TSA approved Pistol Case Questions
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default TSA approved Pistol Case Questions

So I've looked up the rules for transporting firearms on airplanes. I understand the rules.
TSA: Traveling with Special Items
and
TSA: Traveling with Special Items

AND I'm flying southwest so here is there policy. Southwest Airlines Travel Policies - Guns and Ammunition

What I REALLY want to know, is based on the requirements, what cases have YOU used to transport firearms or if you have a case (IE Pelican or whatever) that you would recommend that meets these requirements.

I would like to transport at least 2 pistols. (Yes I have googled this but the results were not that impressive)

I also went and bought a case and some locks and I am not that impressed with the setup. I will probably take the empty case and locks by the Airport this week to see if it is adequate as I cannot afford the hassle of scrambling for an approved case at the last minute.

Links and or pictures would be great!

BTW. Ammo is limited at 11lbs..... 100 rounds of 40 cal and 100 rounds of .45 cal meet that and allow for your carry rounds too (Hollow Points etc.)

Thanks for your input!

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Old 06-23-2010, 02:33 AM   #2
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Are you planning on checking them as second checked bag or putting them inside your checked suitcase?
I have used my factory Sig blue plastic case and packed it inside my checked bag with a good lock on one side (Do Not Use A TSA Lock) and then used the factory magazine lock to secure the other locking point to a hard point I made on the inside of my suitcase itself, so a baggage handler would halve to steal my whole bag to steal my gun!
Pelican makes durable cases , however a bit spendy, but are worth it!
I've never checked any ammo. though>

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Old 06-23-2010, 11:54 AM   #3
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RJ, 6/23/10

Flying with firearms and ammo is not really as big a deal as it is made out to be. I make a yearly 6000 mile trip through the states once a year traveling with two pistols and ammo and the airlines pretty much have things worked out. I have always used one of the factory hard boxes which the pistol was shipped with. I get a key lock from Home Depot and lock the pistols inside the case within my suitcase. Most airlines prefer ammo to be in their factory boxes so I pack my 11 pounds of ammo in the factory boxes and put it inside the suitcase.

When you check in ask one of the information people if you need to check in at a special location if checking a firearm. Some airlines want you to, some don't. There is nothing worse than waiting in a long line and when you get to the front of the line you are told you should have gone to a different check-in site.

You need to declare the pistol and ammo to the check-in attendant. Sometimes they will take you somewhere where you can show them that the firearm is unloaded, most times they will take your word for it. They will give you a firearms declaration tag that they will put with your pistols inside the suitcase.

Then it is off to TSA screening. Every time the TSA people have taken all my stuff out of the suitcase, opened the ammo boxes and pistol cases to inspect them. They then repack everything and have me lock up my pistol case and suitcase. The TSA folks seem pretty comfortable with the process also. After TSA clears the bags they are taken back to the airline counter and put on the belt for the plane.

One note- if you are landing in some locations where high cap mags are not allowed you might want to mail them to yourself ahead of time. I travel through Hawaii and California often and mags over ten rounds capacity can cause legal problems (I think the same is true for other states, like New Jersey. One way to check is to look at the website Handgunlaw.us). I usually carry .45's and the mags hold less than ten rounds so I am OK. When I traveled with my Glock 19 this last summer I had to mail the 15 rounds to myself before I transited through Hawaii.

So pack your stuff, check your pistols and ammo and have a good trip.

best wishes- oldandslow

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Old 06-23-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
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I flew not too long ago with a pistol, I was in a hurry so I went and bought a small metal box with a key lock and just put it in a suitcase. Had no problems at all when I checked the bag and declared the contents.

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Old 06-23-2010, 04:09 PM   #5
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I use a pelican case for my pistols when I travel domestic and internationally. I have had no problems. Customs issued me a a customs (weapon) form to keep with me so I can just breeze thru the airport, when coming off a international flight and rechecking my bags for the domestic leg.

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Old 06-23-2010, 06:28 PM   #6
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Thanks guys!!!

Great input!!!

I think I will plan on putting my case in one of my bags. (going to be gone about 12 days) I like the idea of cable locking it inside the bag!!! Means I can pull one of those locks out of the plastic for the first time!!!!

oldandslow
Thanks for the step by step!!! Just what I was hoping for.

ALSGUN and jetspeed8. Thanks for posting your experience!

I think I will get a pelican case and be done.

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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I have to shake the dust off of this to ask a question. I was under the impression that the TSA has to be able to open the gun case to inspect. To that I have to use one of those TSA approved locks on the guns case. IS that correct.

This is the 1st time I'm flying out of NJ to FL with my firearm as opposed to driving. Per the airline and airport I have to have my firearm stored in a locked case INSIDE a checked bag.

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvsafe View Post
I have to shake the dust off of this to ask a question. I was under the impression that the TSA has to be able to open the gun case to inspect. To that I have to use one of those TSA approved locks on the guns case. IS that correct.

This is the 1st time I'm flying out of NJ to FL with my firearm as opposed to driving. Per the airline and airport I have to have my firearm stored in a locked case INSIDE a checked bag.
No, that is not correct. NOBODY has the key or combination to the lock except you. They "may" want to look inside.

http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:29 PM   #9
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Anyone have an idea if something like this would work for putting into my checked bag via TSA requirements?

gun-safe-travel.jpg  
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:59 AM   #10
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I use a hard, lockable case (plastic), using TSA approved locks. Place ammo in its original box or empty box. Your empty magazines can be in the lockable case & the box/es of ammo (up to 10 lbs) can be in the same checked luggage. Each airport has different procedures. It's easier with the TSA approved locks, because if there's a need to open the case after being x-rayed, they have the tool to use. If you have a key, you have to find key, turn it over to agent, wait to get key back.

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