So I wanted to post a quick update. I'm sitting in the airport now typing on my laptop.
I'm headed to a place that honors my permit but I've never carried while flying there... mostly because I was always stopped and worked in Chicago or New York before I get there.
I will say it seems to be getting easier and easier to fly out of Denver with a firearm. Not to say they're not doing their job... they are. I was asked probably 7 times if everything was prepared properly and if it was locked properly. The gate agent was kind and helpful. In fact, when she handed the "firearm" tag to her assistant she stated very clearly, "this goes inside, not outside".
On the way to secondary screening the airline employee, a man in his fifties, asked "so what do you carry..." which led to a pleasant conversation. TSA screeners had me stand outside their pod area and screened it, confirmed it was properly locked (by asking and observing) but never had me unlock everything or create a hassle. In fact, when they were finished they told me everything was great and they were friendly and smiling. I was impressed and would certainly give TSA Denver a glowing review (this is not my first positive experience here).
I think this goes to show that the more folks that check a legal and properly prepared firearm--incident free--the easier it will get. I actually think having a lot of folks fly with their firearm and to do it RIGHT (no issues, no scenes) the easier it will get for us. It may not be as effective as donating to the NRA or calling your representatives, etc, but maybe it is. I tend to believe that "organic changes" to law and policy are generally more durable and effective than ones that are forced.
I will also add that I was gracious and profession the whole time. I was a parrot, too. Every time they asked if something was done I would say "Yes sir/mam. I have prepared everything to your airline's and TSA's requirements" and you're more than welcome to inspect it". I wasn't fake or false with them at all. I find that is often counter productive. But I was warm and disarming and that seems to go a long way.
Again, great experience and I felt the Denver TSA and Airline employees did a great job interacting with me as well as following their procedures and protocols.
All in all, it added about 10 minutes to my standard airline routine.
ôSay what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, but I consider the capacity for it terrifying...--Kurt Vonnegut