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Old May 6, 2013, 09:54 PM   #26
Ralgha
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Re: TSA cutting locks on cases with declared firearms

Quote:
Originally Posted by mingheemouse View Post
The baggage label, with my ticket code was entered into the computer as containing a declared firearm. Even the lady at the boarding gate at my home airport, who had never seen my bag, knew from the ticket code that my checked bag contained a firearm. She mistakenly mentioned it out loud to me at the gate. Anyone scanning the code on the tag knows there is a firearm inside.

While there is no label advertising to the general public that a firearm is inside, from a standpoint of anyone hooked-up to the baggage handling computers, the suitcase is in fact clearly labeled. To the TSA and the airline, it is indeed clearly indicated that a firearm is inside.
They can and will cut the lock off your suitcase that contains your locked gun case. It's your gun case that they can't open.
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Old May 6, 2013, 10:46 PM   #27
hermannr
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I guess everyone just rolls over and plays the submissive puppy when it come to an obvious (to me) violation of the 4th amendment.

The reason there is a "Bill of Rights" is because the government WILL overstep it's bounds and the BoR is to put a brake on that abuse.

Just another reason I no longer fly anywhere on a commercial airline.
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Old May 6, 2013, 10:52 PM   #28
fragtagninja
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Sorry to hear about your trouble. When traveling without a firearm I am routinely picked out by tsa. I can't help it I'm a big that looks intimidating.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:12 PM   #29
Gaerek
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<------Former TSA agent as of less than a year ago. I think I have a bit of knowledge on the subject.

First of all, let's discuss the firearm declaration. In most airports, there is essentially no communication between the Airlines check-in agents and the TSA about individual bags. You had a locked bag, which is totally fine. The declaration was likely inside. At this point, there was no way for the agent that opened your bag to know there was a firearm inside. Should there be better communication? Yep, I argued that point for years and it fell on deaf ears. Typically, the Airlines hate the TSA and will do everything to blame them for problems and make their jobs difficult. In turn, TSA will do only the bare minimum as far as working with the airline. Hence, not much communication. So unfortunately, there is basically no way for the TSA agent to know there was a firearm in your bag.

Now, about cutting the lock. Using the "master key" (TSA's special name for the bolt cutters) is supposed to be a last resort. They are supposed to hold onto the bag and have the passenger paged. The airline should have let you know to wait, or where to wait, or whatever. Only after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed are "destructive" methods of entering a bag supposed to be allowed. Unfortunately, TSA won't have a record of your exact bag, and if you were to complain, they would just say that procedure was followed.

Now, it is completely against the rules to cut the locks on a gun case. I imagine your declaration form was near your gun case in your bag. They would have been required to page you and have you open the gun case, in this case (or "lend" the keys or give the combo). If you couldn't be paged, the bag would not have been allowed on the plane, so there would be great incentive to get you paged. The thing is, the locks on your suitcase wouldn't be considered the same way as the ones on your gun case. Your suitcase locks would have been fair game for the bolt cutters, whereas the ones on your gun case would not have.

Now, in my 9.5 years with the TSA, I think I cut maybe 10 locks in that time. It was incredibly rare. I went to great lengths not to destroy people's property. Unfortunately, there are people who are trigger happy about getting a bag opened, and will bend the rules a bit to save them from having to *gasp* talk to someone! Whoever cut your locks was completely in the wrong. That should not have happened, especially since you were actually waiting.

The only recommendation I can make to prevent this is to use TSA locks. I am well aware of the issues regarding them, so it's your choice to use the TSA locks, or risk another incident like the one you went through. Unfortunately, there's likely almost no recourse for what happened to you. I wish it were different, and that is one of the many reasons why I don't work there anymore. So much stupid, so little common sense, and anyone with a GED can work there...

EDIT: Just read this.

Quote:
While there is no label advertising to the general public that a firearm is inside, from a standpoint of anyone hooked-up to the baggage handling computers, the suitcase is in fact clearly labeled. To the TSA and the airline, it is indeed clearly indicated that a firearm is inside.
You assume a couple things.

1) That TSA scans the tags. I've never done it, and I've never heard of it happening. They might be scanned so they can be routed to wherever they need to go in the airport, but it's very likely TSA isn't hooked into that system. All the information the TSA needs is physically printed on the tag (and all TSA needs to know is selectee status). Remember what I said about the airline hating the TSA? They wouldn't give TSA access to this system unless they were required to by law.

2) You assume that even if they are hooked into the system that they would actually use it. I'm not excusing this kind of behavior...it's just the kind of thing you see fairly often.
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Old May 17, 2013, 12:41 PM   #30
loose_holster_dan
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one of my field service electricians had problems with his tools being stolen by TSA on the way to job sites. he solved it by declaring a firearm in his tool box. they take him in a room and go through his bag with him present. then they ask him to lock it. he puts 2 master locks on his pelican case and keeps the keys. he says nothing has been stolen since. apparently, you can do the same thing with just a box of ammo. you don't even need the gun.
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Old May 17, 2013, 01:05 PM   #31
Grizz12
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next you can expect a visit from the IRS

I dont fly anymore but if I did I would ship all items via fed-ex or UPS. If I absolutely had to carry anything on the plane, I would plop some old dirty underwear on top to help prevent any sticky fingers from getting into my property
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Old May 17, 2013, 03:33 PM   #32
TheBigO
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I traveled down to the convention from Seattle and checked my CC gun in my bag and hod no issues. It was the first time for me going through the process which did vary leaving Seattle as compared to leaving Houston, but overall pretty painless. I will say that I was ready to have it be a lot more difficult then it was. I made a video for you tube about the process and what I did. Here is a link-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wCVzPxP4Y4
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Old May 20, 2013, 09:31 AM   #33
Yankee Traveler
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Flying out of Norfolk, VA, I was told " If there is a lock on your checked luggage, it will be cut'"
I lost one lock and stopped locking it. But it was the only thin I ever lost.
Flying out of Nashville, TN, I have lost two Swiss Army knives and two Leatherman multi tool knives, medication and my wife lost some expensive perfume.

TSA's resonse... prove it.

I repurchased my wife the perfume in a carry on size and started throwing my Leatherman/Gerber/Victorinox accessories in my scanned carry on. They have never been questioned.

Last edited by Yankee Traveler; May 20, 2013 at 09:40 AM.
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Old May 20, 2013, 03:56 PM   #34
Gaerek
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Quote:
Flying out of Norfolk, VA, I was told " If there is a lock on your checked luggage, it will be cut'"
I can tell you right now that's BS. They cannot do that. (For the record, your story isn't BS...just the fact that they told you that). Rules are very specific that they have to make all reasonable measures to contact you and use non-destructive methods of entering a bag before resorting the the "master key." File a claim if you can. I don't know if it'll help, but you might get something out of it.

Actually, one of my former supervisors was a supervisor in Norfolk 4 or 5 years ago. Wonder if I still have his contact info.
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Old May 20, 2013, 04:41 PM   #35
lcpiper
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Quote:
and started throwing my Leatherman/Gerber/Victorinox accessories in my scanned carry on. They have never been questioned.
I favor Kershaw folders with clips for carry knives, I love how thin they are. I always remember to put them in my checked bags on departure but I sometimes forget to do it on the return flight and have lost two of them at the screening point.

Another reason I love them, they are easily replaceable.
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