
    Member Array SAMI's Avatar
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    Great, thanks. Hopefully it will be joining me to Florida in a few weeks.
    Forget 'Twitter', i'm on the CB...
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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Check out this vid. The guy has a good system to keep everything safe, not just your gun.

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    Member Array ROFL SQUAD's Avatar
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    Thanks for the resources guys!

    J
    If you're going to carry one weapon, might as well carry two, because as the saying goes, "Two is one, and one is none."

    "Liberals can decline or whine, but I will still carry and conceal mine." - Cold Warrior. Excellent quote good sir!

  16. #15
    Member Array davidw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAMI View Post
    Great, thanks. Hopefully it will be joining me to Florida in a few weeks.
    Don't forget the key LOL

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