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Recent experience flying with a firearm


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#1 vern

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:12 PM

I had read on here and checked the aircarriers websights so wasnt too surprised. Just interesting that had slightly different experience at each airport. First off I left from Marion on Cape Air. Couldnt find anything specific about them so followed tsa guidelines. Declared at check in and they give me a card to sign declaring gun was empty. They asked if I was checking that bag. I replied I have too. They said oh that is the one it is in! Really small plane (about 8-10 seats), 6 or 7 passengers. One other young man also declared his as well. At Security it was determined that both I and the other young man had a major hit on our carry on bag. We both got patted down, swiped down, and our carry on gone through with a fine tooth comb. Everything taken out, swiped down, looked at, felt, etc. Get supervisor, finally declared good to go. Got to St Louis, collect bag from luggage then go upstairs and check in with Frontier. (Cape Air has no bag forwarding arrangements with Frontier). Declare firearm, fill out card stated not armed, then they had me open the bag and put the card on the gun case. Agent said to stick around for 10 to 15 minutes to give tsa a chance to check it. Done and went to Security, was given tsa pre status and just walked through screening.
At Vegas declared, filled out card, had to open bag and put card on top of gun case and wait for a thumbs up signaling all was good to go. Proceeded to security and had fairly normal security screening. Now back at St. Louis, get bag and check in with Cape Air. Fill out form put on gun case and after thumbs up proceed through security. While waiting to board plane they paged me. Went up to him and he says pretty loudly, tsa needs the key to your gun. He finally brought the key back and we started boarding.
As a side note I had bought a small gun case with the attached cable from Gander Mountain going out of business sale. Had my empty Glock and two loaded magazines in said case. Tsa and frontier web sites both say magazines could be loaded but frontier says that if magazines are loaded you need to put duct tape over the exposed end so that is what I did. Curious why they wanted to look inside that last time but no real problem I guess.

#2 OldMarineVet

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 03:05 PM

Sorry you had to go through all that crazy bs. But I had to laugh about "the duct tape over the exposed end."

#3 Teufel Hunden

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 03:17 PM

For future reference, legally you are not permitted to surrender control of the key or combination to your gun case to anyone, at anytime. You could get jammed up because of it. Of course if you argue the point, you may not make your flight...

#4 Windchaser

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 03:17 PM

I have not flown with a gun yet but I would never give them the key. If they needed to see it I would go with them and keep the key in my possession the entire time.

#5 lockman

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 05:40 PM

For future reference, legally you are not permitted to surrender control of the key or combination to your gun case to anyone, at anytime. You could get jammed up because of it. Of course if you argue the point, you may not make your flight...

 

Advise you must accompany the key as required by law. You must be present for the inspection to re-secure your luggage.


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#6 InterestedBystander

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 07:02 PM

https://www.tsa.gov/...-and-ammunition

..."Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations."...
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#7 rmart

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 07:22 PM

Flew with a number of firearms using American from PHX to ORD. No hassles, no problems. I was surprised.


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#8 chicagoresident

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 09:24 PM

My favorite part was during my last check TSA had me open my gun case and swabbed my gun and magazine (filled with ammo) for explosives and it showed up negative. 

 

What the hey!!! are they testing for?!?! Security theater at its finest. 



#9 Mick G

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:10 AM

My favorite part was during my last check TSA had me open my gun case and swabbed my gun and magazine (filled with ammo) for explosives and it showed up negative. 

 

What the hey!!! are they testing for?!?! Security theater at its finest. 

 

I had a similar experience 19 years ago. My friend and I were running late for our flight. We had a conference to be at the next morning and would be getting to that city pretty late. Our ride was screwing around and we ended up at ORD about 20 minutes before our flight. This was pre 9/11.

 

Long story short we get hassled by a checkpoint agent. (There wasn't a TSA yet) She decided that she would use this sniffer that was on a wand with a postage stamp like piece of paper on it. She checked my all the seams and zipper of my friends carry on. The thing is my friend was always Mr. Cool, this guy is not one to finch but I picked up on the fact he is nervous and he actually starts sweating. She does the same to my bag and we are on our way to the gate.

 

I ask "What's up, you seem a bit freaked out." His reply was shocking. He packed in a hurry. His checked baggage was fine but his carry on was his range bag and he just threw some stuff in it. He took his hand and went over the one side of it and his hand was black from gunpowder. Yet the "bomb sniffer" didn't even catch this. To make things even better he had two unfired .45 rounds and 3 spent cases in the bag. He found them the next day. That day I knew that our airports were not safe. Three years later my beliefs were proven.



#10 Cerus

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:24 AM

Isn’t gun powder a poor choice for bomb making?

#11 Mick G

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:02 AM

Isn’t gun powder a poor choice for bomb making?

 

I would think that's a yes, it's probably not the best but I would think that much residue would set of a "bomb detector". Then you have the two fired .45 rounds which were thrown away before we flew home. How is that not caught on the X-ray? This woman was too busy screwing with us and did a pretty lousy job which actually helped us catch our flight. Now you have the TSA who are a complete PITA. Flying used to OK and now it is such a pain. I've been looking into fractional jet ownership but for now I'll fly commercial and hate the hassle that usually goes with it. 9/11 changed a lot of things, the biggest is a day at the airport and horrible service you get from most airlines. It used to be so much simpler and customer service meant something. Now it's pack them in and screw them.



#12 lockman

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:28 AM

Isn’t gun powder a poor choice for bomb making?



As far as detonating, it is very poor. But it still should test positive for nitrates, as most contain nitrocellulose and/or nitroglycerin.


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#13 Mick G

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:41 AM

 

Isn’t gun powder a poor choice for bomb making?



As far as detonating, it is very poor. But it still should test positive for nitrates, as most contain nitrocellulose and/or nitroglycerin.

 

 

I meant two unfired .45 rounds. There were three spent shell casings. There was visible residue on the bag which wasn't really visible because it was a black bag. A lot of residue. I guarantee that a dog would have been all over it. The whole thing was sham and after reading chicaoresidents story I wonder how much of it is still a sham except I think now they catch the bullets and brass.



#14 kwc

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 08:06 AM

https://www.tsa.gov/...-and-ammunition
..."Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations."...

I dont know how TSA can rewrite the CFR when announcing their policy.

Title 49: Transportation, Part 1540 Civil Aviation Security: General Rules, Subpart B Responsibilities of Passengers and Other Individuals and Persons, 1540.111 © (iv) - The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.


Title 49: Transportation, Part 1544 Aircraft Operator Security: Air Carriers and Commercial Operators, Subpart C Operations, 1544.203 (f) (iii) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the individual checking the baggage retains the key or combination


Edited by kwc, 16 December 2017 - 08:09 AM.

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#15 Dog1

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:15 AM

 

https://www.tsa.gov/...-and-ammunition
..."Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations."...

I dont know how TSA can rewrite the CFR when announcing their policy.

Title 49: Transportation, Part 1540 Civil Aviation Security: General Rules, Subpart B Responsibilities of Passengers and Other Individuals and Persons, 1540.111 © (iv) - The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.


Title 49: Transportation, Part 1544 Aircraft Operator Security: Air Carriers and Commercial Operators, Subpart C Operations, 1544.203 (f) (iii) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the individual checking the baggage retains the key or combination
 

 

The CFR is a compilation of rules promulgated by agencies under the authority granted them under federal statutes. Agencies continually promulgate rules which upon finalization are published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register is published daily and the Code of Federal Regulations is published annually. Also, the application, interpretation and and/or enforcement of CFR's are subject to the discretion of the agency having jurisdiction. 

 

Also on topic:

49 U.S. Code § 44902 - Refusal to transport passengers and property

 

(a)Mandatory Refusal.—The Under Secretary of Transportation for Security shall prescribe regulations requiring an air carrier, intrastate air carrier, or foreign air carrier to refuse to transport—
(1) a passenger who does not consent to a search under section 44901(a) of this title establishing whether the passenger is carrying unlawfully a dangerous weapon, explosive, or other destructive substance; or
(2) property of a passenger who does not consent to a search of the property establishing whether the property unlawfully contains a dangerous weapon, explosive, or other destructive substance


#16 Ocellairs

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:18 PM

I can remember my travels from Arizona to Illinois for a family visit and to go hunting with my dad. Traveled with the weapon only in a soft case and no zipper locks etc. Never had a bit of a problem.

 

 

Of course, this was late 70's early 80's.


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#17 Cerus

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 12:25 AM

Isn’t gun powder a poor choice for bomb making?



As far as detonating, it is very poor. But it still should test positive for nitrates, as most contain nitrocellulose and/or nitroglycerin.

Would it be in a large enough quantity to be a threat that their testing devices would register? I know little about mordern powder and their bomb testing equipment.

#18 soylentgreen

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 01:13 PM

I've had no problems. I travel by air a few times a year. I always bring a Glock if I'm going to a place with reciprocity. Each airport and airline has different procedures. The airline counter people don't always know the rules or apply them equally. The same with TSA. Each airport has different equipment as well.

 

Only one time I had a disagreement was with how the ammo was being transported. The TSA and the airline website both said the ammo can be in the manufacturer's original container. The counter agent said I had to have a hard-sided ammo carrier. I had a printout of the rules and stood my ground on it. The proper mode of transport was determined by consultation with security and I was vindicated. Everything else went smoothly.

Two weeks ago, I traveled from ORD to SAT. I checked my bag with United. No problems. On the way back, I checked in at the kiosk and I was flagged automatically that I had to check a bag and make a declaration. It looks like they're tracking who has a gun check on the outbound flight and presuming you have one on the return flight. Pretty slick.



#19 mqqn

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 11:58 PM

Thank you for sharing your experience. 

 

best 

 

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#20 chicagoresident

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 12:07 AM

http://www.thetrutha...essons-learned/

Interesting, I guess the detector does sometimes hit.

Also, I only fly with a checked firearm occasionally, but I 100% of the time get the TSA "we hand inspected your baggage" loveletter now. Did I get on some secret list?

#21 Mick G

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 06:55 AM

http://www.thetrutha...essons-learned/

Interesting, I guess the detector does sometimes hit.

Also, I only fly with a checked firearm occasionally, but I 100% of the time get the TSA "we hand inspected your baggage" loveletter now. Did I get on some secret list?

 

Short reply but true:

The TSA are the adults who as kids rode the short bus.

The ones who worked at McDonalds for 14 years before they let them near the deep fryer.

Now they are responsible for your safety when they couldn't manage to make a decent batch of fries. 

That's the nicest thing I could write.



#22 vern

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 02:28 PM

Interesting. The case that I carried on at my first flight (where I had the most problems and where they said they had a major hit) was an old laptop case that I pulled out of the garage. It was COVERED in dust and dirt. I wiped it off with the first thing I saw, liquid gold furniture polish. I figured the furniture polish caused all the problems. Now I am wandering if it was the dust and dirt.

#23 Sigma

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 07:33 PM

I use combination locks on my Pelican case. No key to give anyone. 


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#24 soylentgreen

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:20 PM

http://www.thetrutha...essons-learned/

Interesting, I guess the detector does sometimes hit.

Also, I only fly with a checked firearm occasionally, but I 100% of the time get the TSA "we hand inspected your baggage" loveletter now. Did I get on some secret list?

 

It depends a lot on the equipment at the airport you're flying from. At O'hare, they have baggage X-rays. I've never had them open my bag. But, smaller airports like Greenville or San Antonio don't have that kind of equipment. They manually inspect the bag. They open it up, look inside, swab it for explosives, etc.

Each and every time I've traveled with a gun (which is roughly a half dozen times), they always had me stand there while they X-rayed or otherwise inspected the bag. Once it's cleared, they tell me I can go to the gate. When they open the bag for inspection, they always put the "we inspected this bag" note in there even though I was standing right there when they did it.



#25 SiliconSorcerer

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:32 PM

http://www.thetrutha...essons-learned/

Interesting, I guess the detector does sometimes hit.

Also, I only fly with a checked firearm occasionally, but I 100% of the time get the TSA "we hand inspected your baggage" loveletter now. Did I get on some secret list?

 

 Know anyone that works for the TSA buy them a beer sometime if you don't shart from laughter by the end of first beer I would be surprised.   Breathing? Hired! 


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#26 Xwing

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 03:24 PM

O'Hare is actually one of the best airports for flying with a firearm, from my travels.  I was just there this week (flying w/ a firearm again);  You just sign the firearm declaration form, they take you back to the luggage x-ray machine and have you wait while they x-ray your bag.  That's it; only takes a few min. :) 


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#27 cybermgk

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 04:01 PM

 

 

 

Now they are responsible for your safety when they couldn't manage to make a decent batch of fries. 

 

Which is sad, as all you do is drop the basket and hit a button.  TImer goes off and lift basket.  THAT was back in the 80s when I worked at the Golden Arches.  I imagine now the fryer drops and lifts the basket too, so all you have to do is poor in fries, and hit a button.


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#28 milq

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 11:02 AM

I hate the “sit over there and wait for 20 minutes” thing. I’d like verification that they’ve cleared me and that my firearm and luggage isn’t just hanging around due to someone being on break, etc. (Delta, St. Louis) The Delta smartphone app does let you track your luggage now at least, but as soon as you check in it shows as being accepted. Also on the return flight the app wouldn’t let me check in early and said I needed to see an agent at the Delta desk, so they’re keeping up there.
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