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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went on travel to Michigan last week. I flew on Delta.

It was only the second trip on which I've checked a handgun on a flight. Much like the first time, it was a breeze. Just know the procedures before-hand.

It is important to check the TSA requirements and the airline requirements before going to the airport. Even better is to print out those requirements to have with you, in case you wind up talking to an ignorant ticket agent or TSA officer. I forgot to take such a print-out last week.

Here are some links:
To summarize, the requirements are that the gun be unloaded and in a hard-sided case with a lock. Only you should have the key or combination to the lock. All ammunition must be stored in the original manufacturer's packaging or in a container designed to hold ammunition. Be sure to check those sites yourself in case requirements change.

When I checked in with the ticket agent, I said that I have a firearm in my luggage to declare. The agent instructed me to open the suitcase. I did so and also unlocked the gun case to show to her. She looked in surprise when she saw the small boxes of ammo in the same case. She said that she didn't know if it was permissible to have the "bullets" in the same case, so she called a TSA agent over to show him. He told her exactly what I told her ... that it is valid to put it in the same case as the firearm as long as the ammo is in the manufacturer's container. That's when I found myself wishing that I had a printout in hand, but it worked out.

The agent had me sign and date a small red card, which was then put into my luggage attached to my gun case, then that gun case was put into my suitcase. There must be no indication on the outside of the suitcase that it contains a firearm, so don't let them tell you that the red card has to be visible from the outside.

It was good to be carrying my protection in Michigan, which recognizes Utah permits.

Oh, I also make it a habit to print out the state page from packing.org of the state I'm going to visit, so I have that with me. I don't just print it out, I go through and familiarize myself with those places that I'm prohibited from carrying.

Stay safe...
 

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Very nice! I went through similar procedures when travelling to Denver in December 2005. Just as long as you have all your ducks in a row and know each airline's procedures, it shouldn't be a hassle.
 

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My experience has been mixed, even with the ducks in a row. I try to dress nicely and am sure to be very polite and co-operative.

I've found that how you're treated varies on the airport. SLC has always been great to me, and I'm glad to hear that others have had similar experiences with SLC.

PHX has given me nothing but hassles every time. Being pulled to the side for extended periods with a TSA person watching me, do this, don't do this sir, don't touch this, lots of extra swabbing, X-rays, etc. etc. It's very annoying and as far as I can tell, completely unecessary. It's just a gun in a aluminum case inside of my checked baggage according to all published rules, for crying out loud!

This is all at the luggage check-in, before I even get to the "security" gate.

I haven't flown for a couple of years, so hopefully they've mellowed some. :D
 

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I had no problems flying with Delta on Skywest.

The procedures at each airport on my trip varied a little, but it was easy all around, and everyone was at least courteous.
 

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I've checked my handguns on flights with Southwest quite a few times with no major incidents. I have a locked hard plastic case (Pelican) that has foam cutouts for the magazines (which have ammo in them). I have read the TSA requirements and Southwest requirements and both allow ammo to be in the magazine as long as it is secured in it's own cutout of the case.

Only time I had a slight issue was when the lady at the ticketing counter made me put packing tape over the top of the magazines to "make sure the ammo didn't come out during the flight". I felt it was not necessary but didn't want to argue the point and put the tape over them.

And I agree that you should print and carry the regulations from the TSA and the airline website when you need to check a firearm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've now had an opportunity to repeat this exercise to a number of different states. This last trip was a flight to Albuquerque and back. When I went to check in at the Delta counter for the flight South, the Delta representative said that she didn't think that ammunition, even packed properly in the manufacturer's box, was allowed in the same hard-sided case as the unloaded firearm. I politely pointed out that the regulations allowed it. She went and got a TSA agent who said the same thing. :(

I did not have this problem on the return trip. The online regulations (in the first post above) don't say anything like this. In fact, it explicitly says that this is allowed.

I forgot to print out the regulations to take with me in case of something like this. I'll make sure that I do so next time.

The problem was solved merely by placing the small ammo boxes in a zippered pouch inside my suitcase.
 

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I fly alot and check my firearms thru in my baggage all the time. I rarely have any problems.

However I was flying to CA the other day on US Airways and I walked up to the ticket counter and stated I need a firearms declaration. she looked at me puzzled and walked off to get a form. What she brought me back was a LE carry on notification form.. I chuckled and handed the form back to her and stated it's a floresent orange card. She went to a supervisor and recieved the correct form. I was tempted to fill out the first one, but thought better of it.

Your right on with the rules but I would add don't take alot of ammo some airlines restrict the ammo you can send. I got a plastic ammo box that reloaders use and put my rounds in it. It is clear enough to see how many rounds are in the box. And get a TSA approved lock and lock you gun case and your luggage. If you do not use a TSA lock they will cut yours off.
 

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Concealedcarry said:
I fly alot and check my firearms thru in my baggage all the time. I rarely have any problems.

However I was flying to CA the other day on US Airways and I walked up to the ticket counter and stated I need a firearms declaration. she looked at me puzzled and walked off to get a form. What she brought me back was a LE carry on notification form.. I chuckled and handed the form back to her and stated it's a floresent orange card. She went to a supervisor and recieved the correct form. I was tempted to fill out the first one, but thought better of it.

Your right on with the rules but I would add don't take alot of ammo some airlines restrict the ammo you can send. I got a plastic ammo box that reloaders use and put my rounds in it. It is clear enough to see how many rounds are in the box. And get a TSA approved lock and lock you gun case and your luggage. If you do not use a TSA lock they will cut yours off.
I used MY OWN LOCKS when I flew to AZ last year. NO PROBLEMS. The Lady at the counter inspected empty gun with a gunlock thru it. ( the ones you get for free. This way there would not be a doubt in their minds that it was empty ). The mags ( clips ) were in the same case, empty of course. I had a Manufacturers original Ammo box in the same case together with everything ALL together. This was also inspected by a TSA Agent prior to that I locked it and placed it in the Check-in Bag. Of course I kept my keys.

It was fun.

Next I'm thinking about FINALLY fly to Nevada since they now Accept Utah CCW :mrgreen:
 

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Concealedcarry said:
<snip> And get a TSA approved lock and lock you gun case and your luggage. If you do not use a TSA lock they will cut yours off. </snip>
I hope you don't mean put a TSA lock on your gun case but on the luggage only.... I have my own locks on my gun case and then use a TSA lock on my luggage.

Per the instructions from the TSA and airline's website you aren't supposed to let anyone have the combo or key to the case with your firearm inside (only your suitcase where the gun case is located).
 

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Interesting that you ask... I'm on my way to the airport to fly to Washington, D.C., though I'm not taking a gun.

Federal laws allow you legally interstate transportation of a weapon in the U.S. as long as you follow the rules (ammo separate, securely encased). No local or state laws SHOULD be able to override your right to do this. However, local and state laws DO conflict with this and you can be arrested in D.C. for ANY transportation of a weapon unless you are going to/from a shooting range.

The NRA has some more details on this, but even they pretty much say, "the laws are screwed up!"

http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/FederalGunLaws.aspx?ID=59
 

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I fly all the time and I NEVER have a problem checking my gun or guns.

Follow the rules on the TSA site and you will be OK.

I have not flown all airlines, but have had no problem with the following airlines, Alaska Air, United, Frontier, Continental, Delta, American and South West.

Tarzan
 

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Ishpeck said:
Just for the record: I hate TSA. They don't make us any safer -- they just make people's lives miserable.
+1
 

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I travel via air quite frequently. I was supposed to fly to Tampa Vet's Day weekend but those plans have been deferred until next month.

I only fly Southwest Airlines as they defer to TSA regulations.
One locked case per passenger, you can fill the case without limit. 11 lbs of ammunition per passenger. I put my 11 lbs of ammo in a .30 caliber ammo can. The ammo within in the can is in factory or the plastic reloader boxes.

The other two reasons is that they're inexpensive and you can use unused nonrefundable airfare for up to one calendar year from the original date of purchase if your plans change.

Keep in mind that your firearm case must be locked where you and only you have the key or combination to the case per 49 CFR 1540.111. TSA is also supposed to inspect the firearm case in your presence if you have to grant them access. You can't use TSA approved locks on your firearm case, you can use them on the luggage the firearm case is in.

Be sure that your airline not only allows you to transport firearms per TSA regs but also make sure that they are not excluded from baggage insurance coverage. Some airlines specifically exclude firearms from luggage insurance. I believe Frontier is guilty of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just spent a week in Montana for work. The outbound trip from SLC included a very thorough hand-inspection of the entire contents of my suitcase in which I had packed (and properly declared) my firearm. Why!? I felt that I was singled out because I was checking a gun. Was a bit miffed, but kept it to myself.

Checking the same gun in the same luggage for the return trip was a breeze. Signed the little red tag; the TSA agent poked the padding inside the gun case a few times to make sure there wasn't anything hidden underneath the gun and that was it.

I've noticed that there is no uniformity of procedure or treatment from airport to airport (even with the same airline). The procedure even seems to change at SLC from one trip to another. :x
 

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I forgot to mention also make sure that you are legal to possess at ports of entry where your luggage is checked. IL, MA, NJ and NY(C) require an ID, license or permit to possess. I'm sure that there are a couple of territories that have laws comparable to NY(C).

While the former US AG has publicly stated that 18USC926A applies to air travel there is the famous incident of the UT real estate broker who was arrested by the NJ Port Authority PD for checking his firearm at a NJ airport on a trip. He has a UT CFP. While the prosecutor has dropped the charges, it's not worth going through the hassle, lost time, legal expenses and threat to your life being incarcerated for several days while you're waiting for bail or the DA to drop the charges. The real estate broker has a $3M lawsuit pending against NJ and the NJ Port Authority PD that is backed by the NRA and a NJ state firearm association. A news article on the incident and the suit is at this link.

Plan your route so you have little probability of having to change planes or being diverted to an anti-2A jurisdiction where simple possession in your checked baggage may be illegal. Since I predominately travel to the gulf States and the SE US now, it's highly unlikely I would be diverted to an area where I couldn't possess much less CCW with the current laws.

If for whatever reason you end up landing in IL, MA, NJ or NY(C) you run the risk of being arrested when you declare your firearms to get back on another plane there should you have to claim your baggage with checked firearm(s) before boarding another plane.

Best course of action would be to rent a car one way and drive to a friendly 2A jurisidiction then catch a plane from there if you have to claim your baggage. For NJ or NY the obvious choices would be NH or PA. For IL, the obvious choices would be IN, KY or MO. While I have not heard of a case of an air traveller checking firearms being arrested at a Chicago airport, it can happen. Arrests in MA, NJ and NY(C) happen all the time. Typically the airports are staffed with law enforcement specifically to bust firearm owner passing through.
 

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For the single trip I made to Denver, I was searched thoroughly on the way out AND the way back. They went so far as to search me, search my luggage and took my luggage to a special screening area where it was X-Rayed again. :?
 

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tapehoser said:
For the single trip I made to Denver, I was searched thoroughly on the way out AND the way back. They went so far as to search me, search my luggage and took my luggage to a special screening area where it was X-Rayed again. :?
I have flown both Delta and Southwest atleast a dozen times or so with my handgun and have never been subject to anything other than their protocol for checking in a handgun.
 
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