Mac's Guide to Flying with a Firearm:

Discussion in 'The SHOT ShowCase' started by MacG22, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. Zero Halliburton? I want to leave my kids an inheritance !:rofl:

    The zipper video was indeed scary. Makes locking your pistol case inside your suitcase even more of a priority.

    Thanks for posting that. Guess every baggage handler in the world knows that too. Why bother with a TSA lock? Between them cutting them off and the video I'll just not bother. I had stopped anyway. TSA's boltcutter budget exceeded my TSA lock budget anyway.

    Good stuff though, Thanks


    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. I know there is confusion on where the tag is placed because I've had it done both ways as well. IMO, the tag goes outside the hardcase for the gun, not inside with the gun. Maybe they can see the tag with the xray no matter where it is located?

    But I'm not going to take the risk of missing a flight or being called out for improper baggage due to the TSA and being told incorrectly. When I show up at the airport, I ALREADY have a filled out tag both inside the hardcase with the handgun and outside the hardcase near the gun case. These are old tags with my name/address and today's date but without the endoursement. Then I fill out a third tag at the counter and place it wherever they like but they never ask me to remove the old tags and I'm covered.

    Keep your old tags and use them as long as you have declared your firearms unloaded today. But always use them in conjunction with new tags.

  3. Ken, excellent idea. This thread is chock with great travel nuggets.
  4. MacG22


    E-B-A-Y. You may have to do a little work on your own to restore, but I have 4 cases from them--highest quality stuff-- and I've never paid more than $150 for one them.

    When I travel with a lot of money in gear and equipment, I don't really have an option. But thanks to trolling ebay over the years, I have a good outlay of briefcases and suitcases and gear cases and I'm not out much for it, and certainly nothing compared to the replacement cost of what's inside.
  5. Brings on a follow up question... If you use hard-sided luggage, to what do you cable-lock your pistol container? Is there some sort of metal spine similar to that you describe with soft luggage?
  6. MacG22


    There are two things I've done. Others may have a better answer. The second on the list below is the most practical and what I recommend. The first is something I've been playing around with:

    1. Lock the whole dang case:

    If the hard sided luggage Latches closed, as mine does, then you just add a hasp and padlock it. You don't put the gun it's own case, you make the WHOLE SUITCASE the gun case, so you can use your own lock and TSA cannot have a key.

    Think of it like if you go hunting and have a nice rifle case, and you put a change of clothes in it.

    At first I thought I'd get the book thrown at me trying this. But I followed it to the letter of the law and haven't had any issues so far other than some damage to one of the cases where it looked like they tried to pry it open. But a little Flitz on the spot and it came right out.

    2. Mount a loop or hasp into the inside side panel of the hard sided luggage:

    If it's thin, the screws will poke out a bit. I just filled a little cap with locktite and put it on the outside, over the screw. Blends in with all the other bumpers and zippers and etc.

    It's by far the easiest way to do it, and was a 10 minute and $10 sort of fix, but well worth it.

    However, it's not as fun as experimenting with option number one above. :whistling:
  7. Making your whole luggage bag your pistol container may raise so issues if the ticket agent insists on hanging the red firearm tag outside the "pistol container" instead of inside the "pistol container". It would appear such an agent would end up tagging the outside of your luggage as a gun bag.
  8. Federal law prohibits any tag on the outside of luggage that would indicate it contains a firearm

    US Code Title 18 section 922

  9. Bill Lumberg

    Bill Lumberg BTF Inventor

    Stock glock case, stock glock cable lock.

  10. MacG22


    Bill, I believe he was asking about, in a hard sided luggage back (with no spine to secure the cable to), where can you secure the gun so that it cannot be easily taken out.
  11. That's correct, Mac
  12. Mac:

    Great and informative thread. When I travel with a handgun (if I'm traveling around the USA I WILL have a handgun with me) I use a hard sided suitecase which I modified by installing (bolting) an "eye bolt" purchased at a hardware store. The inside of the "eye" is, naturally, inside the suitcase body. The little bit of threaded shank that sticks outside the body of the case I put a plastic cover on (ACE Hardware had all the stuff I needed for this). I had a plastic coated cable permanently attached to to the eye of the bolt. There is another loop around the other end of the plastic cable, which I attach, via the same lock used to secure my Pelican case which contains the handgun.

    Could you steal my little handgun case from my luggage? Sure. But you'll need to have a pretty heavy bolt cutter or cable cutter in your back pocket in order to do so.

    To make everyone's life simpler I'll get the case out of the basement and photo the set-up for this thread.

  13. MacG22


    That would be great. My camera is out of commission for a bit.
  14. I've visited several websites and made some interesting observations.... Some had pictures of hard-sided pistol cases locked with TSA locks (one had two locks). They even provided a link from the pistol case page to add it to your shopping cart to go with your pistol case!
  15. Mac:

    Here is the set-up I promised to photo for you:

    Eye-Bolt was placed "eye" inside a piece of hardsided luggage. Plastic coated cable was attached through the eye.

    This is the outside of the bag. I epoxied the nut to the threaded portion of the eye-bolt. The white piece of soft plastic covers the remaining threaded portion nicely. All this stuff came from a local ACE Hardware store. Nothing exotic here. Do note the two washers I used, one on either side of the shaft of the eye-bolt (one washer inside the hard sided luggage, the other placed on the outside).

    This is the other end of the plastic coated cable. As you can see I fasten the cable using the same hasp lock I use to secure my Pelican hard sided case. Note the weapon card. Put there the last time I flew via JetBlue. Yeah, I know the regs. Go figure.

    Will this absolutely prevent me from losing a handgun when I fly? Nope. But it will make it a heck of a lot more difficult for some mutt to simply just take my handgun case from my luggage.

  16. MacG22


    Wow. Great pics. that's similar to what I did in my haliburton case only I bolted a hasp and used locktite instead of epoxy. To be frank, yours looks stronger. Thanks for posting.
  17. Mac, Isn't your cable a half-inch cable? You're hasp must be a lot larger.
  18. MacG22


    Yeah, I can't really tell scale on here. But I use a thinner cable when I use the hard case and bolt. However, the hasp is still a bit bigger than a standard eye, though I like that design. By "stronger" I mean how his looks like it was anchored.

    I don't use the hard case as much as I could, though. I'd say 75% of my travel is with the exact setup in the original pictures.

Similar Threads Forum Date
Mac's Guide to Flying with a Firearm: Carry Issues Mar 27, 2010
No Warranty for BIO Hazard MAC's Tech Talk Nov 23, 2009
Mac's Tech Talk Aug 13, 2007
Are Mac's going to be outselling PC's??? (rant) Tech Talk Jan 6, 2007
Are iMac's really Virus safe? Tech Talk Dec 13, 2006

Share This Page

Duty Gear at CopsPlus