pistol in airline checked baggage

pistol in airline checked baggage

This is a discussion on pistol in airline checked baggage within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I was just reviewing the December thread about USA3000's ban on firearms in checked baggage. Luckily this plague doesn't seem to have spread to other ...

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Thread: pistol in airline checked baggage

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    pistol in airline checked baggage

    I was just reviewing the December thread about USA3000's ban on firearms in checked baggage. Luckily this plague doesn't seem to have spread to other airlines.

    I have not yet checked a pistol, but I may need to later. I have read and understood the rules on a couple of airline websites but there is one thing unclear to me as yet.

    I can't decide whether the locked pistol case can be stuck in a larger bag or whether it must be separate. I have a small dictionary-sized lockable case; can I use it and stick it in another bag after the ceremony or must I use a separate case with a handle? If you have experience with this, please advise me.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    It can be, in fact a pistol case probably should be, inside another unlocked piece of luggage.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

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    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    My best advice to you is to get on the TSA website along with the airline website you are going to fly and find the real answer to what they want to see when checking a firearm.


    Ti.
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    I am soon flying with gun - and will have the maker's box double padlocked and it'll go inside the checked baggage. There may be a need to retrieve it and demonstrate the gun is unloaded.

    The TSA page on flying with firearms is worth printing off.
    Chris - P95
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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Ti, thanks for the suggestion.

    I read TSA, Northwest, and American sites. They all agree, pretty much word-for-word, that the pistol must be in a hard-sided locked case. None of them say whether the case must be a separate item or can be carried inside another piece of baggage.

    I have a small hard case that would ride in another bag. I want to get another small one and use them both, but if I need a separate "pistol suitcase" I will buy that instead.

    I don't want to get to the counter and be told "Oh, that case is not suitable, that shop over there has just what you need, only $500". (One of the sites stated that hardcases were available for purchase at airports---I doubt it would be reasonably priced.)

    Chris, sounds like you are planning to enclose the case in another bag, which is what I want to do, so you are probably also interested in knowing the answer.

    What I am hoping for here is that someone who has checked a pistol can answer the question for sure.

    Thanks.

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    Steve - did you get that TSA page? It does not specify re whether hard case is inside other baggage or not but IIRC most folks do put it in with main checked baggage. Someone here has flown with gun I am sure in recent times so we may yet get further feedback. Thus far I will pack the gun case inside main baggage.

    The printable version of the page - URL is - http://www.tsa.gov/public/display?co...c232&print=yes
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Distinguished Member Array jarhead79's Avatar
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    I also learned on here that it may be wise to also disassemble your pistol. this ensures that it is unloaded. The concern the person mentioned was a $1500 1911 and some young TSA punk slamming the slide home on an empty chamber.(something along those lines) If it's disassmbled, perhaps they may only x-ray it instead of finger banging it.

    Who knows. either way, they'll at least probably look at it.

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    The locked case containing the firearm can be placed inside the piece of checked baggage, which I also recommend be lockable. Either way, TSA will ask you to demonstrate that the gun is unloaded. Once that is done you can lock the cases.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    Steve - did you get that TSA page?
    Yes I did, thanks, your url was lengthier than the TSA FAQ I read earlier.

    srfl: Thanks for the advice, sounds like you have done this before.

    I'm in no rush, don't have a plan to do this immediately. I emailed a query that TSA will love so much they are bound to add it to their FAQ.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarhead79
    I also learned on here that it may be wise to also disassemble your pistol.

    Don't go to Jersey.
    Good idea, I had already thought about packing the field-stripped pistol in the case. Of course fumbling while opening the case could cause a rain of parts.

    Avoiding Jersey is also a good idea!

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    Here is my experience flying with a handgun via Northwest. Gun goes in a hard sided lockable case, then in a checked suitcase. I lock the gun case, but not the suitcase when I check in because I have to sign and put into the suitcase a tag that says my gun is unloaded. The checked suitcase does not have to be locked, but I do anyway after checkin. The gun does not have to be dismanteled. I usually insert an empty magazine and pull the slide back, then extract the empty mag. and lay it beside the gun. Sometimes TSA has you open the case to view the empty gun, sometimes not. Sometimes the airline folks have you open the case to view the empty gun, sometimes not. I always print out the latest airline regulations as well as TSA's and carry them with me just in case. I have never had a problem, everything has gone smooth as silk.

    Don't worry about it and have a good flight.
    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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    Member Array rwmorrisonjr's Avatar
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    I just flew United from Denver to Dulless and had no issues. I declared it at Denver, , United hanlder escorted me to TSA, TSA screened it w/o opening my bag or asking me to open the case, United handler walked it back to the baggage area, and I picked it up at Dulles. No issues or hassles at all.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    excellent information!

    Exactly what I hoped to read. Thanks for all the help. Best forum on the Net.

  14. #14
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    Here's my personal experience with handguns only in the following airports. Miami, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Knoxville.

    Over 20 round trips.

    TSA regs apply, but there is variation among airports.

    A calm attitude and appearance of knowledge of regs helps.

    In order of liberalness (my new word), the more liberal, the more alarmed and goofy they get. Fort Lauderdale and WPB made me open the case on the luggage scale so no one would see the scary gun. Knoxville, no one gave it a look.

    My interpretation of the regs is this and has never been questioned by airport personnel.

    Hardsided lockable case (with locks) containing unloaded firearm. Place firearms declaration in the case. (declaration to be supplied by ticket agent) show weapon to ticket agent or tsa agent (if tsa at ticket counter area). Place locked case in suitcase. Ammo can be in same suitcase in proper box, which includes the cardboard box typical commercial defensive loads come in.

    Only bring gun you wouldn't be heartbroken or financially spanked too hard if you lost it. The thought of leaving a real nice 1911 in luggage makes me cringe!! Remember the Samsonite Gorilla? He is fully authorized to open your suitcase now!
    The Marshmallowist

  15. #15
    Member Array Obiwan's Avatar
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    Flying with guns

    Yes any suitable and lockable container can be used. I found one at an Army-Navy store for $7.00 that works great. I put my travel gun in it with the slide locked back. The container goes inside of a regular suitcase and that bag should be LOCKED. TSA regs state that the suitcase must be locked with the passenger holding the key or combination. Don't use any of those idiotic "TSA locks". Everyone has a key to them. If TSA wants to look, they can call you to open the bag. DO NOT give them the key/combo. Carry a copy of the regs with you. In Raleigh early last year I had to quote their own regs to them. They were upset but THEY complied with the regs!

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