Flying with CCW
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Thread: Flying with CCW

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    133

    Flying with CCW

    I thought I'd give a report of my recent business trip to Colorado and my airport experiences.

    All and all, it went very smoothly. While there was a difference in process between the Houston and Colorado Springs airports, I didn't receive any negative vibes at all and the process on each end only delayed me by about 10 minutes.

    In Houston the check-in agent was very friendly and also very clueless. She said that she normally works in terminal C but for that morning they were short handed at terminal B so she was sent over to help (the lines were very short regardless). She asked a coworker what to do and was told to do the inspection herself and escort me to TSA. She said that where she normally works that they just send the person with the item to be declared to TSA and they do the inspection there. So it was her first time to do an inspection, I guess (I hope!). She took me to the side, I unlocked and opened my case and explained to her how to tell the pistol was unloaded and what the ammunition rules were. FWIW, my CCW for this trip was a Kimber Stainless II. I also had two loaded magazines, and a box with the remaining Hydro-Shocks that were not in the magazines. TSA ran the suitcase with the pistol case in it through their machine and gave me the thumbs-up to proceed to my gate. They did not ask me to open my pistol case and they did not check my suitcase.

    Overall, I would rate the Houston folks as a 9 in friendlyness, an 7 in speed, and a 4 in knowledge.

    My Colorado Springs experience was largely the same in regards to attitude but totally different vis-a-vis process. This time the check-in agent knew exactly what process she was supposed to follow, even though it was different from Houston. She checked all of my bags with the exception of the bag that would carry my pistol case. She told me to take it to the TSA personnel. She filled out the declaration tag but did nothing else. The TSA agent asked me to open my pistol case. She seemed like she knew exactly what to do. After I unlocked and opened the case she checked the weapon and ammo and checked to ensure nothing was hidden in the case under the foam padding. She asked me to lock the case up again. She then proceeded to totally inspect the suitcase that the pistol case would be in. She totally unpacked it and checked it for explosive residue probably 10 times. She then repacked the suitcase, zipped it up and told me that the check-in agent would need to take the case back to the counter (which is exactly what the check-in agent said would happen).

    Overall, I would rate the Springs folks as an 8 in friendlyness, a 6 in speed, and a 10 in knowledge.

    Other than that my trip was smooth. The hotel (The Broadmoor) did not have an in room safe large enough to store the pistol but other than that bringing my CCW with me on this business trip was totally hassle free.

    I encourage you all to pack your piece on your next trip to a CHL friendly state.
    Last edited by Torch; 10-06-2007 at 11:55 AM.

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  3. #2
    Thanks for your report! It was informative and helpful; I'm looking forward to my next trip to Florida, and I will definitely be packing.

    I think "Flying with CCW" would make a great forum subsection, where people could easily post their questions, thoughts and experiences about Airports and CCW.

    If anybody else has flown with ccw, please post your summaries too, it's helpful and encouraging to read about others' experiences.

  4. #3
    Thanks for your input. I have always been afraid it was just too much of a hassle to fool with. Your post is encourging. I am tryin to decide whether to be brave and take my ccw to Las Vegas in Dec (now that TN has reciprocity). I am still uncertain, but your post is an encouragement. (I sure would feel more comfortable with it)

    thanks!
    David

    The only person available to protect you 24 hours a day is you.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDavidM View Post
    Thanks for your input. I have always been afraid it was just too much of a hassle to fool with. Your post is encourging. I am tryin to decide whether to be brave and take my ccw to Las Vegas in Dec (now that TN has reciprocity). I am still uncertain, but your post is an encouragement. (I sure would feel more comfortable with it)

    thanks!
    David, it really is not big deal. If you're wondering what happens when you get to your destination the answer is NOTHING! Your bag comes out on the belt with all the others. You just pick it up and go. I've always wondered what would happen if I checked a bag to someplace where just touching the bag at its destination would be illegal such as NYC. I suspect the TSA doesn't care at that point and would leave it up to the local authorities to catch you. Don't know though.

  6. #5
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    Thanks for the report. Glad it went well!


    Memberships: NRA, GOA, USCCA
    Guns: Glock 26, Ruger LCP, Beretta 90-Two .40, Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact 9MM, Beretta Tomcat, Bushmaster Patrolman M4

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukemccoy View Post
    Thanks for the report. Glad it went well!
    Thanks, Luke.

  8. #7

    Thumbs up Frequent Flyer

    I fly an average of twice a week and have been flying with a firearm for 5+ years. Unless I'm going to a no-no state (like IL) I usually pack my S&W 642. I've packed 3 1911's going to the S&W IDPA nationals in MA and 2 glocks going to a training class in TX. I've been through O'Hare (Chicago), Logan (Boston) and to CA with firearms with no issues.

    I stay out of NYC and NJ with or without firearms - bad juju there.

    When I started flying with a firearm I brought factory packaging with me and went into the bathroom to load the mags. The packaging wasn't holding up and loading the mags is a pain in the butt. I read on the old PDO site that loaded magazines were OK as long as they were not in the same container as the firearm - so I started doing that about a year and a half ago.

    I've only had 1 problem and that was around ammo. The regs say original packaging, cardboard or plastic that secures the ammo (read covers the primers). When I take a 1911, I pack a MOLLE magazine carrier and bring 4 loaded mags. One time in Cleveland OH, I ran into a ticket agent supervisor on Continental that wouldn't let me bring the loaded mags. I gave my 32 Federal Hydrashok's to a Cleveland PD officer who did me a favor, flew to Houston and got my buddy to meet me at the airport with a new box of Hydrashok's. I wrote a complaint letter to Continental before I took the flight. Got a free first class upgrade on my return flight 2 days later and a letter confirming that what I was trying to do was appropriate as ammo was secure in the magazines and the magazines were completely secure in the MOLLE carrier. I still fly Continental (flew them last week) and no more issues.

    When I travel with the J-frame, I bring the ammo in speedloaders. I just stuff them in my pocket holster and stuff the pocket holster in my IWB holster.

    I've gotten good at unlocking the firearm case and loading the firearm and getting it in my holster while its still in my suitcase. I get it on my hip as soon as I'm legal to do so.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by lprgcfrank View Post

    I've gotten good at unlocking the firearm case and loading the firearm and getting it in my holster while its still in my suitcase. I get it on my hip as soon as I'm legal to do so.
    Thanks for the info, lprgcfrank. Is it legal to reclaim your luggage and then go into the bathroom in the unsecured area of the airport to arm yourself?

  10. #9

    depends on the state laws

    You need to know the law in the state. Not legal in FL, legal in PA.

  11. Several months ago, my husband's sister invited us to spend some time with them in AZ. I told her that our driving trips would have to be curtailed because of her brothers medical problems. She said, " just fly"! Since I will never leave home without being armed, I declined. She almost had me convinced to change mind my about flying when I read about the guns being stolen at the Chicago airport. Am I being too paranoid?

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