Flying on vacation

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RetNavy
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Flying on vacation

#1

Post by RetNavy » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:47 pm

Will be going to Florida for family vacation.. will be flying... have checked both TSA site and airline site and both said need to declare any firearms in checked baggage....does anyone know if there are any additional forms to fill out and if so about how long to take.... weapon will be in a TSA approved nano vault... magazines and ammo packed seperately.. any advice on declaring firearms will be greatly appreciated.

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LabRat
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Re: Flying on vacation

#2

Post by LabRat » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:01 pm

Do a search for flying with guns on this website...plenty of threads to follow and learn.

1. declare the weapon when you check in your luggage.
2. Make sure it's unloaded and no ammo in a magazine.
3. Make sure the box is locked and you cannot pry the edges apart.
4. There is 1 form; just signing a declaration that the weapon is unloaded.
5. They will put that form on top of the locked box.
Under no circumstances unlock the box and show the check-in agent the weapon.
If they insist, ask that TSA be summoned to the counter.
(I told one agent that I was uncomfortable showing a weapon in the airport)

I pack my mags and ammo in with the weapon. Just be sure there is no round in the weapon and no rounds in the mags.
I keep the ammo in the original box it came in. My lockbox will accommodate them all (I use a Pelican)
Make sure the locks on your weapon box itself are NOT TSA locks. I use a sturdy padlock (2 of them).
The luggage locks should be the TSA-type lock.

Once you have the weapon declared and your luggage relocked; follow the agents directions.
They may just put it on the luggage belt behind the counter or they may tell you to take it to a special location.
Do what they tell you. Ensure that you are not carrying any extra mags or ammo in your carry on.
When my wife and I fly, we don't talk about the guns at any time in the airport (here or there).

Once done, go to your gate and fly.

Collect luggage at destination. I usually put my hand into the luggage to ensure the locked gunbox is still there once it arrives at your destination.

Have a nice trip.

LabRat
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The last thing I want to do is hurt you....but it's still on my list.
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Re: Flying on vacation

#3

Post by jimlongley » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:13 pm

LabRat wrote:Do a search for flying with guns on this website...plenty of threads to follow and learn.

1. declare the weapon when you check in your luggage.
2. Make sure it's unloaded and no ammo in a magazine.
3. Make sure the box is locked and you cannot pry the edges apart.
4. There is 1 form; just signing a declaration that the weapon is unloaded.
5. They will put that form on top of the locked box.
Under no circumstances unlock the box and show the check-in agent the weapon.
If they insist, ask that TSA be summoned to the counter.
(I told one agent that I was uncomfortable showing a weapon in the airport)

I pack my mags and ammo in with the weapon. Just be sure there is no round in the weapon and no rounds in the mags.
I keep the ammo in the original box it came in. My lockbox will accommodate them all (I use a Pelican)
Make sure the locks on your weapon box itself are NOT TSA locks. I use a sturdy padlock (2 of them).
The luggage locks should be the TSA-type lock.

Once you have the weapon declared and your luggage relocked; follow the agents directions.
They may just put it on the luggage belt behind the counter or they may tell you to take it to a special location.
Do what they tell you. Ensure that you are not carrying any extra mags or ammo in your carry on.
When my wife and I fly, we don't talk about the guns at any time in the airport (here or there).

Once done, go to your gate and fly.

Collect luggage at destination. I usually put my hand into the luggage to ensure the locked gunbox is still there once it arrives at your destination.

Have a nice trip.

LabRat
:iagree:

With this added: When I was a TSA agent, admittedly a few years back now, our rules were that we did not inspect baggage if firearms showed up on the x-ray, unless they appeared to be loaded. We were to assume that a firearm seen in the bag had been declared and unless it was flagged as a theat by the machine. We were ALSO not authorized to check whether a firearm was unloaded at the ticket counter, that was up to the ticket agents and airline employees and if the airline wants you to demonstrate that the firearm is unloaded, they have the right to do so, and if you refuse, they also have the right to deny you the flight. I have seen a lot of ticket agents get shown that a firearm was not loaded, and most of them had no idea.
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LabRat
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Re: Flying on vacation

#4

Post by LabRat » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:51 pm

jimlongley wrote:
LabRat wrote:Do a search for flying with guns on this website...plenty of threads to follow and learn.

1. declare the weapon when you check in your luggage.
2. Make sure it's unloaded and no ammo in a magazine.
3. Make sure the box is locked and you cannot pry the edges apart.
4. There is 1 form; just signing a declaration that the weapon is unloaded.
5. They will put that form on top of the locked box.
Under no circumstances unlock the box and show the check-in agent the weapon.
If they insist, ask that TSA be summoned to the counter.
(I told one agent that I was uncomfortable showing a weapon in the airport)

I pack my mags and ammo in with the weapon. Just be sure there is no round in the weapon and no rounds in the mags.
I keep the ammo in the original box it came in. My lockbox will accommodate them all (I use a Pelican)
Make sure the locks on your weapon box itself are NOT TSA locks. I use a sturdy padlock (2 of them).
The luggage locks should be the TSA-type lock.

Once you have the weapon declared and your luggage relocked; follow the agents directions.
They may just put it on the luggage belt behind the counter or they may tell you to take it to a special location.
Do what they tell you. Ensure that you are not carrying any extra mags or ammo in your carry on.
When my wife and I fly, we don't talk about the guns at any time in the airport (here or there).

Once done, go to your gate and fly.

Collect luggage at destination. I usually put my hand into the luggage to ensure the locked gunbox is still there once it arrives at your destination.

Have a nice trip.

LabRat
:iagree:

With this added: When I was a TSA agent, admittedly a few years back now, our rules were that we did not inspect baggage if firearms showed up on the x-ray, unless they appeared to be loaded. We were to assume that a firearm seen in the bag had been declared and unless it was flagged as a theat by the machine. We were ALSO not authorized to check whether a firearm was unloaded at the ticket counter, that was up to the ticket agents and airline employees and if the airline wants you to demonstrate that the firearm is unloaded, they have the right to do so, and if you refuse, they also have the right to deny you the flight. I have seen a lot of ticket agents get shown that a firearm was not loaded, and most of them had no idea.
AA Managers told me they don't ask to see the weapon; that's why you sign the form. Other airlines may have a different policy.
The one check-in agent that did demand to see my firearm (and did see it) was dressed down by TSA because she erroneously put the declaration form inside the weapon locked case. They asked the agent how they were supposed to know the declaration was there if it wasn't on the case.
I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you....but it's still on my list.
In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of Emergency notify...", I answered "a doctor"
This is not legal advice.

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Re: Flying on vacation

#5

Post by Jumping Frog » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:56 am

jimlongley wrote:We were ALSO not authorized to check whether a firearm was unloaded at the ticket counter, that was up to the ticket agents and airline employees and if the airline wants you to demonstrate that the firearm is unloaded, they have the right to do so, and if you refuse, they also have the right to deny you the flight.
Almost every time I fly United, I am asked to show the ticket agent my handgun is unloaded. I quietly and discreetly do so.
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Re: Flying on vacation

#6

Post by TomsTXCHL » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:57 am

Jumping Frog wrote:
jimlongley wrote:We were ALSO not authorized to check whether a firearm was unloaded at the ticket counter, that was up to the ticket agents and airline employees and if the airline wants you to demonstrate that the firearm is unloaded, they have the right to do so, and if you refuse, they also have the right to deny you the flight.
Almost every time I fly United, I am asked to show the ticket agent my handgun is unloaded. I quietly and discreetly do so.
I don't understand how you can easily do that in a crowded airport with people all around you--I mean, just the act of setting the bag somewhere and opening it up is unusual and would get others' attentions???

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Re: Flying on vacation

#7

Post by jbarn » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:33 am

TomsTXCHL wrote:
Jumping Frog wrote:
jimlongley wrote:We were ALSO not authorized to check whether a firearm was unloaded at the ticket counter, that was up to the ticket agents and airline employees and if the airline wants you to demonstrate that the firearm is unloaded, they have the right to do so, and if you refuse, they also have the right to deny you the flight.
Almost every time I fly United, I am asked to show the ticket agent my handgun is unloaded. I quietly and discreetly do so.
I don't understand how you can easily do that in a crowded airport with people all around you--I mean, just the act of setting the bag somewhere and opening it up is unusual and would get others' attentions???

Not really. I just returned to Texas from Georgia. I had to open my bag at the ticket counter at both airports. People are so wrapped up in their own little worlds, cell phones, and rush to the gates that they don't notice anything.

At CRP Southwest only asked me to open my luggage so they could place the declared firearm tag on the firearm case. Then TSA just ran it through xray and sentnme on my way.

At ATL (what a miserable airport) I followed the same process with Air Trans; however, TSA opened my bag and swabbed it for explosives. Still no big deal.

I have flown with a handgun several times. It never is a big deal, really.
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Re: Flying on vacation

#8

Post by TomsTXCHL » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:21 am

jbarn wrote:
TomsTXCHL wrote:
Jumping Frog wrote:
jimlongley wrote:We were ALSO not authorized to check whether a firearm was unloaded at the ticket counter, that was up to the ticket agents and airline employees and if the airline wants you to demonstrate that the firearm is unloaded, they have the right to do so, and if you refuse, they also have the right to deny you the flight.
Almost every time I fly United, I am asked to show the ticket agent my handgun is unloaded. I quietly and discreetly do so.
I don't understand how you can easily do that in a crowded airport with people all around you--I mean, just the act of setting the bag somewhere and opening it up is unusual and would get others' attentions???

Not really. I just returned to Texas from Georgia. I had to open my bag at the ticket counter at both airports. People are so wrapped up in their own little worlds, cell phones, and rush to the gates that they don't notice anything.

At CRP Southwest only asked me to open my luggage so they could place the declared firearm tag on the firearm case. Then TSA just ran it through xray and sentnme on my way.

At ATL (what a miserable airport) I followed the same process with Air Trans; however, TSA opened my bag and swabbed it for explosives. Still no big deal.

I have flown with a handgun several times. It never is a big deal, really.
Thanks--I have no experience with this, only once my wife bought a magazine while on a trip and when she went thru the carry-on check discovered her no-no. Thankfully she was not arrested, did not miss her flight, and has only a souvenir nastygram (letter) from the TSA some months later!?!!

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Re: Flying on vacation

#9

Post by jimlongley » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:05 am

TomsTXCHL wrote:
Jumping Frog wrote:
jimlongley wrote:We were ALSO not authorized to check whether a firearm was unloaded at the ticket counter, that was up to the ticket agents and airline employees and if the airline wants you to demonstrate that the firearm is unloaded, they have the right to do so, and if you refuse, they also have the right to deny you the flight.
Almost every time I fly United, I am asked to show the ticket agent my handgun is unloaded. I quietly and discreetly do so.
I don't understand how you can easily do that in a crowded airport with people all around you--I mean, just the act of setting the bag somewhere and opening it up is unusual and would get others' attentions???
Southwest's policy was always to demonstrate that the gun was unloaded and there are idiots on both sides of the counter. We had a guy who was very upset that he had to declare the gun at all, much less that it was unloaded, so he pulled it out of the case ans swept the whole airport with it. The only people who ducked were TSA agents.

Delta used to fly out of DAL and one of the ticket (not TSA) agents there, when a passenger asked if she wanted to see if the gun was unloaded, got all hyper and panicky: she was "scared of those things" etc, and if it was up to her nobody would have guns and it should be illegal for people to transport them on planes, what if they blew up, etc. About ten minutes of tirade.
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RetNavy
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Re: Flying on vacation

#10

Post by RetNavy » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:23 pm

thanks for all of the advices and stories.... will be flying American so hopefully will not have to prove its unloaded.... sounds like will have to keep the safe close to the top and not buried under all the clothes.....
"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward. Freedom will be defended!"
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Re: Flying on vacation

#11

Post by RoyGBiv » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:06 pm

TomsTXCHL wrote:
Jumping Frog wrote:
jimlongley wrote:We were ALSO not authorized to check whether a firearm was unloaded at the ticket counter, that was up to the ticket agents and airline employees and if the airline wants you to demonstrate that the firearm is unloaded, they have the right to do so, and if you refuse, they also have the right to deny you the flight.
Almost every time I fly United, I am asked to show the ticket agent my handgun is unloaded. I quietly and discreetly do so.
I don't understand how you can easily do that in a crowded airport with people all around you--I mean, just the act of setting the bag somewhere and opening it up is unusual and would get others' attentions???
1. I will gladly open my gun case at the airport if directed to do so by an appropriate authority (ticket agent qualifies). There is NOTHING illegal about it. And I will enjoy the doe-eyes stares from others, if that happens.

2. I have been asked to open the locked container twice (that I remember). When I pack the gun in the container, I thread a tie-wrap through the barrel. Both times I opened the case, didn't touch the gun, pointed out the tie wrap and was sent on my way without any further manipulations. I don't know if they understood that the gun might still be loaded or not, and I didn't care. The tir wrap was enough to satisfy them and I avoided having to handle my heater at the ticket counter.

I also think that if an X-Ray reveals a tie-wrapped gun, I'm less likely to get called off the aircraft to open it later. Just my gut feeling.

The only real problems I worry about are... 1. Lost luggage and 2. Getting diverted to NY or NJ.
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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Re: Flying on vacation

#12

Post by TomsTXCHL » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:46 pm

OK well I haven't flown in a long time but it just seemed to me that neither the (ridiculously) shallow ticket counter nor the "bag scale" platform to the left-or-right was a very convenient place to open a packed bag for inspection, that's all.

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Re: Flying on vacation

#13

Post by Excaliber » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:31 pm

RetNavy wrote:thanks for all of the advices and stories.... will be flying American so hopefully will not have to prove its unloaded.... sounds like will have to keep the safe close to the top and not buried under all the clothes.....
That is part of the key to easy passage.

The second part is to take the slide off the frame (if a semiauto) because upon opening the security box a quick glance by the agent easily verifies that it is not in operable condition.

The third part is to leave lots of extra time (like an hour), know the rules, be calm, and use clear language:

"I am declaring an unloaded firearm in a secure case and ammunition in its original container in my checked luggage. Please provide me with the required tag so I can sign it and place it inside the suitcase."

This tells them:

- What they need to know
- That you know what needs to be done
- What they need to do if they don't already know

Leaving the extra time takes the stress off of you, helps keep your voice calm, and allows for different procedures (like waiting 20 minutes for someone to escort you from the ticket counter to the TSA luggage screening point).

I've never run into a significant issue when using this approach.
Excaliber

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Re: Flying on vacation

#14

Post by Jeff B. » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:05 am

Excaliber wrote:
RetNavy wrote:thanks for all of the advices and stories.... will be flying American so hopefully will not have to prove its unloaded.... sounds like will have to keep the safe close to the top and not buried under all the clothes.....
That is part of the key to easy passage.

The second part is to take the slide off the frame (if a semiauto) because upon opening the security box a quick glance by the agent easily verifies that it is not in operable condition.

The third part is to leave lots of extra time (like an hour), know the rules, be calm, and use clear language:

"I am declaring an unloaded firearm in a secure case and ammunition in its original container in my checked luggage. Please provide me with the required tag so I can sign it and place it inside the suitcase."

This tells them:

- What they need to know
- That you know what needs to be done
- What they need to do if they don't already know

Leaving the extra time takes the stress off of you, helps keep your voice calm, and allows for different procedures (like waiting 20 minutes for someone to escort you from the ticket counter to the TSA luggage screening point).

I've never run into a significant issue when using this approach.
Very good advice.

I'll add a personal experience. Two Aprils ago we did a trip to the SE (Masters) and saw some folks in Brunswick & Savanah, consequently flying into and out of Jacksonville, FL. Trip out of DFW was uneventful, as described above. Nice trip, got to show piece to my BIL (Gylnne Co Sheriff) after a conversation about local crime.

Trip back... Got to AA, started process, then the ticket agent took his pen and got it in between the lids of the Pelikan case and told me the TSA would not accept that as secure and would fine the airline. He showed me his FL CHL and said, "I'm not busting your chops, we've got a new TSA boss from New York that doesn't think you should have that gun, let alone travel with it." He then told me to go to the gift shop and buy a pair of the TSA locks so I could have two locks on each case that would not allow a pen to get inside the cases. So I got the two short locks and essentially forced them into the cases and locked them. Checked my bags and came back to DFW (In time to get home and see a 53' trailer picked up by a tornado) and avoid some storms!

Allow that extra time!

Jeff B.
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Re: Flying on vacation

#15

Post by jimlongley » Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:36 pm

Jeff B. wrote:Very good advice.

I'll add a personal experience. Two Aprils ago we did a trip to the SE (Masters) and saw some folks in Brunswick & Savanah, consequently flying into and out of Jacksonville, FL. Trip out of DFW was uneventful, as described above. Nice trip, got to show piece to my BIL (Gylnne Co Sheriff) after a conversation about local crime.

Trip back... Got to AA, started process, then the ticket agent took his pen and got it in between the lids of the Pelikan case and told me the TSA would not accept that as secure and would fine the airline. He showed me his FL CHL and said, "I'm not busting your chops, we've got a new TSA boss from New York that doesn't think you should have that gun, let alone travel with it." He then told me to go to the gift shop and buy a pair of the TSA locks so I could have two locks on each case that would not allow a pen to get inside the cases. So I got the two short locks and essentially forced them into the cases and locked them. Checked my bags and came back to DFW (In time to get home and see a 53' trailer picked up by a tornado) and avoid some storms!

Allow that extra time!

Jeff B.
You were lied to, in several ways.
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