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Flying to Colorado- Checking Firearm


RoyB
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I plan to fly Ohare to Denver Colorado (and back) with American Airlines. I checked their site and it just says to place the firearm, unloaded, into a locked container. Ammo needs to be in original packaging or container suitable for ammo. Not much other information. I have not flown in probably 10 years and haven't flown with a firearm. Can anyone help me out with a few questions.

  • Does the Ammo go into the locked container with the firearm?
  • Does the locked container holding the firearm go into the suitcase you are checking? ie: thrown in with your clothes.
  • Do I just go to standard luggage check and declare that I have a firearm?

I see IL CCL doesn't work in CO, but my FL license does. I will read up on local CO laws, but anything funny I should know about beforehand?

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I plan to fly Ohare to Denver Colorado (and back) with American Airlines. I checked their site and it just says to place the firearm, unloaded, into a locked container. Ammo needs to be in original packaging or container suitable for ammo. Not much other information. I have not flown in probably 10 years and haven't flown with a firearm. Can anyone help me out with a few questions.

  • Does the Ammo go into the locked container with the firearm?
  • Does the locked container holding the firearm go into the suitcase you are checking? ie: thrown in with your clothes.
  • Do I just go to standard luggage check and declare that I have a firearm?

I see IL CCL doesn't work in CO, but my FL license does. I will read up on local CO laws, but anything funny I should know about beforehand?

 

Yes lock the ammo up in factory containers or cases meant for ammo storage.

Yes the firearms go into a locked container and you have to declare them at the counter. The plastic container goes into a checked bag. The checked bag does not have to be locked. They will fill out a form that goes into the baggage. Make sure the firearms are unloaded and use a hard plastic lockable case. Once they give you the form to put in the bag they walk you over to TSA or direct you there and they may inspect the firearm but in general will just x-ray it and you are done.

 

Go to the ticket counter to declare it that is where they have the forms.

 

There is a CCW carry app called "CCW" that lists all the local laws and carry restrictions by state and lists where you are permitted to carry by the permits you have. You can load this on a smart phone and it can actually pull up the local laws in detail as well as a summery of what you can and cant do.

 

It is no big deal at Ohare to get a firearm checked in at all just give yourself a little extra time in case there is a line at the counter. Ohare checked bag time limit is 45 minutes before the gate call. Give at least 1hr and 5 minutes before your gate time and you should be good. They have never asked for FOID or CCW but make sure you have them.

 

Picking up the gun depends on who you fly American used to put a stupid there is a gun in this suitcase sticker and would make you pick it up at the baggage office. United has never done that to me and I have no idea how the others do it.

 

Each airline has restrictions on how much ammo you can bring check it before you take to much with you. It works out on untied to be around 400 rounds or so.

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Colorado will not honor your Florida permit.

 

You must be a resident of Florida for them to honor it.

 

When I was in Colorado in 2016 and if I remember correctly I was able to carry in my vehicle concealed and when I exited the vehicle I had to open carry as Colorado allows open carry except Denver I believe.

 

Their laws are a little goofy, check www.handgunlaw.us for current information about this.

Edited by THE KING
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Colorado will not honor your Florida permit.

 

You must be a resident of Florida for them to honor it.

 

When I was in Colorado in 2016 and if I remember correctly I was able to carry in my vehicle concealed and when I exited the vehicle I had to open carry as Colorado allows open carry except Denver I believe.

 

Their laws are a little goofy, check www.handgunlaw.us for current information about this.

Looks like you are correct, that I must be a resident of FL to carry legally in CO. That doesn't make much sense to me.

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I flew out of O’hare last September. Took 3 pistols for a class in Oregon. It was easy but I used a Pelican case as a dedicated piece of luggage. Use non TSA locks. If there is a spot for multiple locks, use multiple locks. I flew United and they had an 11 lb limit for ammo. I needed 1000 rounds so I had it shipped directly to the training facility.
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I don't understand the open carry being allowed, but concealed carry not being allowed. We are staying in Denver, so it seems I am pretty hosed regardless. Looks like the only place I can carry it would be my vehicle or hotel.

I don't understand the mentality of an antigun politician and the stupid legislation they pass either.

 

But I think you are right in your last sentence.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The case for your gun that goes in your luggage need not be plastic, as was maybe implied in a post far above. Metal is fine. I've used metal every time, no problem.

 

This is good to know! Ended up not open carrying becasue most of our time was spent in Denver and I wasn't sure where the cutoff was. I also did not see anyone open carrying while we were outside of Denver, so I wasn't comfortable being the only person open carrying and freaking people out that might not be used to it.

 

O'hare wasn't too bad. Declared my firearm. The person checking us in wanted to see that it was unloaded. I opened the case and they just looked at it and said ok. I put the flag the chamber prior to make that part easier. Then we walked with TSA to the xray machine and that was it. Picked up the baggage at baggage service once in Denver.

 

Denver airport was the same. I left the red tag on and the people there asked me before we got in line if there was a firearm and I said yes. She put me in a different line for check in. This person did not want me to open the case like at Ohare. Same thing, TSA took it and we followed to xray. And then picked it up at service at ORD. Very easy process and almost VIP like since everyone is watching my bag the whole time.

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I know the trip is over but for future reference, your firearm case does not need to be in another luggage but it is more discreet that way. I do put mine in luggage and then open up both (if asked) facing away from the public.

 

Many different experiences at AA counters. Some didn't check the firearm case. One had me show that it was unloaded but admitted she had no idea what she was looking at. Another (or it might have been the last one) asked me if I was going to my destination to shoot someone. Once in TX, the xray guy had me pull everything out just to talk about guns and why I like this one and that one.

 

Never had an issue or a significant delay.

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The case for your gun that goes in your luggage need not be plastic, as was maybe implied in a post far above. Metal is fine. I've used metal every time, no problem.

 

This is good to know! Ended up not open carrying becasue most of our time was spent in Denver and I wasn't sure where the cutoff was. I also did not see anyone open carrying while we were outside of Denver, so I wasn't comfortable being the only person open carrying and freaking people out that might not be used to it.

 

O'hare wasn't too bad. Declared my firearm. The person checking us in wanted to see that it was unloaded. I opened the case and they just looked at it and said ok. I put the flag the chamber prior to make that part easier. Then we walked with TSA to the xray machine and that was it. Picked up the baggage at baggage service once in Denver.

 

Denver airport was the same. I left the red tag on and the people there asked me before we got in line if there was a firearm and I said yes. She put me in a different line for check in. This person did not want me to open the case like at Ohare. Same thing, TSA took it and we followed to xray. And then picked it up at service at ORD. Very easy process and almost VIP like since everyone is watching my bag the whole time.

Yes, we tend to get VIP treatment.

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