Flying and packing w/handgun


jfisch

Resident Troll
I currently hold an Indiana LTCH and come mid-March I will be flying to Utah and driving up to Idaho for a few days. I plan on taking my handgun with two magazines which amounts to about 17 rounds I will pack also.
I know my permit allows me to carry in both states but I was just wondering if anyone from either state has advice on carrying there and/or anyone has any advice about traveling by plane with firearms?
I will be flying on Southwest if anyone has personal experience with that airline.
Thanks.
 

KCD1974

New member
I was planning to do the same, I got lucky and a family member is driving so I'm sending it with them. BUT the process is VERY straight forward. Just google it and there are even videos you can watch. The biggest things to note, you want a REALLY solid case you MUST be able to lock and mags must be empty and ammo has to be in a container designed to carry it, ie: the box it came in or a plastic ammo box.
 

jfisch

Resident Troll
Yeah from what I've read it seems pretty straight forward but I was curious if it really turns out to be that straight forward when you show up at the airport and declare the gun in your suitcase... Can't remember the last time any interaction with the TSA was simple and straight forward.
 
But my biggest concern is what is the chance of your gun being removed (stolen) from checked luggage by TSA and then what recourse do you have to prove the loss.
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
Yeah from what I've read it seems pretty straight forward but I was curious if it really turns out to be that straight forward when you show up at the airport and declare the gun in your suitcase... Can't remember the last time any interaction with the TSA was simple and straight forward.

You actually don't deal with the tsa that much, it more involves the airline desk person. It is very straight forward as long as you follow the steps.

1. Hard sided case with a NON TSA lock.
2. NO ONE takes your key, it stays with you 100% of the time. If it's a combo lock, you never tell anyone the combo.
3. Ammo in a container, some airlines require that container to be separate from the box the firearm is in. No loose ammo. Doesn't need to be locked.
4. Declare the firearm at the counter.
5. They will ask you to show it's empty (just leave the slide locked back and magazine out).
6. They give you a piece of paper you sign and stick inside the box.
7. Take a picture of your suitcase with your phone. (Personal advice, so if anything does happen you have evidence.)
8. Lock box. Close suitcase. (Tsa lock on outside of suitcase if you want)
9. Take another picture of suitcase closed (same reason as before)
10. Retrieve suitcase from destination.

I flown a dozen plus times, all straight forward and easy.
 

TWright

Member
I've never done the airline thing but firefighterchen obviously has that covered. As for carrying here in Utah, it's pretty easy and awesome. Just stay out of federal buildings and anywhere with big signs and metal detectors. Idaho is not much different.
 

GHF

New member
Traveling by Plane

Having traveled a number of times, here's how I go at it:



  1. Review Link Removed to understand TSA policies and procedures. Have a copy with you when you reach the airport.
  2. Put the unloaded weapon(s) in a lockable hard-sided case with locks only you have the keys/combination to open. TSA locks are not allowed.
  3. 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 by a Criminal Entrepreneur, the lack of magazines frustrates the "Liberator", since the weapon is now initially a single shot one
  4. Check the airline(s) you are flying on:
    • To determine if the ammo
      • MUST be in boxes (plastic reload boxes work)
      • can fly in loaded magazines
    • If loaded magazines are permitted, make sure the pouches fully cover the magazine top where the cartridges are visible.
    • The round(s) from the chamber(s)/cylinder(s) must be in a box, not loose
  5. Secure and protect magazines (separately from the weapon) and ammunition boxes from possible damage.
  6. 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
      • NO ADDRESSES, JOB TITLES, ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD BE INDICATED
  7. Other stuff - like shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc, could be in this checked bag also.
  8. Have the rules for the airline in hand when you check this non-descript bag at the airport.
  9. Make sure you have the keys/combinations to the lockable hard-sided case with you and you alone (Per Federal Regulations 49CFR § 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals - Link Removed) 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
  10. 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 - NOTE Some airlines - Delta and US Air being 2 - now allow you to track your checked luggage on your I-Phone/Android if you are a Frequent Flier
    • FAA Regional Office
    • ATF Regional Office

Other things to consider:



  1. Check Handgunlaw.us and/or http://www.usacarry.com/concealed_carry_permit_reciprocity_maps.html 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 - Link Removed. This covers changing modes of travel - car to plane to car - in a single journey.
  3. AMTRAK (Link Removed) is similar to airlines. Key differences include:
    • You must notify the departing station 24 hours before departure.
    • There must be baggage handling of checked baggage at both ends of your trip.
    • Ammunition must be boxed.

 

apvbguy

New member
you've been given good advice, if you want to see the info for yourself go to the southwest site and the TSA site, just follow the rules to a T and you shouldn't have any issues.
 

Mtdineen

New member
Glad to see a current post on this (even today can be yesterday's news). I'm flying MI-FL Next month. Thanks folks!
 

Steelhunter

New member
All very good advice for sure. I fly at least twice a year and have no problems. I too, print out the rules for the airline I am flying and keep it with me. They are slightly different from airline to airline. I will have to read up on the TSA rules again. This was several years ago but i was confronted at declaration once because my locks were NOT TSA locks. Luckily I had a set of TSA locks with me too.
 

apvbguy

New member
All very good advice for sure. I fly at least twice a year and have no problems. I too, print out the rules for the airline I am flying and keep it with me. They are slightly different from airline to airline. I will have to read up on the TSA rules again. This was several years ago but i was confronted at declaration once because my locks were NOT TSA locks. Luckily I had a set of TSA locks with me too.
why would you need tsa locks? there is no requirement to lock your luggage, only the container holding the weapon needs to be locked and that lock cannot be a TSA lock!
 

NavyLCDR

New member
This was several years ago but i was confronted at declaration once because my locks were NOT TSA locks. Luckily I had a set of TSA locks with me too.

A copy of the Federal regulations would have been much better for you have than TSA locks - that way you could actually compy with the regulation, and show them the compliance, rather than violating it.
 

Steelhunter

New member
I have had some airlines require I lock the luggage as well, and some do not! I should probably re-read the TSA rules and carry them as well...
 

Steelhunter

New member
I have learned that it all depends on the person checking the luggage. That's why I carry 2 sets of locks. And after looking on the TSA website, I see nothing that states what type of (TSA or non-TSA) lock needs to be used.
 

apvbguy

New member
I have learned that it all depends on the person checking the luggage. That's why I carry 2 sets of locks. And after looking on the TSA website, I see nothing that states what type of (TSA or non-TSA) lock needs to be used.

look again! the box containing the weapon must be locked with a lock that only you can open
 

Steelhunter

New member
The airlines do have their own rules too. And yes, obviously it's going to be a lock only I can open. I was referring to TSA "approved" locks...
 

NavyLCDR

New member
The airlines do have their own rules too. And yes, obviously it's going to be a lock only I can open. I was referring to TSA "approved" locks...

You understand what TSA "approved" means, right? TSA "approved" means a lock that anyone with a TSA key can open, which is not legal to use on the hard-sided case containing the firearms because many other people besides you will have the key to open it, even if it is a TSA Approved combination lock.
 

harrycallahan

New member
The TSA has their rules.
Southwest has theirs.
Your destination has theirs.
Hard case for your firearm and lock that only you have the key. A hard case suite case and a TSA lock. Go early, declare it and relax.
 

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