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mikeytig
LSU Fan
NE of Tiger Stadium
Member since Nov 2007
5241 posts

Checking in firearms on flights
anyone do this regularly?

I know you have to have rifles etc locked down and checked in as checked baggage- can you place in unloaded pistols in your checked baggage?


CarRamrod
USA Fan
Spurbury, VT
Member since Dec 2006
49238 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
plenty of info here. TSA.gov

quote:

You may transport unloaded firearms in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage only.
This post was edited on 9/10 at 1:13 pm


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upgrayedd
Lamar Fan
Lifting at Tobin's house
Member since Mar 2013
94832 posts
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re: Checking in firearms on flights
quote:

can you place in unloaded pistols in your checked baggage?

As long as it's in a TSA approved case with approved locks, yes. I used to check my pistol inside a pelican case that I threw in my luggage all the time.


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jbgleason
LSU Fan
BTR, suck it all you haters
Member since Mar 2012
12285 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
quote:

anyone do this regularly?


Yes and here is the Golden Rule. Ignore everything you find on the TSA website because individual airports REGULARLY DISREGARD their own agencies printed guidance and just do whatever the hell they want.

The second you try to point out the error of their ways or reason with them they will only get more dumb leading up to them declaring you hostile or some other BS.

NO matter what they say or what ridiculous thing they ask you to do (Please pull your firearm out of the case right here in the middle of this crowded check in area and show me it is unloaded - happened to me) just do it. Smile and nod your head a lot and you will likely make it through check in.

A final example, I printed and highlighted the TSA regulations regarding carrying ammo (must be in original packaging OR in a magazine that encloses the base and tip of the bullet) within the same case as your firearm. TSA guy says "you can't carry ammo in this case with the rifle", I point to the TSA regulations laminated to the inside top of my Pelican case. TSA guy - "where did you get that?" Me - "off your website." TSA guy - "Oh, ummm, well I haven't seen that. I guess we don't do that here. Throw that ammo in your unlocked soft sided clothes duffel bag. That will be better." Me knowing this is a stupid fricking idea - "OK." Fast forward twenty minutes as I get called back through security to TSA counter - "You can't have this ammo in your clothing bag, unlock that Pelican case and put it in there." Me - "Gee OK, thanks."

As evidenced from story above, get there a bit early when checking a firearm. Just to give you time to deal with the shenanigans.


Gingineer
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jul 2012
72 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
Watched a presentation wherein a guy stated he always flies with cheap AR lowers in his luggage so that he can use a non TSA lock since he has so little trust in TSA.


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LPLGTiger
LSU Fan
Member since May 2013
16 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
As previously mentioned, make sure you have a hard case and "TSA" approved locks. I use regular Master Locks. Funny story about the TSA part. Last spring I was flying from Bush in Houston to Orlando to turkey hunt. Go up to the counter and tell the lady at the desk I have a fire arm. (I've done this multiple times so kind of know the drill.) As i'm opening it she asks if those are TSA approved locks. I responded with "I always use these locks and have never had an issue so I guess so." There is a pause and I ask if they are or not. Her response was "I don't know but you said they are so I guess so too."

Also, the stares from people in line behind you at baggage claim when you open a gun case in an airport are priceless


upgrayedd
Lamar Fan
Lifting at Tobin's house
Member since Mar 2013
94832 posts
 Online 

re: Checking in firearms on flights
quote:

Go up to the counter and tell the lady at the desk I have a fire arm. (I've done this multiple times so kind of know the drill.) As i'm opening it she asks if those are TSA approved locks. I responded with "I always use these locks and have never had an issue so I guess so." There is a pause and I ask if they are or not. Her response was "I don't know but you said they are so I guess so too."

TSA is so inconsistent with their policies. Some places have let me check it at the ticket counter and be done with it and some have made me check it then wait for 15 minutes in case the TSA people in the back find something wrong with it. The unfortunate truth is that many TSA people have no clue what their own policies are.

quote:

Also, the stares from people in line behind you at baggage claim when you open a gun case in an airport are priceless



Bruh, I walked through the San Francisco airport with a rifle case. I felt about as awkward and paranoid as you could possibly be.

Checked my AR and pistol in BTR and the chick at the counter says "are you law enforcement?" I said no and all she says is "ok".


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Bagger Joe
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2014
820 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
I flew last month from New Orleans to Denver and back on Southwest. I had my pistol in a small Pelican case that was padlocked in a large Pelican case that was padlocked. You have to check in at the counter and declare that you have an unloaded firearm in your bag. In New Orleans, the agent behind the counter had me open the big case and taped a "firearm" label on the gun case. She didn't want to see the handgun. I locked the large case and she said to hang around while the TSA guy checked it. There was a TSA X-ray machine right behind the Southwest counter and she gave the case to the Agent and said something to him and pointed at me. He ran the case through the X-ray machine and then looked at me and gave me a thumbs up. That was it. When I arrived in Denver, I had to go to the Southwest Baggage Office to claim my case. On the return trip from Denver, it was much the same as New Orleans (taped a tag on the gun case) and a Southwest baggage guy took me and the bag to a TSA Office where the guy X-rayed the bag and gave it back to the Southwest guy and said it was good to go. I walked with the guy until he put it on the belt at the curbside checkin. Again, I had to claim it at the Baggage Office in New Orleans upon arrival. Simple process but adds travel time.

This was the first time I had flown with a firearm in years and it wasn't as much of a hassle as I thought it would be. A couple of pieces of advise I would give is DO NOT use TSA approved locks. The regs say you don't have to use them and the TSA locks I've seen look flimsy and you can buy a TSA key off the internet. I used brass, keyed (as opposed to combo) Master Locks on my cases and, as I said, the process adds a little more time to your travel because you have to check in at the counter as apposed to curbside or a kiosk, so check in earlier than usual. 2 hours at least.


mikeytig
LSU Fan
NE of Tiger Stadium
Member since Nov 2007
5241 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
I wanted to bring a pistol and did not really want to put in the rifle case.

What about declaring the pistol in a separate, locked container and putting it in my duffle bag which i also am checking in- would that be allowed?
This post was edited on 9/10 at 4:29 pm


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upgrayedd
Lamar Fan
Lifting at Tobin's house
Member since Mar 2013
94832 posts
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re: Checking in firearms on flights
You can do that


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MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
12112 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
quote:

Yes and here is the Golden Rule. Ignore everything you find on the TSA website because individual airports REGULARLY DISREGARD their own agencies printed guidance and just do whatever the hell they want.

Also the ticket agents don't always know the correct procedure either. Last time I flew out of MSY with a handgun, I had it in a locked case. You have to sign a document declaring that the gun is unloaded and you're supposed to put the document in with the gun case. The agent told me to put it in the case. I said how is TSA going to be able to read it if it's in the case? She just said put it in the case, so I did.


MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
12112 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
quote:

A couple of pieces of advise I would give is DO NOT use TSA approved locks. The regs say you don't have to use them and the TSA locks I've seen look flimsy and you can buy a TSA key off the internet. I used brass, keyed (as opposed to combo) Master Locks on my cases

It's very wise not to use TSA locks but using Master locks is almost as bad. Master locks are very easily pickable. So spend a little more money on something like an Abus to protect your valuable firearms.


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jbgleason
LSU Fan
BTR, suck it all you haters
Member since Mar 2012
12285 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
quote:

The agent told me to put it in the case.


Actually...

The Regulations specifically state that the bright orange "firearm unloaded" tag goes INSIDE the case. This regulation was created because several airlines were requiring the tag to be put ON the case. Those of us who flew all the time with guns started calling them "steal me" tags. FAA/TSA agreed and created the Regulation requiring the tag to always be inside the case out of sight. The purpose of the tag is to visually show that the owner of the firearm has certified that it is unloaded so that the inspecting TSA agent doesn't have to pick it up and check it.

They got that one right.


MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since Dec 2008
12112 posts

re: Checking in firearms on flights
quote:

The purpose of the tag is to visually show that the owner of the firearm has certified that it is unloaded so that the inspecting TSA agent doesn't have to pick it up and check it.

Yes but if it's in the case, the TSA agent can't see it.

Edit: I'm talking about the declaration you sign that states the gun is unloaded.
This post was edited on 9/11 at 12:01 pm


upgrayedd
Lamar Fan
Lifting at Tobin's house
Member since Mar 2013
94832 posts
 Online 

re: Checking in firearms on flights
I'm just spitballing, but maybe they have x ray viewable ink on the tag that they can see when it's scanned


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tomcatrav
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2009
301 posts
 Online 

re: Checking in firearms on flights
Done it several times. In general , not a big deal.
Show up early .
TSA locks.
Ammo in original packaging (or appropriate clip)
Be prepared to open case and show weapon.

Customs (leaving and returning) with guns can be a pain in the arse though.




upgrayedd
Lamar Fan
Lifting at Tobin's house
Member since Mar 2013
94832 posts
 Online 

re: Checking in firearms on flights
quote:

or appropriate clip


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UAH_Tiger2
Auburn Fan
Pacific Northwest
Member since Mar 2016
306 posts
 Online 

re: Checking in firearms on flights
Yes. I have a couple of Pelican Storm cases I use to transport different firearms. Get some good quality Abus locks. I like to zip tie the trigger and for rifles I use a magwell lock as well. Declare the empty firearm at the counter and then wait for TSA to harass you and go about your day.


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