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Old July 3, 2009, 01:35 PM   #26
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Those rulings are based on the fact that no weapons appeared to be present and no just cause existed for the searches. They have no bearing on the discussion at hand where actual firearms are present. When a firearm is present TSA can open any bag they chose if they feel a possible threat is present...which the presence of a firearm alone is justification of in the eyes of the law. Passports do not present a danger.

Last edited by Playboypenguin; July 3, 2009 at 01:42 PM.
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Old July 3, 2009, 09:16 PM   #27
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 84
Taking Guns On Plane Rides

Having traveled a number of times, here's how I go at it:
  1. Put the unloaded weapon(s) in a lockable hard-sided case with locks only you have the keys to open. TSA locks are not allowed.
  2. Steps that will make it easier to show that the weapon is unloaded - especially when x-rayed.
    • If the weapon is a
      • semi-automatic
        • lock the slide open
        • put a cable tie through the barrel and out the breach to show that the chamber is empty
      • revolver, flip the cylinder out
      • Do not put the magazines in this locked case with the gun(s)
        • it invites questions about them being loaded
        • if the gun case is "liberated" from the checked bag, the lack of magazines frustrates the thief, since the weapon is now initially a single shot one
  3. Check the airline(s) you are flying on:
    • Determine if the ammo MUST be in boxes (plastic reload boxes work) OR can fly in loaded magazines.
    • If loaded magazines are permitted, make sure the pouches fully cover the magazines
    • The round(s) from the chamber(s)/cylinder(s) must be in a box, not loose
  4. Secure and protect magazines (separately from the weapon) and ammunition boxes from possible damage.
  5. Put the lockable hard-sided case with the weapon and the ammo/magazines into a cheap, non-descript bag - with clear labeling outside and inside - for checking in.
    • If possible, develop a way to attach in a lockable way the hard-sided case to the piece of luggage it has been placed into.
    • The labeling should be limited to:
      • Your Name
      • Your Cell Phone - if you have one, or your home phone if you do not
      • Your personal email address - if you have one
  6. Other stuff - like shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc, could be in this checked bag also.
  7. Have the rules for the airline in hand when you check this non-descript bag at the airport.
  8. Make sure you have the keys to the lockable hard-sided case with you and you alone (Per Federal Regulations 49CFR ยง 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals - at all times. You will have to open the lockable hard-side case
    • to demonstrate to the airline that the weapon(s) are not loaded at check in (a signed form/tag indicating that will go in with the weapon(s))
    • if the TSA wants to see
  9. Have the serial number(s) and descriptions of your weapons on you, so if they "disappear" you can report the loss/theft immediately to the:
    • airline
    • FAA Regional Office
    • ATF Regional Office
Other things to consider:
  1. Check and/or to determine:
    • If you can possess the weapon at all your stops
    • Where and how you can carry at all your stops
    • What are the deadly force rules in each state you are visiting
  2. Have a copy of the Don Young Transportation Letter on hand - This covers changing modes of travel - car to plane to car - in a single journey.

Last edited by GHF; July 4, 2009 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Missed info to delete
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Old July 4, 2009, 09:57 AM   #28
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Join Date: November 25, 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,951
On my semi Auto I separate the slide from the frame in the hard case.
Retired LE, M.P., Sr. M.P. Investigator F.B.I. Trained Rangemaster/Firearms Instructor & Armorer, Presently Forensic Document Examiner for D.H.S.
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