Flying with a handgun in checked baggage.

Discussion in 'General Firearms & Ammo' started by erratadata, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. erratadata

    erratadata Active Member

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    I just got back from a 2 week vacation in the Florida Keys, and since Florida is a full reciprocity state, I decided to bring a carry gun on the trip. I am a very infrequent flyer, so I had never tried this before.

    In San Antonio airport I went up to the counter (American Airlines) and declared that I had a firearm in my baggage. She had me fill out a form declaring that the firearm was unloaded and put it in the luggage on top of the pistol case. Then the agent had one of the "floaters" take me to a room off to the side where a TSA agent had me open the suitcase. He started an app on a desktop computer and had a wand attached to it. He sniffed all inside my luggage with the wand, closed it up and put it on the conveyor belt for checking. Pretty easy.

    In Ft. Myers. FL for the return trip, I declared the firearm, he had me fill out the "unloaded" form, unlock the pistol case and place it inside the case. Than he took the luggage and placed it on the conveyor belt. That was it.

    I'm curious as to the "unloaded" form being placed in the case in one instance, and outside the case in another. Same airline, should be the same rules I would think. And the whole TSA thing? Again, no consistency.

    Luckily, no issues at either airport, and no one even asked about ammunition. Has anyone had similar experiences?
     


  2. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

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    I have flown quite a few times with my handgun. While the basics are the same, I have always experienced slight variations.
     
  3. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Moderator Lifetime Member

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    Yes, there will be slight variations. The firearms declaration, however, should always go *inside* the case. Leaving on the outside makes it a giant, neon "Steal Me!" sign.

    It's not clear from the OP if on the outbound flight the form *remained* on the visible exterior of the case. For that matter, it's not clear how the TSA did their inspection of the case on the flight back to Houston. Flying with guns involves lots of details and nearly every case I see cited on a forum lacks sufficient detail to know what really happened.

    To answer the OP's question, though, I've flown with firearms many times and "no issues at either airport" is exactly what I've always experienced.
     
  4. Renegade

    Renegade SuperOwner

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    Federal Law says it must no go on the outside of the luggage. Where it goes inside is not specified, hence differences.
     
  5. jordanmills

    jordanmills Well-Known

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    The red-barred "firearms" tag they put on them, is a pretty useful "steal me" sign too.
     
  6. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Moderator Lifetime Member

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    It's supposed to go inside the gun case. I know it looks like something designed to go outside (which, I think, it originally was) but it's still, as Renegade pointed out, supposed to go inside the case.
     
  7. Southpaw

    Southpaw SUPER OWNER TGT Supporter

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    Yes, at one point they did tag the outside of the luggage it was in.
    I once flew into Newark NJ with a handgun back in 2000 and wasn't expecting to see the bag ever again.
    The wrong people in baggage must have had the day off, huh?
    The real amazing thing is, that same bag also went thru Midway/Chicago and Atlanta on the same trip and still made it.

    I suppose I was meant to keep that gun, huh? :D
     
  8. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

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    I think we may be talking different languages. It appears to me the OP had a gun case inside his luggage. The Firearm tag was placed inside his luggage, but outside the gun case.

    The Firearm tag should always be inside the luggage. That being the part you actually carry. Beyond that it makes no difference I can imagine if it goes inside of or outside of the gun case. The gun case is inside the luggage.
     
  9. okie556

    okie556 Well-Known

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    So what about the ammo? Curious on how that was carried or did you have to buy some when you arrived at final destination?
     
  10. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Moderator Lifetime Member

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    That makes sense. My reading comprehension is substandard...but that's normal for me. ;)
     


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