Flying with guns?

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Buck13
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Flying with guns?

#1 Post by Buck13 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:32 am

Anyone have any words of wisdom about flying with guns? I'm planning to travel next month from Denver to Seattle on Alaska Air with a couple of pistols, and presumably a couple of boxes of .38s and a brick of .22s. I've read the TSA description of the procedure and Alaska's website. I'm still not clear on whether they prefer you to put the ammo in the locked case or not.
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FlyGuy
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Re: Flying with guns?

#2 Post by FlyGuy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:10 am

Everywhere that I have ever read clearly states that you can never fly with ammunition. You have to check the rules of the destination city as far as if they are allowed or not. All Firearms must be in a Locked case using only TSA approved locking devices. You must declare the firearms at the point of check-in at the ticket counter. I like the phrase "I am not a member of any law enforcement organisation, however I am traveling with firearms that are locked and secured in my checked baggage." Don't look overly nervous, just walk up and act like you have done this before, because the ticket agent surely has.

By the way, search around this forum. There have been a couple of thread about this within the last couple years.
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Re: Flying with guns?

#3 Post by Hasaf » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:37 am

I see a mistake there. The first is that the locks are to be non-tsa type.
All firearms must be unloaded and carried in a locked, hard-sided container where only the customer retains the key or combination.
Ammunition must not be loose. basically it also needs to be in the locked case and in a container, such as the original box (but not in the firearm) .
Ammunition must be securely packed in the original manufacturer's package or in a container designed for ammunition and of sufficient strength to protect it from accidental crushing or discharge (i.e. wood, fiber, plastic, or metal). The projectile must be no larger than 11/16" in diameter, the size of a dime. Ammunition may be checked with or separately from the firearm.
I have flown Alaska Air (and a few others) with firearms. the first thing when checking in is to state that the case contains a firearm. They will then give you a declaration to sign. You will then put it in the case. They will then ask you to take the case to be screened by other TSA people. You may have to wait for this (so arrive early).

Then it gets checked.

When you arrive Alaska Air does something a bit different. If your case does not come down the chute to the baggage carousel don't panic. Look around, you will see an Alaska Air employee holding your case.

Alaska Airlines firearms rules can be found here.
Last edited by Hasaf on Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Flying with guns?

#4 Post by spara » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:21 am

Ammo goes into a checked bag, preferably in their original box or in a closed case. No loose ammo or ammo in magazines unless the top of the magazine is covered. There are no federal limits on the amount of ammo, though some carriers limit it to 11 lbs. I never have had my ammo weighed, though your mileage may vary.

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Re: Flying with guns?

#5 Post by FlyGuy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:33 am

Sorry, I do stand corrected about the ammo. :sorry:

However, as I searched around various airliner policies, I do see a range of requirements.

Best advise, read the rules, follow the rules, enjoy the flight. :bananadance:
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Re: Flying with guns?

#6 Post by atxgunguy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:51 am

FlyGuy wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:33 am
Sorry, I do stand corrected about the ammo. :sorry:

However, as I searched around various airliner policies, I do see a range of requirements.

Best advise, read the rules, follow the rules, enjoy the flight. :bananadance:
Also, be aware that YMMV on what the airline policy may be and the reality of what the desk agent tells you at check in. Take your medicine and comply with whatever is requested. The airline only wants a butt in that seat.

This should go without saying, but also be very mindful of the state/local laws of where you are travelling. What will pass as commonplace in Texas/Florida may well be strictly verboten in places like NY, California, Massachusetts, etc.
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Re: Flying with guns?

#7 Post by Hasaf » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:02 am

atxgunguy wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:51 am
This should go without saying, but also be very mindful of the state/local laws of where you are travelling. What will pass as commonplace in Texas/Florida may well be strictly verboten in places like NY, California, Massachusetts, etc.
This is a very good point. If you are delayed be sure to NOT take possession of your firearms.

Example, a flight is delayed in Chicago. The baggage of the people being delayed is returned to them before they get on the bus to the hotel. Returning the next day the passenger tried to check the same firearms. However, in Chicago it is illegal to possess those firearms, police are contacted and passenger is arrested.

Solution, talk to the people in the airline baggage office. Inform them that you will not be picking up the firearms case. They will need to toward them to the next flight for you. By doing this you have never taken possession of the firearms in the layover city. It is important that you never touch the case in the layover city.

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Re: Flying with guns?

#8 Post by max129 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:28 pm

One caution. If your flight gets rerouted to a NYC airport, you could have a problem when you land.

I don’t know all the facts, but people have had trouble with law enforcement upon arrival unless you have local-at-destination permits.

My attorney had told me if this happens and police approach me to instantly ask for help as my plane was rerouted and I need compliance assistance.
Last edited by max129 on Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flying with guns?

#9 Post by max129 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:31 pm

''double post - sorry"
Last edited by max129 on Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flying with guns?

#10 Post by Buck13 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:18 pm

Fortunately, on a flight from Seattle to Denver, the plane could hardly land in a state less gun-friendly, unless it was diverted to Canada! That seems pretty unlikely.
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Re: Flying with guns?

#11 Post by highdesert » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:05 pm

TSA website on traveling with firearms and ammo.
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting ... ammunition

http://www.tsatraveltips.us/guns-cases-and-air-travel/

Also check your airline.

Ironically the Snapsafe Treklite lockbox which is a very hard polymer is TSA approved but not CA DOJ approved for transporting a firearm.
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Re: Flying with guns?

#12 Post by Bacchus » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:23 pm

I flew Portland, OR (PDX) to Houston for last year's annual meeting, with pistols. Piece of cake. If anything, I thought it was a little too easy, and at both locations I was surprised that the bag with the pistols was just tossed on the carrousel along with all the other Samsonites. I would have thought I'd be required to sign for them at the baggage area. Nope.

Do check and double-check your airline's rules. State clearly at the counter that you are traveling with firearms in your checked baggage. At one transaction, the person had no clue what to do, but people were called and it all worked out. Get those TSA locks that show when they've been opened by TSA. My case was not opened either coming or going once it was checked. No drama at either counter- stuff was swabbed at only one locale - paperwork was filled out, and I was on my way.

I chose to put my locked case within a Samsonite suitcase- it didn't stand out at all, which was nice when transiting the airport space. Can't do that with a rifle case, however, although a person just ahead of me had a big, honking rifle case and no-one seemed to bat an eye... and this was at PDX.

Double-check that the arms are unloaded; I would also leave the ammo behind. It's inexpensive enough to take the loss, or shoot it all at the range before flying. It's one more thing to deal with to put it in a separate container and all.

Good luck and happy travels!
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One more tip...

#13 Post by NuJudge » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:35 pm

When you are traveling somewhere with firearms and ammo, always pat yourself down one more time before going through security.

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Re: Flying with guns?

#14 Post by Buck13 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:45 am

Thanks for the encouragement. We flew to Denver with three guns, two 100 boxes of reloads and a brick of .22s with no problem (and drove back). The Alaska guy made me open the case and put the firearms declaration in it (which makes no sense to me, since it's then locked up where only I can get at it to read it), but the TSA gal did nothing but act bored-yet-friendly and swipe the outside. Not sure the point of that, since if I hadn't had a brand-new locking case, I'd have *expected* it to be coated with scary residues. I guess they're looking for something more exotic than nitroglycerine???

Went shooting three times in Denver, once in Provo and again in suburban Seattle as we drove into town (we'd hoped to shoot that day in Richland WA, but the range was closed for maintenance). My spousal critter tripled her lifetime shooting experience during this trip! In the last session, she tried a rented Springfield Range Officer 9mm and put 5 out of 5 in the black of a B-2 target at 10 yards. Pretty good, since she'd ever fired only one round from a 1911 previously. Apparently her 22/45 Lite is a good trainer.
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Re: Flying with guns?

#15 Post by guns4activists » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:18 pm

You must fly with your gun unloaded and in a locked case and you, obviously, need to check it. Make sure to take the key with you so that no one is able to open the lockbox once it is checked. Here is some more information that could help you out as well as some options for travel cases: https://www.pewpewtactical.com/flying-with-firearms/

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Re: Flying with guns?

#16 Post by lurker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:22 am

also spam?
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Re: Flying with guns?

#17 Post by YankeeTarheel » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:13 am

Remember: any locks on checked luggage must be TSA-compatible, which means the TSA can open it. If the lock is not compatible, they WILL cut it off--and you'll be lucky if they zip-tie it instead.
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Re: Flying with guns?

#18 Post by max129 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:09 am

YankeeTarheel said:

Remember: any locks on checked luggage must be TSA-compatible, which means the TSA can open it. If the lock is not compatible, they WILL cut it off--and you'll be lucky if they zip-tie it instead.
I have been told two different rules:

Rule 1: The lock on the actually gun case CANNOT be TSA compliant - it must be a rugged, non TSA lock. (Any lock on the outside of the luggage MUST be TSA compliant.)

Rule 2: The lock on the case can be EITHER TSA compliant or non compliant. (Any lock on the outside of the luggage MUST be TSA compliant.)

In the past three years, I have flown with a handgun 6 times. Each time the internal case was locked with a non TSA compliant lock. I was using a metal case, but I lost the key, so last time, I flew with a hard plastic Pelican case and the TSA inspector in Utah did not like it. They tried to pry it open hard by hand. They barely let me check my luggage.

Airports vary widely in how much actual inspection they do.

San Francisco: wait at a special counter; TSA agent comes and looks at the locked unload gun in the case; agent does not touch anything; you lock it up and they ship it

Salt Lake City: wait at a special counter; TSA agent comes and handles everything; swabs the luggage all over in every nook and cranny; tests the swab; tugs on the case; finally lets you lock the case and the luggage

Las Vegas: go to the special services checkin; the airline agent DOES NOT want to see your firearm; sign the little slip saying it is unloaded; they send it through ask ask you to wait for 10 minutes in case TSA wants to talk to you; never had TSA come and talk to me; go to flight

Santa Fe, NM: (tiny airport) one checkin agent, tell her you have a firearm - agent goes pale in the face; TSA agent gets out a checklist - looks at firearm in locked case, asks if it is unloaded; ships the luggage

IMPORTANT: Recently, they started to ask if ALL MY AMMO is packaged in the original factory container. So I now only carry in the retail box - seems stupid to me because many of the retail boxes are just cardboard. Apparently this is to keep you from carrying loaded magazines.
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