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Old April 8, 2011, 07:57 AM   #1
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Requirements for flying with a pistol

Guys looking for someone with experience doing this. Flying out of Detroit to Texas for a vacation in a few days and want to take my CCW with me. Checked Texas's firearms laws and they honor Ohio's CCW permits so no issue there.

What I am unsure about is flying restrictions. I have looked on TSA's and the airline's website and if interpreting correctly, I would lock the pistol and it's loaded mags (not inserted in the pistol) in the pistol's plastic factory case then check-in at the airline's counter. The locked case or the locked case in luggage would then have to be checked luggage (not a carry-on). Anyone had any experience doing this?
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Old April 8, 2011, 08:41 AM   #2
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I'd suggest calling your airline, they'll certainly be able to give you accurate info on their procedures.
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Old April 8, 2011, 08:47 AM   #3
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I've never had to fly with a firearm, but I did run across a thread that discusses it in depth over on GlockTalk:
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Old April 8, 2011, 10:06 AM   #4
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do a word search.
The topic has been discussed a bunch.

Once you figure out what you have to do it's really easy.

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Old April 8, 2011, 08:44 PM   #5
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Basic answer, gun has to be in a locked hard case and unloaded, only you should have the key or combination. Locked case can be inside other luggage. Do not mark the bag as having a firearm and the airline should not as well but they will probably place a tag in the suitcase indicating a firearm is present. The airline may ask you to verify it is unloaded. The presence of the gun needs to be declared to the check-in clerk. Check airline pages for specific information. The main differences between airlines is how they treat ammo. Most are going to want it in the original boxes, not loaded into magazines. Some want it in separate bags from the gun as well.
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Old April 12, 2011, 08:42 AM   #6
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Yes this has been discussed repeatedly.

One of the best write ups I have ever found is here:

He packs the gun with his expensive equiptment to keep the equiptment safe. Good insight into TSA happenings.
"Bones, what killed him ?" "Acute lead poisoning Jim....." ST-TOS#61
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Old April 12, 2011, 01:00 PM   #7
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Flying with a gun, pretty easy fro the most part

Here is another link to a local discussion.
Post #21 explains what I've encountered flying out of Detroit metro.

There's really not much to it other than giving yourself additional time for the inspection and securing your weapons in your luggage with the TSA agent

Flying with a gun in and out of NY or NJ is much more complicated, and can easily land a person in jail and have their gun confiscated if not extremely careful.
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Old April 12, 2011, 02:02 PM   #8
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loaded mags
Not allowed unless the cartridge is covered completely by the mag (and th etop round in the mag obviously is not).

Ammunition needs to be in original packaging or equivalent.

Go to your airline and print out their rules, and TSA and print tout their rules.

You have to obey all of them.
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Old April 15, 2011, 07:37 AM   #9
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The 'ammo in origional packaging' is some airlines rules, not TSA.
A mag pouch covers the top round and meets federal guidelines.
Check out Olam's 'airline scorecard' to see the wide variations between carriers.
One required the ammo be transported seperately !
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Old April 15, 2011, 08:31 AM   #10
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I did it a couple of months ago (3 guns + at least 500 rounds of ammo) and did a writeup on it. No sweat if you obey the rules and stay out of airports in no-gun states.

Note - All my centerfire rounds were reloads but I put them back into original boxes to carry them (I do this anyway, makes counting rounds easier). I actually had them all in a sealed cardboard box in the suitcase and they didn't even open it. I wouldn't recommend taking a loaded magazine to the inspection.

Last edited by spacecoast; April 15, 2011 at 12:17 PM.
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Old April 15, 2011, 12:04 PM   #11
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The 'ammo in origional packaging' is some airlines rules, not TSA.
No, it is actually an FAA rule.

While a magazine pouch and magazine can satisfy the requirement, a plain magazine does not.

With the advent of TSA folks seem to have forgotten the FAA also has a say.
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Old April 16, 2011, 09:30 AM   #12
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I did it!

Went to Yellowstone last year and took my S&W 642. Carried in the park too! It was great. I bought a Nanovault 300 from Gunvault and used that in my locked (TSA locks) suitcase. The gun must be empty and I just put a box of Speer Gold Dots in the vault with the gun. No issues whatsoever. Interesting exchange when leaving Montana with airline checkout person when I declared the firearm. She asked if I was in town for a big shooting tournament and I said no I was carrying in Yellowstone. She looked puzzled and said what do you need a gun for in Yellowstone for and I replied critters of the four and two legged variety that might want to do me harm (I was charged by an elk there but she stopped short) and the checkin person looked at me strangely. I just smiled and moved on. It is easy to do. Just don't route thru Chicago!
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