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Old January 27, 2013, 03:44 PM   #1
Join Date: January 26, 2013
Posts: 97
Need some help fellas

So I'll be flying to Reno on Tuesday. I've flown several times before but this time I'm bringing my handgun with me. I read up on the TSA rules and it seems pretty simple enough but I got some questions for anyone who has experience flying with guns. I'll be flying delta and under their website it says I can have my handgun as long as its in a locked hard sided case. I was just gonna use the case it came in. Its a Baby Desert Eagle II so its a magnum research box. Nothing fancy solid black has the logo on front and two places to snap it shut. It also has two holes in the handle to where I can put locks on it. But I'm confused on the types of locks. I've been looking around and I've seen where TSA has certified types of locks and it seems to me that those would be the best choice but I see a lot of people online saying to get a lock that isn't TSA approved? Which one should I get. Also I'm only 20 (bought my handgun at the age of 18 in my home state of NC through private purchase which is %100 legal) so am I gonna have any problems at the airport when they see my age and I have a handgun? After all that can I just shove my locked handgun case inside my checked baggage? All those fees really add up so I'm looking to save cash. Many Thanks
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Old January 27, 2013, 03:55 PM   #2
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At a minimum I would consider getting a different case. I think the case it came in screams , "Steal me. I am an expensive handgun." I would not take it unless you are certain that you can take it when you are under 21. I have no experience. However if you get arrested you will likely be out the gun , charged with a crime and out several thousand for legal fees. I also would not do it just because someone on the internet said you could. Also , if it is illegal and you get caught , it may be the last handgun you ever legally own. Hate to rain on your parade. Had you considered all those things ?
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Old January 27, 2013, 04:35 PM   #3
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The airlines and the TSA have procedures for transporting weapons on aircraft. But I don't trust the baggage handlers enough to put it through.
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Old January 28, 2013, 04:32 AM   #4
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Not sure about NV or TX regulations- someone from those states can chime in.

As far as transporting a handgun in your luggage, I usually put a cheap hard-sided handgun case with two locks inside a soft-sided suitcase. The handgun case must be locked with a lock that only you have a combination or key to- NOT a TSA lock. The suitcase should be locked with a TSA lock.

Tell the airline you want to declare a firearm, and they will have you sign a red tag to place inside or on the outside of the handgun case. It can't go on the outside of your luggage.

As for magazines or ammunition, the easiest thing to do is unload the mags, and put the ammunition in the factory box. There are other options, but they confuse people.

I fly at least a couple of dozen times a year, and have never had a problem.
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Old January 28, 2013, 09:58 AM   #5
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My experience is exactly the same as Waynes, no problems. When you walk up to the ticket counter, say the words "Ma'am/Sir, I'll need a declaration form when you get a second"... he/she will know what you mean. Don't say "I've got a gun in here" or any other stupidity like that. Checking a firearm through the airlines is a simple task if the person on the other side of the counter knows their job, and they usually do. I've travelled 30-40 times with checked firearms and NOT ONE SINGLE TIME has an counter agent ever wanted to actually see the gun or verify themselves that it was unloaded. They simply hand me the form, watch me lock the case, and take my bag from me and throw it on the conveyor. It's dead simple.

A must watch video:

The TSA has the right to search your bags. They may need to do this after the bag goes through the scanner and disappears from your sight down the conveyer belt at check-in. Bags are randomly checked at various points in the custody chain once you hand it to them at the counter. If your bag gets selected or there is a "hit" on your bag by a dog or scanner, they WILL open it. You can use any kind of lock you want on the outside of your luggage...
but if it's not a TSA lock, they'll cut it.

HOWEVER, YOU CANNOT USE TSA LOCKS ON YOUR FIREARMS CASES. This is Federal Law. The owner of the guns/case is the only person who shall have access to the contents. I use regular Masterlock brass stuff currently, and put a lock on every hole each of my cases has.

For smaller firearms cases that are going inside your checked luggage, you put your regular locks on your firearms case, and then you can use a TSA lock on the luggage itself... that way they have access to the luggage, but not the firearms case inside.

Under no circumstances should you give your KEY or COMBO to your regular locks to any TSA employee. TSA personnel are not allowed to open you firearms cases, nor handle any firearm. If your checked baggage gets tagged for a search, and the TSA people for whatever reason feel they must search your firearms case too, they will contact you (hopefully via your cel phone) and bring you to a secure area to open it for them. I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU REQUEST THE PRESENCE OF A LEO when you open the case. They should have no problem accommodating you. It is almost a certainty that the person who needs you to open the case is simply following a protocol, but has zero clue about guns. They won't have any idea what they're looking at once you open the case, so have a LEO there so there is no misunderstanding. I would also insist that the opening of the case be done while under video surveillance.

This is another good reason to ensure your gun cases have your contact information on them, even if it's just your initials and a phone number. I have seen flights delayed because of baggage issues and individual passengers called off the plane while still at the gate who never got back on, and can totally see a "firearm case issue" resulting in you missing your flight. The quicker they can contact you, the better.

WATCH THE VIDEO!!! It'll change the way you travel.

Last edited by SamNavy; January 28, 2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old January 28, 2013, 10:53 AM   #6
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Sam, that is some great information, and something I've been wondering about like the OP. I appreciate you taking the time to type all of that out.
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Old January 28, 2013, 01:13 PM   #7
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My brother recently flew with a long gun case.

I whole-heartedly agree with getting a pelican case for your pistol. It's still going to scream valuable steal-me. But not valueable gun, steal me.

They do NOT watch your firearm. We were told the firearm would show up on the conveyor. It didn't. It went to will call and sat on a table while we sat there staring at the luggage go round.

To travel with a firearm it must be legal where you start and where you stop. IF you can't buy it in Reno(aside from the handgun residency provision), don't take it with you.

Get there even earlier. You'll want to be one of the first people to check in for your flight, preferably in the first few minutes they allow checkin for your flight. IF there's a problem, they call you back to the check in counter... they told us we'd want to wait around on that side of security screening for about an hour as I recall, though I may be wrong.
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