How do I travel with my CCW while flying
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:43 PM   #1
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Default How do I travel with my CCW while flying

Looking to go from one state that allows CCW to another that also allows it. what it the proper procedure at the airport for packing my weapon, paperwork needed...... Going from AZ to FL. Looking to not have major headaches or wondering if guns being stolen by baggage people make it even worth carrying.

thankx in advance

CBW

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Old 03-31-2010, 07:49 PM   #2
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From the TSA Web Page http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

Quote:
The key regulatory requirements to transporting firearms, firearm parts or ammunition in checked baggage are:

You must declare all firearms to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
The firearm must be unloaded.
The firearm must be in a hard-sided container.
The container must be locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from access by anyone other than you. Cases that can be pulled open with little effort do not meet this criterion. The pictures provided here illustrate the difference between a properly packaged and an improperly packaged firearm.
We recommend that you provide the key or combination to the security officer if he or she needs to open the container. You should remain in the area designated by the aircraft operator or TSA representative to take the key back after the container is cleared for transportation. If you are not present and the security officer must open the container, we or the airline will make a reasonable attempt to contact you. If we can't contact you, the container will not be placed on the plane. Federal regulations prohibit unlocked gun cases (or cases with broken locks) on aircraft.
You must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging that is specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
You can't use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
You may carry the ammunition in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as you pack it as described above.
You can't bring black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder type firearms in either your carry-on or checked baggage.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:26 PM   #3
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Also check with the website for whatever airline you are flying on. Sometimes they have a couple of added restrictions. When I flew American, for example, they required the ammunition to be in the original package. It didn't have to be unopened, just in the original package.

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Old 03-31-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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Thanks, I read some of that on the web, I also read that most airlines will place a sticker on your hard case that identifies it as a gun, which the internet claims is illegal and those who have fought it have had to take it through several supervisors to get it removed, which by then baggage handlers have or had already identified the container as a weapon-good to steal. any thoughts or experience?

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Old 03-31-2010, 08:42 PM   #5
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I had a couple of buddies get their handguns stolen on a commercial flight from SC to VA! The cases had locks on them but they still found a way to get them out! So when we were picking up our items the cases looked tampered with and to our suprise the handguns had disappeared! Our weapons were all stored in some what cheap plastic cases (what we had been issued)! I guess it was much easier to take them out and conceal them than to carry around a hangun case! Good luck!

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Old 03-31-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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cbw -

I have traveled with long and short weapons quite a bit. Here has been my experience.

You have to have the weapon in some sort of case OTHER than your luggage. The plastic case it came in, for example, is what they are looking for.



The magazine IS NOT adequate for holding ammunition. You need either the original packaging or one of those plastic, hard side, reloading cases that CLOSE and STAY CLOSED.

  • I found this out the hardway when I tried taking my Kimber with me to Michigan. They let me keep the gun, as I had the hardcase, then they took my ammo because it was in the magazines and stored completely at the other end of the suitcase in a seperate container. It did not meet the standards for "holding" ammunition. That was an interesting discussion.
You have to declare that you have a firearm when you check in. As you are getting your ticket, showing your ID, simply state that you are transporting a firearm. There is no crime in this and there is nothing to worry about. I have done this with pistols in my normal luggage and long guns in specialized cases and no one has ever panicked or called in the SWAT team.

You will be escorted with your luggage to a special screening section where they will open your luggage and inspect the weapon and the ammunition IN FRONT OF YOU. They are NOT allowed to do it without you in sight of the luggage.

Once they have determined that your weapon is:
  1. Unloaded
  2. In a hardside case that is OTHER than your luggage
  3. Your ammo is stored correctly
  4. and there is nothing else of concern in your luggage
They will place an ORANGE ticket INSIDE your luggage and seal it in front of you. This ORANGE ticket will declare that there is a firearm IN the luggage which would be seen if someone opened the luggage.

Because I always fly with other stuff in my luggage ( like a knife, camera or charging equipment for the laptops or whatever ) I have TSA approved locks that they will then replace on the luggage and send it on through the system.

I can't remember ever having a tag that said FIREARM on the outside of my luggage. They might have put another color tag on the handle, but I don't remember peeling off a sticker that boldly said FIREARM.

Granted, it's been over a year since I traveled in the country and could bring a firearm, but I do not recall this being the case the last time I flew.

However, if that is the case now, when they sign off on your luggage and re-seal it with their tag inside, with your "ticket" having been marked as "having a firearm" I would presume that the airline is responsible for the safe arrival of your luggage just like any other item of worth.

All told, the only time I ever had a problem flying with my firearm is when they took my ammo for having it in a magazine and that was in 2003 - so pretty close after 09/11.

If you have questions, you can call the carrier directly and get their exact criteria before you head to the airport.

Good luck!

JD
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:47 PM   #7
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Most airlines allow 11lbs of ammo in your checked bag. Like JD said, is has to be in a container. The best way is to leave it in the box it was purchased in. I have PMags for my AR and the M version has a dust cover. TSA will allow you to have that type of mag loaded with ammo because it is considered a "closed" container. When I fly with guns, I have always had to pick up my baggage/gun case from the oversize baggage/pet claim area. I had to provide my ticket and ID before the agent released it to me. There has never been a tag on the outside indicating gun or weapon. Again like JD said, the ticketing agent makes you sign a form indicating the gun is unloaded and then puts a copy inside the case before watching you lock the case.

I would suggest buying a lightweight lockable aluminum pistol case rather than the plastic cases. The one I use came from Sportsmans Guide and cost around 20 bucks + shipping. It works for carrying inside your checked bag. If I'm traveling with my AR and/or shotgun, I put them and my handguns in a Do-All Flight Proof case that appears to be able to handle a bomb blast. I have a few scratches on the case but no dents.

Make sure that you hhave in your possesion (wallet) the type of gun and serial number for each that you are transporting in case something happens during your travel.

Also, ammo is a bit hard to find, or very expensive if you do here in Fla. at least on the West side, so you might want to bring some with you if you have it.

Have a safe, enjoyable trip.

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Old 04-01-2010, 03:23 PM   #8
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thanks for all the input, very good information.
I can now after talking to my carrier make a informed decision. I'm tempted to just buy a new XDM when I reach my destination, and get it home through my local dealer.

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Old 04-01-2010, 06:25 PM   #9
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Or if you're going to visit someone who has an extra gun/holster you could carry...

Seriously, though, it's not as bad as it sounds. Just make sure you follow the TSA guidelines and your carrier's guidelines. Then just be calm while you're at the airport.

When I traveled with my gun, it seemed that the airline people (not TSA) weren't too accustomed to dealing with it. But they *had* been trained, and they were friendly, professional and accommodating.

I had to unpack the case with the guns (my wife's carry gun went with us too) and show that they were unloaded. There was one person from the airline present, along with one TSA agent. I just locked the slides back and showed them the chambers. Neither of them touched the firearms or the case. I also showed them the ammunition in containers.

All of this was accomplished at the check-in counter. And I don't think any of the other passengers noticed what was going on.

The part you are doing now (preparation) is the key. Going through check-in was only slightly more involved than a regular flight.

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Old 04-01-2010, 07:07 PM   #10
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I flew to Dallas and back on American Eagle. It was one of their first flights. They didn't have any gun tickets at the desk. I was their first passenger to check a gun. They were very professional. Just not prepared. I had my pistol in a plastic case with a pad lock on it. I had a box of ammo in a plastic ammo box. They x-rayed my gun box without opening it. They said they could clearly see that it was unloaded. They finally got a tag from one of the other carriers. It was red. It was placed inside my bag. It was not visible from the outside. Dallas was much more prepared on my return trip. The TSA guy at Dallas opened my case and looked at my gun. Then we stood there for about 10 minutes talking guns and shooting. He asked me what I thought about Sig. He was thinking of buying one. He put the red tag in my bag and sent me on my way.

The main thing to remember is to decalre the weapon when you get to the ticket counter. Simply say in a calm voice, "I need to delcare a handgun in my baggage."

I will always check the TSA website before I fly with my gun. Don't take any of our words for truth. Airline laws change about every 15 minutes, or so it seems. LOL. Make certain you are up to date when you arrive at the airport.

I was with a delgation from my city welcoming American Arlines to my airport. No one in my group knew I was carrying. It was funny to listen to them. They got into an argument about guns in airports. The genius of our gruop was insisting that you can't even bring a gun into an airport parking lot. What an idiot. I just let the fool talk.

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