First time flying with gun -- am I doing it wrong?
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Thread: First time flying with gun -- am I doing it wrong?

  1. #1
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    First time flying with gun -- am I doing it wrong?

    I've been reading and studying and planning... I'm flying Delta from Atlanta to Ft Lauderdale (and later, back) in mid-December. I'm bringing my S&W 9mm because I'm driving around by myself (old-ish white lady) and I do not like to be disarmed. My CC license covers me in both states; and of course I'm bringing copies of the laws in both states with me. (And my CC license, and copies of the TSA laws and the Delta rules...)

    Please, can anyone tell me if I'm over-preparing or doing it just about right?

    I've got a hard plastic case for my gun, but it's not lockable. I chose that because I've also bought a hard-sided carry-on suitcase (that I will check) and (my reading leads me to conclude) if I do NOT lock the gun case itself inside a suitcase, then I can (or, rather, "must") use a non-TSA lock on that suitcase itself. Because I'm also not comfortable that the suitcase zipper and the expansion zipper are secure (enough), I am also planning to use the PacSafe 55L (wire security mesh) with a non-TSA lock around the entire hard-case suitcase.

    Does that seem reasonable? (Does that seem like it will or won't raise all kinds of flags from both/either TSA or the baggage-handling apes?) I'm not at all comfortable with the idea of putting a locked handgun case in an easily opened suitcase -- hard or soft-sided. (The fact that it keeps any (out-of-sight) TSA from pawing through my cloths is also a benefit!)

    Glad to be here, hope I can get some advice,
    Elenor

    p.s., I am packing the ammo out of the mag; just enough ammo to fill two mags, in a factory box in an unlocked plastic box in the checked hard-sided suitcase.

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  3. #2
    You're gonna need a lockable case for the gun: "The firearm must be in a hard-sided container that is locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be pulled open with little effort cannot be brought aboard the aircraft."

    Firearms and Ammunition | Transportation Security Administration

    Other than that, no such thing as over-prepared! :-)
    Modern Whig
    "Government is not meant to burden Liberty but rather to secure it." -T.J. O'Hara

  4. I've only flown commercially a few times in the last couple of years but I just put my locked GunVault storage safe in my locked suitcase. Ammo in original boxes went in the same suitcase.

    GunVault NV100 NanoVault 100 #NV100

  5. #4
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    The hard sided suitcase with a non tsa lock is sufficient as a gun case. Some airlines require the ammo to be separate, or in your situation, in its own case inside the suitcase. Each airport does their baggage handling a little different from counter to plane and from plane to baggage claim. Once the firearm is declared and you have the firearm locked in the case, tsa can not lawfully open your case.

    As for whether the mesh covering will give away your bag is really up to how the airport deals with handling. At Salt Lake City airport they have a tsa agent hand deliver the luggage directly into the plane, never in the hands of airport personnel. Other airports do send the bag through airport personnel, and in my mind, the mesh will add a deterrent effect most bad guys won't bother trying to pry into, especially with your own lock on the mesh and another on the suitcase.

    I have never flown with a hard sided suitcase, but I have had one airport go through my soft sided suitcase again. They couldn't open my firearm case which was wrapped through my entire suitcase and all my valuables with a 5k lb cable. The only reason I knew they went through it was they left a tsa note saying they searched my bag again. If I had a hard sided suitcase locked with my firearm inside, they would either need me or an officer present to cut the personal lock, and they wouldn't have justification after it has been declared and visually inspected by the tsa and counter agents.

    You seem ready for your flight, much much more so than the normal first time fliers posts, be confident in your knowledge and never let them have your key or combination. They will have you sign a declaration page which goes along side but not in your gun case, and in your situation you will probably have to attach it to the outside of your case which will just be a large gun case itself. You might want to have a sleeve you can put the declaration in so it's not visible from the outside but they will see it when they X-ray your bag.

    I do recommend those nano size vaults too (what you would use in a car) and use that cable to secure the box inside the suitcase and not worry about locking the entire suitcase.

    Sent from my HTCONE using USA Carry mobile app
    “One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #5
    They will not let it on the plane without the case being locked period and if you lock your bag with a non TSA lock they will cut it off everytime, gun or no gun, and will look twice at everything in your bag. I have even tried zip ties on my luggage and the first thing they do is cut them off. Your best bet is a hard sided lockable gun case that only you have the key to and a suitcase with TSA locks this will give you the easiest experience. I even keep the ammo in a retail container inside the gun case and have no problems.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
    They will not let it on the plane without the case being locked period and if you lock your bag with a non TSA lock they will cut it off everytime, gun or no gun, and will look twice at everything in your bag.
    Not true.

    The case, whether it's a hard sided suitcase or gun case inside a suitcase can not have a tsa lock to be legal while traveling with a firearm. It's also illegal to open a suitcase that has been declared at the counter without an officer or the owner present.

    I've flown nearly 20000 miles this year (once a week), through 9 different airports.

    Sent from my HTCONE using USA Carry mobile app
    “One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive one.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. And to sercue it a little more their have been people will take the hardware that's in your suitcase and that if it have a handle, just tie your cable around the handle hardware inside but you might have to cut a little hole and wrap it around that. Have a good and safe trip and let us know how it went.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by telpinaro View Post
    You're gonna need a lockable case for the gun: "The firearm must be in a hard-sided container that is locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be pulled open with little effort cannot be brought aboard the aircraft."
    Hence the hard-sided suitcase with the wire-mesh around it and a non-TSA lock on the suitcase and mesh. That set-up could not be pulled apart with little or much effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by telpinaro View Post
    Other than that, no such thing as over-prepared! :-)
    Yeah, pretty much my view...hence my questions.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mclureb View Post
    I've only flown commercially a few times in the last couple of years but I just put my locked GunVault storage safe in my locked suitcase. Ammo in original boxes went in the same suitcase.
    GunVault NV100 NanoVault 100 #NV100
    Thanks -- were you using a TSA-accessible lock on your suitcase and a non-TSA lock on the gun case? My understanding is that a non-TSA lock on the suitcase serves as the locked hard case.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Elenor View Post
    I've been reading and studying and planning... I'm flying Delta from Atlanta to Ft Lauderdale (and later, back) in mid-December. I'm bringing my S&W 9mm because I'm driving around by myself (old-ish white lady) and I do not like to be disarmed. My CC license covers me in both states; and of course I'm bringing copies of the laws in both states with me. (And my CC license, and copies of the TSA laws and the Delta rules...)

    Please, can anyone tell me if I'm over-preparing or doing it just about right?

    I've got a hard plastic case for my gun, but it's not lockable. I chose that because I've also bought a hard-sided carry-on suitcase (that I will check) and (my reading leads me to conclude) if I do NOT lock the gun case itself inside a suitcase, then I can (or, rather, "must") use a non-TSA lock on that suitcase itself. Because I'm also not comfortable that the suitcase zipper and the expansion zipper are secure (enough), I am also planning to use the PacSafe 55L (wire security mesh) with a non-TSA lock around the entire hard-case suitcase.

    Does that seem reasonable? (Does that seem like it will or won't raise all kinds of flags from both/either TSA or the baggage-handling apes?) I'm not at all comfortable with the idea of putting a locked handgun case in an easily opened suitcase -- hard or soft-sided. (The fact that it keeps any (out-of-sight) TSA from pawing through my cloths is also a benefit!)

    Glad to be here, hope I can get some advice,
    Elenor

    p.s., I am packing the ammo out of the mag; just enough ammo to fill two mags, in a factory box in an unlocked plastic box in the checked hard-sided suitcase.
    the container the gun is put in must be locked with a lock that only you can open and then carried in luggage that can be opened by the TSA, failure to comply will cause you to not be able to transport your guns.

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