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Old 08-31-2011, 17:17   #241
fla2760
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I followed your suggestions when I recently flew out of Tampa to Philadelphia and home again out of Philly and it went very well. TSA commented that chaining the gun case (Pelican 1170) to the suitcase handle as per your suggestion was smart. I took a Smith 642 and Ruger LCP in the same case, the ammo was also in the Pelican case in the original boxes. I flew US AIRWAYS. Thanks Mac
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:28   #242
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:44   #243
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Guys, just wanted to put in an update or two. I've received a number of PMs from folks telling me that this system is working for them very well. Also, this thread has been copied directly into a few other forums I've found while googling, and most of the feedback there seems very positive, too.

I love that GT got to be a place that has had a bit of reach out into the gun world showing that it's easy, legal, and safe to fly with a firearm if done properly.

I want you guys to know that I'm tracking feedback and have a friend who is an attorney who is helping watch these trends for us and will alert me if he sees any troubling changes. As of now, if people keep it up, I think it will make it possible for these plans to stay in place. As much as I can follow the news--and I'm no HerrGlock--but I haven't found any headlines dealing with issues along the lines of this thread.

What prompted me to write this little update was an encouragement I got while traveling for business last week. I'm up in Lake Las Vegas and was meeting with a guy and we'd had a few meetings. Over time, we'd exhausted all of the usual conversation topics and somehow we got onto firearms. From there he started talking about concealed carry permits and I asked if he had one.

One thing led to another, and at one point he said, "Do you know how easy it is to fly with a firearm? I thought it would be impossible but I was googling the other day and found this site that told me how to do it..." Turns out he had found his way here--he's not a member--and had sent the info out to all of his shooting club.

So any feedback you guys give, particularly those who travel, is very useful for those who are researching. Especially if you mention specific airlines and airports.
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Old 10-11-2011, 13:40   #244
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I flew out of St. Louis and into Rapid City SD (United Airlines) in September. Did everything stated here. Trip was without issue (both directions).

I think some peoples heart-rate went up that were standing in line, however the airline and TSA folks could care less. When I stood by TSA until my suitcase went through their scanner, they pretty much figured out what I was doing. As soon as it passed through, they gave me a thumbs-up.

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Old 10-24-2011, 17:37   #245
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Just flew from Florida to Texas and back. Going out of Florida, I had a conversation with the ticket agent about where the declaration tag should go: inside the locked case (where nobody can see it) vs. outside the locked case (even taped to the outside) but inside the suitcase. She agreed that it made sense to put it on the outside of the locked gun case, but said, "Until they tell me otherwise, it's going inside." Okey-doke!

Then on return from Dallas, I figured it would be less of a "deal"... since it was Texas. Contrary to the ticket agent in Florida, he put the declaration tag laying loose on top of the locked gun case. I mentioned to him that this part of the process is inconsistent from place to place, and that in Florida they put it inside the case. I asked if it would be better to tape it. Nope. "That's how we're supposed to do it." Okey-doke! All very friendly conversations.

But, then the ticket agent had to escort me and my suitcase to the TSA inspector. It was an older lady in the far corner of the concourse. When we got to about 15 yards from her, he YELLED, "He's got a firearm to check!" And, then I proceeded the rest of the way without him. I was wondering how many people heard him yell "firearm"??? Apparently nobody noticed. But, I thought that was sort of crazy.

The lady seemed very nice and I chatted with her a bit. She was very matter-of-fact about everything. But, the odd thing was that she swabbed the ENTIRE suitcase INSIDE AND OUT with what I believe to be an explosives detector. When I say she swabbed EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING. She essentially UNPACKED my suitcase. She even opened the little zippered pockets on the sides on the inside of the case. AND, she opened all the zippered pockets on the outside of the suitcase.

At least she repacked everything fairly well. But, I've never seen that done before. I wondered if she was bored. Nobody else was down there besides the two of us. But, I figured I spent at least 15 minutes watching her swab every square inch of the suitcase AND the contents.

Last edited by racer88; 10-25-2011 at 09:08..
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Old 10-27-2011, 17:48   #246
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Just flew Oakland, CA to Las Vegas again using Southwest. The check in guy in Oakland (who was the same one who helped me there when I flew over the summer) did great and just like last time he taped the declaration tag to my hard case (this simply makes sense). But he didn't have time to take me to TSA so he asked someone else to do it. That person disappeared and a minute later a new person came out of the back and addressed everyone within about 15 feet of me by saying loudly, "Who has the firearm?! Who has the firearm?!". I laughingly raised my hand and we walked to TSA. All went smooth after that.
In Vegas, they wanted me to put the tag in the hard case. I said that didn't make sense and she said to just put it in the suitcase. I asked for a piece of tape to attach it to the hard case and she refused. I wasn't going to press the issue, so I dropped the tag on top of the hard case, locked up my bag and sent it on its way. In Oakland, the clerk asked me to open the case to see that the firearm was unloaded (I pack it field stripped), in Vegas I asked if I should open the hard case and she said no.
Its amazing that there is really no uniformity to this process.
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Old 10-27-2011, 18:06   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liljojo4711 View Post
you can only take 11 rounds with u?

EDIT: sorry, i read Rounds instead of Pounds haha
Yeah, if you need more than 11 pounds of ammo, I'd say you're in some deep ****!!!
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:00   #248
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Its amazing that there is really no uniformity to this process.
Actually, it's no surprise at all. It's the government... at "work."
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:40   #249
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Thanks for the write up Mac. I appreciate it.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:31   #250
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Thanks for the excellent guide Mac! Last week, I flew out of Killeen/Ft. Hood, TX on American Airlines heading for Florida. Following your example, I had no problems at all. Airline counter staff seemed as though they had done this many times before but insisted that AA's policy is to put the declaration card inside the locked case. As others have said, this doesn't make a lot of sense, but I didn't make a big issue out of it and TSA cleared the bag OK so all was well.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:01   #251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnClar View Post
Thanks for the excellent guide Mac! Last week, I flew out of Killeen/Ft. Hood, TX on American Airlines heading for Florida. Following your example, I had no problems at all. Airline counter staff seemed as though they had done this many times before but insisted that AA's policy is to put the declaration card inside the locked case. As others have said, this doesn't make a lot of sense, but I didn't make a big issue out of it and TSA cleared the bag OK so all was well.
The only problem with that is during a secondary search the tag will not be visible. The bag may or may get loaded.. The counter folks may cause you to get on the plane and not your bag or cause you to miss your flight.

When I encounter folks like this I politely ask to see a supervisor

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Old 02-05-2012, 06:48   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnClar View Post
Thanks for the excellent guide Mac! Last week, I flew out of Killeen/Ft. Hood, TX on American Airlines heading for Florida. Following your example, I had no problems at all. Airline counter staff seemed as though they had done this many times before but insisted that AA's policy is to put the declaration card inside the locked case. As others have said, this doesn't make a lot of sense, but I didn't make a big issue out of it and TSA cleared the bag OK so all was well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
The only proble with that is during a secondary search the tag will not be visible. The bag may or may get loaded.. The counter folks may cause you to get on the plane and not your bag or cause you to miss your flight.

When I encounter folks like this I politely ask to see a supervisor
Exactly. Yesterday, first time flying out of LAX on SWA transporting my gun. Gave myself plenty of time. The girl at the counter told me the same about placing the tag in my locked container. Explained to her the logic of placing the ID tag in a locked container and she said ok and just tell the TSA about it when I give them the bags to go through their X-ray (normal procedure).

BTW, this was the first person to ask me to put the tag in the locked container. And when I opened the container for the counter agent, she didn't ask me to verify that the gun was not loaded. I even asked if she wanted to check (I know, don't volunteer anything ). I'm thinking to myself it was a waste of time to even open the container if not to verify being not loaded. Well, this was LAX.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:19   #253
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There is really no requirement that the counter person to verify if the handgun is unloaded, unless airline policy requires it, which I doubt, since that is the purpose of the declaration card. Both TSA and airline personnel are prohibited from touching a firearm anyway, and many airline personnel don't even know enough about firearms to ascertain it's status.

But if they want to look, I'm certainly not going to refuse as long as that's all they do.
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:12   #254
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Then what would the reason be to have me open the locked container if not to verify the gun is not loaded? And, yes, I would have been hesitant to let her handle the gun if she wanted to. I would have locked open the slide for her to inspect. Did she want to make sure I actually had a gun in the locked case?

There was nothing on the declaration card/tag stating the gun was not loaded; only my contact info. Well, maybe I just never noticed it saying the firearm is not loaded with only the few times I've transported by commercial airline (usually military or private for me).

Update: Post 129 shows a United Airlines declaration card. That was nothing like the one I've filled out with SouthWest Airlines. The few times I've transported was on SWA and again, I don't recall it saying anything about declaring the gun unloaded. Mainly it was just a tag with the flight number, date, and my contact info which was my phone number.
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Old 02-07-2012, 22:06   #255
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I fly Southwest too. The side where your signature is has the declaration of it being unloaded. The other side has your name and flight number and other info.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:41   #256
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I fly Southwest too. The side where your signature is has the declaration of it being unloaded. The other side has your name and flight number and other info.
Thanks! I don't think an agent has ever pointed out the other side for a signature, just the side to put my contact info. Shows how observant I am.

And thanks to swinokur for your helpful input and, of course, the OP.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:44   #257
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In all the times I've checked a gun, I've never had a tag placed on the outside, and I've never had a problem. I have had TSA do stupid things, but never in a manner that delayed my trip or my baggage.
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Old 02-08-2012, 19:46   #258
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Originally Posted by RadarP3C View Post
Then what would the reason be to have me open the locked container if not to verify the gun is not loaded? And, yes, I would have been hesitant to let her handle the gun if she wanted to. I would have locked open the slide for her to inspect. Did she want to make sure I actually had a gun in the locked case?

There was nothing on the declaration card/tag stating the gun was not loaded; only my contact info. Well, maybe I just never noticed it saying the firearm is not loaded with only the few times I've transported by commercial airline (usually military or private for me).

Update: Post 129 shows a United Airlines declaration card. That was nothing like the one I've filled out with SouthWest Airlines. The few times I've transported was on SWA and again, I don't recall it saying anything about declaring the gun unloaded. Mainly it was just a tag with the flight number, date, and my contact info which was my phone number.
Neither TSA or Airline personnel are trained or even authorized to determine a weapons charged status or handle it. Why they want to see it is beyond me. I have never had an agent ask to see a firearm. Most times airline personnel are clueless about firearms. If a firearm is to be inspected LE is to be called.

The entire purpose of the declaration card is to declare the weapon is unloaded. Airline reps or TSA are not authorized to make that determination. I fly United so I don't know what Southwaste Airlines requires.

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Old 02-08-2012, 19:48   #259
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I recently flew w/ pistols. Was a little nervous, after reading lots of horror stories. Was no big deal.

I used a small locked box, ($20), with the cable looped around the frame on the inside of the luggage. One box of ammo, in factory cardboard box, and one small box of .22s.

Ticket agent at local airport apparently knew the routine. I told her I was declaring firearms, she asked if they were unloaded and in a locked case. I said yes, she filled out her part of the card, told me where to sign it, and then directed me to the luggage dropoff (all luggage gets xrayed right next to the counter). I showed the TSA guy the card and said I was declaring a firearm, he said "ok, just hang out here until it goes through the machine." I used a small bit of duct tape to tape the corner of the card to the locked box, zipped it up, and they x-rayed the luggage and I was done. Only took a few seconds longer than it would have been if I hadn't checked a gun.

Coming back, the employee at the ticket counter insisted I show her that the guns were unloaded, (and she wanted to see empty chambers), then told me to put the card inside the locked box. When I asked what good that would do, she said the TSA guys were going to make me open it all again and show them it was unloaded anyway. I ignored her and taped the card to the outside of the box, as before. I took the luggage to the luggage inspection area, told them I had declared a gun, and they just asked if it was locked and unloaded, then told me to wait while it got x-rayed. At the end of my trip I realized the ticket agent hadn't even filled out her part of the card, so the only thing on it was my signature.

All in all, wasn't too much trouble (though I'll admit to being in gun-friendly states). Would have been easier if I had packed differently so locked box was near the top of my luggage for the trip home.

The outside of the locked box resists most adhesives, even duct-tape didn't want to stick very well. I may look into adding a clear envelope/sleeve to the outside to slide the firearms declaration card into.
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:53   #260
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As I stated neither TSA or the Airline personnel are trained or authorized to check weapon status. But if they want to and it minimizes the hassles, no problem.
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