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Flying into O'Hare with firearms


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#1 Molly B.

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 03:35 PM

We have friends flying into O'Hare in the next few weeks and will be bringing firearms with them.  They have some questions about how things are handled at the airport when checking in and out with firearms.

 

Is it a huge pain?  Are there things they need to be concerned about?

 

 


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#2 armadroid

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 03:36 PM

CPD gonna CPD.



#3 Mr. Fife

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 03:39 PM

I've had zero problems
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#4 Mr. Fife

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 03:40 PM

Just follow the rules of the airline you are flying, and get there a little earlier.
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#5 paulgl26

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 03:42 PM

Unloaded in an approved tsa case(locked hard case) . Ammo separate in ammo box not loose
Empty the mags
Put the gun in the checked bag. Tell then when you check in that you are checking in an unloaded firearm. They will give you a piece of paper that has to have your info and it goes in the bag. Drop of the bag with tsa
The airline has instructions on their website
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#6 Jatwood29

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 03:51 PM

Unloaded in an approved tsa case(locked hard case) . Ammo separate in ammo box not loose
Empty the mags
Put the gun in the checked bag. Tell then when you check in that you are checking in an unloaded firearm. They will give you a piece of paper that has to have your info and it goes in the bag. Drop of the bag with tsa
The airline has instructions on their website

all true. a couple notes. The lock can not be a TSA lock. It has to be a lock that only the owner has the combo or key for. 

 

since the declaration is only done at departure, arrivals are as usual. Just get to baggage claim ASAP. I work at Ohare Baggage thefts at the bag claims happen (too often)

 

Keep that piece of paper once they get here. and have it available when they go to fly back out. 1st time I did it, they did not tell me that.

When I left New Orleans to come back, they wanted the original paper I got when I claimed on the way down. I think they suspected that I flew down, bought a gun, and flew back. (which would be illegal)  Luckily I still had it in my book bag. 



#7 DomG

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 03:55 PM

CPD gonna CPD.


Amazing statement- considering air travel security is handled by the TSA.
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#8 kwc

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 04:13 PM

Are you concerned about Chicago specifically or airport procedures in general? I can't imagine the procedures at ORD being any different from other airports. The above recommendations all hold true; be sure to check specific airline requirements. Unloaded, in a locked (non-TSA) case within a locked suitcase, ammo in separate box designed for it. They do need to state that they "wish to declare a firearm in checked luggage." I flew to DCA (Reagan National) and back this week from STL with no problems. (It's not actually in D.C., by the way... it's in Arlington VA). Southwest didn't even ask me to open the case, a portable travel safe with a combination lock, at either airport. Both locations did request I wait about 5-10 minutes near the check-in desk for my bag to clear. It should go without saying your friends need to triple-check their carry-on for any firearm parts or ammo. Even empty brass needs to be removed. I unknowingly had a spent .22 casing lodged in a fold of my backpack that took TSA 15 minutes to find after unloading the entire contents of every pocket. TSA allowed me to toss or keep the spent brass once they verified it was empty.

Edited by kwc, 05 September 2014 - 04:18 PM.

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#9 matkinson

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 04:16 PM

paulgl26 and Jatwood29 are absolutely right.

 

TSA is very cool about it.  Airline employees get a little freaked but get over it.  Keep the key (or combo) with you.  I cannot overemphasize how important it is to be at baggage claim as quickly as possible after landing.



#10 AKay

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 04:27 PM

Works well if you follow the rules.  By the way your mags do not need to be empty just removed from the gun and a cover over the exposed round.  I bought mag sleeves from midwayusa for this purpose.  I then store them in the same case as my gun.  No loose ammo.

 

I use the cheapest lock possible.  It is never going to keep anyone from getting your gun.  The one I have used all year is an old TSA unit.  No one has said it was not exeptable.  I check the TSA website and there is no mention of what type of lock they accept or reject.

 

For pistols, put the locked hardcase in your suitcase and you are good to go.

 

I have never been asked for the previous signature card.  The airlines notes your firearm in their system when you check in and sometimes gives you a special reciept.  I have found out that the card should be put near your case but not in it.  Some agents have insisted on that and I have had TSA make me unlock the case and keep it outside. This is for locked pistol cases that are put in your regular suit case.

 

Ask the first agent you see where you check a firearm and most of the time you get to go to a special (ussually shorter) line, then walked over to TSA to have you bag xrayed.

 

Traveled to OK and TX multiple times in the past 12 months.

 

AKay


Edited by AKay, 05 September 2014 - 04:31 PM.


#11 BrowningHP

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 04:31 PM

It's pretty routine all the ticket counter people are trained to handle it. You tell them you need to declare your ""unloaded firearm in your checked baggage"", they give you a form, and then you wait for someone to help take your bag to the special TSA check.

 

Especially now that the Chicago handgun laws are gone, I think it's much safer. I only dealt with airline officials and TSA, never CPD. But I only flew with firearms once.

 

 

 

Unloaded in an approved tsa case(locked hard case) . Ammo separate in ammo box not loose
Empty the mags
Put the gun in the checked bag. Tell then when you check in that you are checking in an unloaded firearm. They will give you a piece of paper that has to have your info and it goes in the bag. Drop of the bag with tsa
The airline has instructions on their website

all true. a couple notes. The lock can not be a TSA lock. It has to be a lock that only the owner has the combo or key for. 

 

since the declaration is only done at departure, arrivals are as usual. Just get to baggage claim ASAP. I work at Ohare Baggage thefts at the bag claims happen (too often)

 

Keep that piece of paper once they get here. and have it available when they go to fly back out. 1st time I did it, they did not tell me that.

When I left New Orleans to come back, they wanted the original paper I got when I claimed on the way down. I think they suspected that I flew down, bought a gun, and flew back. (which would be illegal)  Luckily I still had it in my book bag. 

 

 

According to what law (Chicago/Cook or IL?)  I didn't realize that was illegal.. I never had that  problem either the one time I flew out of and back to ORD



#12 kwc

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 04:51 PM

 I use the cheapest lock possible.  It is never going to keep anyone from getting your gun.  The one I have used all year is an old TSA unit.  No one has said it was not exeptable.  I check the TSA website and there is no mention of what type of lock they accept or reject. 


49 CFR 1540.111 states the container must be locked, and "only the passenger retains the key or combination." TSA having a master key would seem to violate that restriction.

However, some airlines allow TSA locks and TSA doesn't explicitly prohibit them, either.

I just go with a combo lock and don't give the combination to anyone.

Edited by kwc, 05 September 2014 - 04:54 PM.

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#13 Odinson

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:09 PM

I have never had a problem. Give yourself 15 more minutes for checking in. San Antonio of all places
(!) took me to a separate room, opened my double locked (same key) case with my breech locked (different key) pistol and swabbed it for explosive residue, which seemed silly. Positive first test, nice conversation about my choice of firearm, negative second test and I was on my way.

#14 Craigcelia

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:20 PM

I've done it a few times out of O'hare. Zero issues here.

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#15 Odinson

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:23 PM

To answer your question, ORD is really easy at least with AA. TSA seems bored and besides escorting your bag to special X-ray, no big deal. Picking up also a breeze. As said by someone else, and a really good point, depending on the practices of where you fly from, your bag may be 'identified' as special. I have picked mine up a few times wrapped with special TSA tape...I whipped that off quickly and proceeded immediately to WalMart.

#16 WillT

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:30 PM

I've done it twice.  Once to Vegas and once to Seattle.  Seattle was a pistol case, Vegas was a rifle case.

 

2 keyed padlocks (not-TSA appoved)

 

They'll either x-ray the case or open it up and physically inspect it, mostly to make sure it's unloaded.  Have had both TSA and airport personnel do that with my rifle case.

 

I usually run a cable lock through the magwell just to make everybody happy.

 

As mentioned above, be the first to the bag belt.  People look at locked cases oddly.  I had some kid here at ORD eyeball my case when it first popped out, I thought for a split second he was going to make a move for it.

 

I've never traveled with the gun in a bag, so I dunno about that.


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#17 Hoffsoft

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:49 PM

No problems at ORD or MDW. I have always travelled with a pistol, locked inside a hard sided case with a padlock, ammo in the original box in with the gun, mags empty. A minority of gate agents get freaked out by loaded mags, so I just don't bother. Pistol case is locked inside checked baggage with a TSA lock. No drama at either airport, CPD has never gotten involved. Just follow the airline rules and get there early.

Edited by Hoffsoft, 05 September 2014 - 05:49 PM.


#18 Mr. Fife

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:40 PM

I had a post when I flew my first time with a gun. I found the post, here's the link...

http://illinoiscarry...showtopic=36640


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#19 speedbump

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:54 PM

TSA demanded to physically re-inspect my rifle in 2008. Two problems: 1. I was in Namibia. 2. The airlines said it was in Republic of South Africa, then Namibia. Nope. After I got back, it was found at OH are. Then the airline refused to ship it down. Had to take a vacation day, drive 350 miles to Chicago, get a hotel room, and go to the airport the next day.

Not a happy experience. I've flown with long and short guns many times before and since with no issues.
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#20 lockman

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:58 PM

TSA does not care if the ammo is in magazines, how the ammo is packaged is up to the airline and the rules vary. Loaded mags were fine on my trip but I know some airlines require fastory packaging.

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#21 Mr. Fife

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:02 PM

I keep an empty box of Gold Dot, just for when I fly. My ammo is Hornady Critical Defense, but that doesn't matter and nobody cares what the brand is, just the packaging. So far every airline I've flown requires original box packaging for ammo. I'd rather leave it in the magazine, but I'm not going to make waves.


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#22 kwc

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 07:06 PM

I had a post when I flew my first time with a gun. I found the post, here's the link...
http://illinoiscarry...showtopic=36640


Great write-up! You were determined to ensure your gun case remained in your suitcase. My case isn't mounted.

I've had to open the safe before to show the handgun at the check-in counter. That makes me uneasy about prying eyes looking over my shoulder at a time when I'd rather be discrete. I've never had to handle it, though, and it helps to leave the slide locked open in the safe/case so it is very clear the firearm is not loaded. Looks like you've done that too, with the addition of a cable lock.

Edited by kwc, 05 September 2014 - 07:07 PM.

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#23 mikescooling

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 08:51 PM

I'd keep any guns out of the airport, they just had a guy busted stealing a laptop in front of an inspector.  UPS the sucker ahead IMHO



#24 xd9subcompact

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 09:04 AM

Let me add one tid-bit:

If you can, get the ticket agent to carry the gun in the case and hand it to the TSA.

That way, you can't be blamed for anything being improper, as you are not the one who had care, custody and control over the gun.



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Posted 06 September 2014 - 09:27 AM

A funny thing happened to me many years ago.  I was at ORD, traveling to Texas and I pack a pistol in my suitcase.  At O’Hare I asked the ticket agent if he would like to inspect my pistol.  He refused and said “I would never touch a gun”.  He looked at me like I was a criminal.  Returning home from Texas I asked the agent if she would like to inspect it and she said yes.  I opened the box storing my pistol and she said “what a cute little pistol”.  She asked me what it was and how it would fit perfectly in her purse.  It was a Beretta Jetfire 25cal.  So in Illinois was thought to be a violent criminal and in Texas I was a barely a man.


Edited by David59, 06 September 2014 - 09:28 AM.


#26 pdpsc

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 09:51 AM

This has been discussed at length before. Use the search function.
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#27 Molly B.

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 10:00 AM

This has been discussed at length before. Use the search function.

 

 

Thank you, but I wanted updated, present time info.


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#28 SiliconSorcerer

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 11:36 AM

I've never had problem with fedex they are always there just waiting for me ;) 


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#29 Jatwood29

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 12:12 PM

It's pretty routine all the ticket counter people are trained to handle it. You tell them you need to declare your ""unloaded firearm in your checked baggage"", they give you a form, and then you wait for someone to help take your bag to the special TSA check.

 

Especially now that the Chicago handgun laws are gone, I think it's much safer. I only dealt with airline officials and TSA, never CPD. But I only flew with firearms once.

 

 

 

Unloaded in an approved tsa case(locked hard case) . Ammo separate in ammo box not loose
Empty the mags
Put the gun in the checked bag. Tell then when you check in that you are checking in an unloaded firearm. They will give you a piece of paper that has to have your info and it goes in the bag. Drop of the bag with tsa
The airline has instructions on their website

all true. a couple notes. The lock can not be a TSA lock. It has to be a lock that only the owner has the combo or key for. 

 

since the declaration is only done at departure, arrivals are as usual. Just get to baggage claim ASAP. I work at Ohare Baggage thefts at the bag claims happen (too often)

 

Keep that piece of paper once they get here. and have it available when they go to fly back out. 1st time I did it, they did not tell me that.

When I left New Orleans to come back, they wanted the original paper I got when I claimed on the way down. I think they suspected that I flew down, bought a gun, and flew back. (which would be illegal)  Luckily I still had it in my book bag. 

 

 

According to what law (Chicago/Cook or IL?)  I didn't realize that was illegal.. I never had that  problem either the one time I flew out of and back to ORD

According to federal Law. I brought a handgun with me. It is illegal under federal law to transfer a firearm over state lines. Thats why if you buy a handgun in indiana, you have to have them ship to a FFL in illinois for the transfer. If I had flown down to Louisiana without a handgun, then upon returning I had a handgun. It is very possible I acquired that Handgun Illegally. Im sure there are circumstances you could think of that would fit that just fine. But in my case I think they assumed that right off hand. In the end I was fine, just held up 20min longer. (until I found the card)  Holding on to that card can save some headache on the return flight. 


Edited by Jatwood29, 06 September 2014 - 12:14 PM.


#30 Chicagoster

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 04:42 PM

as most have said already here....easy as pie.  seriously.  traveled with my firearm about 5 trips this year and not a single problem/issue.

 

i fly southwest out of midway....at check in...i say, "i need to check a firearm in my luggage."  

 

i don't have it out on it's own case...i have it inside my luggage - inside a secure case of course.  

 

a pistol carrying case on it's own (pelicans, etc..) is much more likely to be theft target.

 

southwest gives me sheet of paper and a tag to tape to gun case (again, inside my luggage).  walk over to tsa...they (TSA) have NEVER opened the gun case.  they check to see if it's locked.  tsa adds some highlighted text to my luggage destination tag.  and off it goes.  several times this happened within sight range of CPD and no issues at all.

 

pick up at luggage pick up at destination city.

 

fyi...i only bring pistol to states that i am licensed to ccw.  that's just me.

 

WARNING - please be VERY CAREFUL if they have a stop in NY and for some weird reason have to deplane and have to re-check luggage again.  NYPD will arrest you.  No ifs ands or buts.  very sad to hear it...but, that's their policy.