Airline travel with a firearm
This is a discussion on Airline travel with a firearm within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; @Mods, I put this post here as it deals with the TSA. Please feel free to move it if there is a more appropriate place.
December 9th, 2012 01:33 PM
Airline travel with a firearm
@Mods, I put this post here as it deals with the TSA. Please feel free to move it if there is a more appropriate place.
Last Friday, my wife and I flew from NC to OH which has CC reciprocity and we packed a couple of guns in our checked baggage. We went to the 'special handling' desk at the Charlotte ticket counter and asked for a declaration tag and I said that we had a couple of unloaded firearms to declare. The girl was very professional about it. She gave me the tag to fill out, took a quick look at the case I had opened for inspection, had us lock it up and then we put it inside of the normal checked bag. She said that if there was any question or problem that we would be paged and placed our bag on the conveyer.
On the return trip, the process was almost identical, except that the agent put a CAGPT tag on the outside of the bag. My immediate thought was that they are not allowed to mark the outside of the case as to the fact that it contains a weapon. However, I didn't know what CAGPT means, which I subsequently learned (see this thread from 2007) means Check And Give Protection Too, which seems to be something they put on bags that have valuables declared.
In both instances, when we picked up our checked bag, we could tell that someone had been through it.
Anticipating the desire to travel with firearms at some point, I had asked for (and am receiving) a larger Pelican case for the upcoming holiday. This time, my travel was unexpected and so I simply put the guns in a smaller lock box inside of the normal luggage. With the larger Pelican case, I would put two non TSA locks on the case. From a lot of the reading I have done, it seems like the common procedure, at least with larger locked cases, is to have the TSA clear the bag and have you lock it right then rather than send it back for general scanning. This covers the regulation that only you have access to the weapons. My concern is that with a larger locked case, they would simply cut the locks to gain entry, which would be a violation.
The post I referenced above was from 2007. Has anyone dealt with this recently and how do/did you handle it?
December 9th, 2012 01:48 PM
I fly often with guns and ammo in my checked baggage and the majority of the trips there were no problems because of the guns. But, that is not to say that I have never experienced a problem. Most problems have been caused by the Uneducated, Ill trained counter person or TSA person. I use "SecureIt" key lockable gun safes (<$30 each)permanently attached inside of my luggage.
December 9th, 2012 02:08 PM
They should not be putting any tag on the outside of your bag. The delaration goes on the gun case, inside of your bag.
You seem well informed.
As always, for everyone, each Air Carrier has their own rules on how much weapon(s), how to pack them, and most importantly, how much ammo, and how to pack it - on the Air Carrier's website. The TSA does not control that. They only have authority if you violate the secure area of the Airport or you don't follow the Air Carrier's policy, at which point, the usually uninformed Ticket Agent will often refer to the TSA regardless, instead of calling an appropriate Air Carrier Supervisor (or as I have found in CA - the Ticket Agent playing dumb to promote his/her/its Anti-Gun agenda and make your travel experience as painful as possible... so as to stick it to you and to teach you a lesson....).
I have never been denied the transport of any weapon, since I took great pains to follow the rules.
Make sure you print out and carry a copy of the Air Carrier's policy and hand that to the Ticket Agent if they are confused or pushing a petty agenda on you.
I have never had an issue with any TSA representative who was needlesly involved by a Ticket Agent, since I had my ducks in a row and could prove I was following the Air Carrier's policy.
Make sure you do not fly into NYC or other airports (even if you bag is going to transfer through without touching it) because there might be a blip... and they will arrest you over the Illegal Anti 2A laws they have. Remember, Regan Internation is in VA., but watch crossing the river into D.C.
Always immediately ask for an Air Carrier supervisor if there is an issue. Do not let a confused Ticket Agent or Anti-Gun Ticket Agent immediately flag you to the TSA, who really, at the counter, has no authority unless you are blatently not following the rules.
The above is for Domestic Travel. International Travel is a whole nother ball of wax.
Always be polite, even when it pains you to do so.
Last edited by ANGLICO; December 9th, 2012 at 02:16 PM.
Reason: spelling - some better than other
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