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I am an LEO from Florida and just returned from a vacation trip to NYC. I have never flown with a firearm in checked luggage. I found the experience to be easy, if you do your research and package your gun and ammunition according to the airline, TSA, and local laws. Flying out of Tampa was a snap. Not even a second look from the airline customer service rep. No law enforcement looked at my gun. TSA is on another floor, so I signed a single paper stating my gun was unloaded and they sent my bag off no problem.

Departing Kennedy was a slightly different story (with a happy ending). The ticket taker went bugged eyed when I said I was a police officer checking a firearm in my luggage. Because CCF is extremely restricted in NY, they don't have many people checking guns in bags. Port Authority Police and TSA were called to the ticket counter. The PA police officer was very polite. He checked my department ID and driver license. He briefly examined the gun, which was unloaded and secured with a cable lock. The gun, ammunition in original packaging, and empty magazines were placed in a small combination lock gunsafe in my soft sided suitcase. This suitcase was locked with a TSA padlock. The TSA officer looked through my bag and I locked it up. Process over.

The PA cop was very nice and escorted my wife and me to the TSA security checkpoint. He was going to jump us up in the line, but there was no line. Overall, I was extremely surprised at how helpful everyone was. I encourage you to carry off-duty (yeah, me and Dave Grossman) and not feel restricted by what might be perceived as a hassle, as I did.
 

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Glad it went well for you. It should be like that for anyone legally carrying in or through NYC, but without the LEO identification I don't think it would.
 

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Glad it went well for you. It should be like that for anyone legally carrying in or through NYC, but without the LEO identification I don't think it would.
I flew to FL through Newark NJ last year and checked a gun. I met the conditions of FOPA as I drove to Newark from PA (where I'm legal to own/carry) and my ultimate destination was FL (where I'm also legal to own/carry).

The process was similar to any other airport I've traveled through in the free states, in that no police were called and I didn't have to show any kind of credentials. But based on his demeanor I do think the TSA screener assumed I was a LEO (I'm not). I assume that's who they're most accustomed to seeing traveling with firearms.
 

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I flew to FL through Newark NJ last year and checked a gun. I met the conditions of FOPA as I drove to Newark from PA (where I'm legal to own/carry) and my ultimate destination was FL (where I'm also legal to own/carry).
Careful. I do not believe you met the FOPA conditions.

US CODE: Title 18,926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 44 > § 926A
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§ 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
Note the term "transporting vehicle". The way the law is explained, "vehicle" implies car. Even if aircraft were included in "vehicle", it is my belief that taking an unloaded locked pistol from your car to the airport check in counter in a state where you are prohibited to posses a pistol will not meet the criteria for the above federal protection.

Your leaving PA and driving north is legal. When you stop your car in the airport in Newark, you get out your suitcase (with locked, unloaded pistol) and walk into the terminal. You are no longer using a vehicle for transportation. THE FOPA protection stops. Read it carefully.

I am not all that knowledgeable about New Jersey law... but at this point, I believe you are subject to it.

I do know New York State interprets the law this way as evidenced by the various arrests they have made. Speedyfish above is protected under different federal law as an off duty/retired LEO...
 

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I have traveled thru JFK several times and plan to continue to do so everytime I go on vacation. I left my house Long Island directly to JFK and showed my Nassau County permit and DL to Port Authorty Police and TSA sent my bag on the way. No problems, No second glances.
There are several post on this.
 

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Careful. I do not believe you met the FOPA conditions.

US CODE: Title 18,926A. Interstate transportation of firearms



Note the term "transporting vehicle". The way the law is explained, "vehicle" implies car. Even if aircraft were included in "vehicle", it is my belief that taking an unloaded locked pistol from your car to the airport check in counter in a state where you are prohibited to posses a pistol will not meet the criteria for the above federal protection.

Your leaving PA and driving north is legal. When you stop your car in the airport in Newark, you get out your suitcase (with locked, unloaded pistol) and walk into the terminal. You are no longer using a vehicle for transportation. THE FOPA protection stops. Read it carefully.

I am not all that knowledgeable about New Jersey law... but at this point, I believe you are subject to it.

I do know New York State interprets the law this way as evidenced by the various arrests they have made. Speedyfish above is protected under different federal law as an off duty/retired LEO...
Nutz reply got posted while I was typing. I re-read the TSA /Young letter. First I was on the fence. But after reading the letter I think he was legal. http://www.anjrpc.org/DefendingYourRights/us letter.pdf This is the part that I think makes it good to go.

The Department of Justice agrees that the provisions of section 926A apply to the situation set forth above assuming:
(1) the person is traveling from somewhere he lawfully may possess and carry a firearm;

(2) en route to the airport the firearm is unloaded and not accessible
from the passenger compartment of his car;
(3) the person transports the firearm directly from his vehicle to the airline check-in desk without any interuption in the transportation; and;
(4) while carrying the firearm to the check-in desk it is unloaded and in a locked container.

This interpretation reflects the apparent congressional intent in enacting this provision, while allowing State and local law enforcement to continue to enforce their firearms laws aggressively to promote public safety. We will inform the applicable law enforcement authorities of our interpretation of section 926A.

I know the letter address Kennedy by name but I do not think Newark beign part of the Port Authority which covers LGA,JFK and Newark, would make a diffrence.

I would be puckering the whole time while trying it at Newark, but it would not stop me. I could always be the test case.
 

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I would be puckering the whole time while trying it at Newark, but it would not stop me. I could always be the test case.
I have seem some chatter on the subject such including that letter. If it were from the Port Authority or NY State Attorney General, I would give it more weight. The Port Authority police found a loophole and are utilizing it. The FOPA is just poorly written.

I prefer not to be the test cast. If a judge read through the law word for word (as they should!) I don't think one would be protected.

Remember traveling interstate on Amtrak with a checked firearm was illegal until just recently. FOPA was never applied to Amtrak.

Sorry if we are thread hijacking a bit from the most excellent OP.

Traveling interstate with firearms can be more complicated then it seems...
 

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I think the letter holds weight. It is not like it was wriiten from you to me. I think a judge would take a letter from the US DOJ. (I hope).

U. S. Department of Justice
Office of Legislative Affairs
Office of the Assistant Attorney General Washington, D.C. 20530
William E. Moschella
Assistant Attorney General

I have traveled 3 times in the last 6 months thru Kennedy. I had the letter in my pocket and one in my carry on. The PA police surprisely did not really act like it was a big deal. I guess that if somebody is going to thru the trouble to declair it, they can not be all that bad.
 

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The PA police surprisely did not really act like it was a big deal.
Good to know. I am glad I moved out of NYC. I loved parts of it, but it was just too difficult to live there.

cheers...
 

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Too bad some CCW friendly Sheriff doesn't just issue badges and IDs!
 
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