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Mstrty
06-22-2010, 8:59 PM
My Dad flew with a firearm from Sacramento to Huston yesterday. The ticket agent called up a TSA agent to the counter and asked my dad to remove the lock. He complied and while my day was yelling hey hey you can’t take that away from me the TSA agent disappeared into the back. Moments later he came back and said please put the lock back on. My dad was furious. My dad is trying to tell him he can’t do that when the TSA agent says we do it all the time, don’t worry there are cameras everywhere. There was some more said but not relevant.

What would the correct course of action be.

Nothing? just chalk it up to TSA stupidity.

Notify Airport when he returns?

AK4me
06-22-2010, 9:01 PM
They were xraying it to see if it was loaded.

aGunForEachHand
06-22-2010, 9:03 PM
Some airports they examine the weapon with you present, and at others not present- it just depends on the setup at the airport.

bwiese
06-22-2010, 9:06 PM
I frequently fly with guns.

I give the TSA guy the lock combo when I check my "oversize luggage". I don't worry too much about TSA vs FAA regulations etc. If they wanna get in a peeing contest, fine; it's not for me to determine which gov agency is more legal than the other.

I do tuck the signed "Firearms Declared" ticket into my case and lock it at the agent luggage counter. It seems that declared guns may get X-rayed but the case is not opened.

As long as they inspect it somehow and don't muck with it and it gets on my flight I'm happy.

AK4me
06-22-2010, 9:08 PM
When I flew with mine the had me sign some card basically promising it wasnt loaded, I put the card in the pistol case and locked it back up, then they took it in the back where I was told it was being xrayed to make sure they were not loaded.
Then they gave me back my pistol case, I put it in my suitcase, locked it up and checked my bag. It was easy and I didnt have to wait in a long *** line.

Mstrty
06-22-2010, 9:10 PM
OK

I had told him before he left to not give them the key have them open it in front of you. I also told him dont let it unlocked out of your sight. He is responsible for it. I thought this was information I have read here in the past. I let him know not to worry about it.

Everything arrived in Huston as it should.

The gun is probably still in my name as I bought it last month and only 3 days berfore he left mailed the intrafamilar form off. It was a gift and he was eager to play with it was the reason for flying with it.

Cpl. Haas
06-22-2010, 9:14 PM
This was at SMF? What airline? I've flown out of Sacramento Intl via southwest several times with a declared firearm... the ticket agent asks me to fill out the declaration form saying it's unloaded, then place it inside the case and lock it... then they take it and have me stand by while it's x-rayed. Once it's cleared, I continue on like normal. I've never had TSA involved in the check-in process.

Mstrty
06-22-2010, 9:17 PM
This was at SMF? What airline? I've flown out of Sacramento Intl via southwest several times with a declared firearm... the ticket agent asks me to fill out the declaration form saying it's unloaded, then place it inside the case and lock it... then they take it and have me stand by while it's x-rayed. Once it's cleared, I continue on like normal. I've never had TSA involved in the check-in process.

He said the guy that came to help with the firearm wasnt a ticket agent, I assumed TSA possably my error.
Which airline? IDK I will find out next time I talk to him.

bwiese
06-22-2010, 9:22 PM
Worrying about minor details of TSA/FAA gun handling in a busy airport with tight connections is a problem.

I let them do things their way.

mebejets
06-22-2010, 9:24 PM
I highly doubt that they have x ray that is strong enough to go through barrel / cylinder metal in the TSA machines. They are probably searching the case for other contraband that was not declared like ammo. In a gun case.

I have transported several firearms of all sizes and kinds and have had and not had to show them that they were clear but always had to sign the little card and put in case
.

bwiese
06-22-2010, 9:43 PM
I highly doubt that they have x ray that is strong enough to go through barrel / cylinder metal in the TSA machines. They are probably searching the case for other contraband that was not declared like ammo. In a gun case.

I have transported several firearms of all sizes and kinds and have had and not had to show them that they were clear but always had to sign the little card and put in case
.

Yup.

advocatusdiaboli
06-22-2010, 9:56 PM
Now that this has been brought up, where can I find the succinct rules for flying with firearms and ammo?

Librarian
06-22-2010, 10:07 PM
Now that this has been brought up, where can I find the succinct rules for flying with firearms and ammo?

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1188.shtm

Firearms and Ammunition

Outdoor enthusiasts should carefully prepare and pack to avoid removal of prohibited items from checked baggage or surrendering prohibited items at the security checkpoint.Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts may only be transported in checked baggage. Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are prohibited from carry-on baggage.

There are certain limited exceptions for law enforcement officers (LEOs) who are authorized to fly armed by meeting the requirements of 49 CFR 1544.219.

Following is a summary of key regulatory requirements to transport firearms, firearm parts or ammunition in checked baggage:

* All firearms must be declared to the air carrier during the ticket counter check-in process.
* The firearm must be unloaded.
* The firearm must be carried in a hard-sided container.
* The container must be locked.
* The passenger must provide the key or combination to the screener if it is necessary to open the container, and then remain present during screening to take back possession of the key after the container is cleared.
* Any ammunition transported must be securely packed in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
* Firearm magazines/clips do not satisfy the packaging requirement unless they provide a complete and secure enclosure of the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
* The ammunition may also be located in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it is properly packed as described above.
* Black powder and percussion caps used with black-powder type firearms are not permitted in carry-on or checked baggage.

The regulations are strictly enforced. Violations can result in criminal prosecution and the imposition of civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.

Air carriers may have their own additional requirements on the carriage of firearms and the amount of ammunition an individual may place in checked baggage. Therefore, travelers should also contact the air carrier regarding its firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

If you are traveling with a gun or ammunition, please read our information on traveling with these items for more information. Traveling with Firearms and Ammunition and http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm
Firearms & Ammunition
Photo of a firearm improperly packaged
Photo of a firearm improperly packaged.

You may only transport firearms, ammunition and firearm parts in your checked baggage. Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are prohibited from carry-on baggage.

There are certain limited exceptions for law enforcement officers who may fly armed by meeting the requirements of Title 49 CFR 1544.219. Law enforcement officers should read our policies on traveling with guns.

The key regulatory requirements to transporting firearms, firearm parts or ammunition in checked baggage are:

* You must declare all firearms to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
* The firearm must be unloaded.
* The firearm must be in a hard-sided container.
* The container must be locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from access by anyone other than you. Cases that can be pulled open with little effort do not meet this criterion. The pictures provided here illustrate the difference between a properly packaged and an improperly packaged firearm.
* We recommend that you provide the key or combination to the security officer if he or she needs to open the container. You should remain in the area designated by the aircraft operator or TSA representative to take the key back after the container is cleared for transportation. If you are not present and the security officer must open the container, we or the airline will make a reasonable attempt to contact you. If we can't contact you, the container will not be placed on the plane. Federal regulations prohibit unlocked gun cases (or cases with broken locks) on aircraft.
* You must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging that is specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
* You can't use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
* You may carry the ammunition in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as you pack it as described above.
* You can't bring black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder type firearms in either your carry-on or checked baggage.

Photo of a firearm properly packaged
Photo of a firearm properly packaged.

We and other authorities strictly enforce these regulations. Violations can result in criminal prosecution and civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.

Airlines may have their own additional requirements on the carriage of firearms and the amount of ammunition that you may have in your checked baggage. Therefore, travelers should also contact the airline regarding its firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

Also, please note that many other countries have different laws that address transportation and possession of firearms. If you are traveling internationally, please check with the authorities at your destination about their requirementWhy they chose to duplicate so much in the separate links is mysterious.

BigDogatPlay
06-22-2010, 10:31 PM
This was at SMF? What airline? I've flown out of Sacramento Intl via southwest several times with a declared firearm... the ticket agent asks me to fill out the declaration form saying it's unloaded, then place it inside the case and lock it... then they take it and have me stand by while it's x-rayed. Once it's cleared, I continue on like normal. I've never had TSA involved in the check-in process.

This is pretty much exactly my experience at airports on both coasts and on different airlines.

My experience is that the TSA staff that work the special handling areas tend to be the good ones with nothing to prove. They've taken care of business with a minimum of fuss in my experience, every time.

audiophil2
06-22-2010, 11:21 PM
I highly doubt that they have x ray that is strong enough to go through barrel / cylinder metal in the TSA machines. They are probably searching the case for other contraband that was not declared like ammo. In a gun case.

I have transported several firearms of all sizes and kinds and have had and not had to show them that they were clear but always had to sign the little card and put in case
.

You are close but the ammo is an FAA issue. TSA could not care less about loaded guns in checked baggage, though they are required to regulate FAA rules. TSA is only interested in very few items in checked baggage vs. carry-on.
You would be surprised at what the xrays can do. It's not like going to the dentist.

xLusi0n
06-23-2010, 1:20 AM
Only time I had an issue was a TSA screener took my rifle out and started finger f-ing it. He started cycling the bolt and messing with the scope knobs. He didn't see me standing there watching him. Ever since then, I switched to non TSA approved locks for gun cases. Oh I had TSA steal brand new sealed 9mm WWB boxes from me before too. Yes I filed a report. No I never heard back.

Paper Boy
06-23-2010, 6:48 AM
LAX always has me sign the unloaded firearm form and place it in the case and always tell me to lock it back up and then make me walk it to the xray, sometimes they ask for the key after the xray to inspect it sometimes they don’t. Portland airport the same thing except they ALWAYS ask for they key and open the case.
Every time they have done so at both airports they have done so in full view of me.
Did have a case broken into and my 1911 stolen a few years back – received a refund from delta after a few months of calling every other day and bugging them to no end.

Glock22Fan
06-23-2010, 9:01 AM
I usually leave my firearm field stripped in the case. A quick glance shows that it is not loaded. Not necessary, but it might help and certainly doesn't hinder.

Manic Moran
06-23-2010, 9:30 AM
Ever since then, I switched to non TSA approved locks for gun cases

You were always supposed to. That's why they have the regulations in place for contacting you instead of just opening the cases themselves.

NTM

Pyro3
06-23-2010, 6:49 PM
I had a worse experience at SJC, where they paged me at the gate after I checked my bags. An airline employee met me there and told me I had to give him the key to take to TSA so they could open my gun case. I explained to him that this was illegal and that I wanted to speak to TSA directly. He told me TSA would no speak to me and was located in a restricted portion of the flight, and if I did not give up my key thay would break open my case. After and internet search I learned this was SOP for SJC TSA.

I can understand the need for a secure screening area and why they would not permit me to look over the screening agent's shoulder, but demanding that I hand over my key to an airline employee who then takes it down for TSA to screen my bag and returns it to me later is clearly in violation of federal regulations. Since this is apparently a known issue an SJC, it would be nice if CGF could address it with the TSA supervisor for the airport. It seems like on well written letter from a lawyer could lead to a positive change in their firearms screening SOP.

CHS
06-23-2010, 7:22 PM
It's against federal law for the combination or key to your firearms container to be outside of your control.

That means that you can't just give it to the TSA.

I know Bill always says to just hand it to them, but that's wrong. You tell them that it's against Federal law, and if they need to inspect your bag they can bring it to the gate where you're waiting for your plane.

I have a friend who has done exactly that, and he in fact goes around the country talking about the very subject:

http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/

bwiese
06-23-2010, 7:58 PM
It's against federal law for the combination or key to your firearms container to be outside of your control.

That means that you can't just give it to the TSA.

I know Bill always says to just hand it to them, but that's wrong. You tell them that it's against Federal law, and if they need to inspect your bag they can bring it to the gate where you're waiting for your plane.

I have little interest, esp in a busy airport, of 'educating' these folks. I want my luggage to 'go with the flow' and make my flight.

I'm under no burden to figure out TSA vs FAA when a TSA guy asks for my lock combo. The TSA guy is law enforcement too.

I'd love to be arrested by the FAA on this.

CHS
06-23-2010, 8:03 PM
I have little interest, esp in a busy airport, of 'educating' these folks. I want my luggage to 'go with the flow' and make my flight.

I'm under no burden to figure out TSA vs FAA when a TSA guy asks for my lock combo. The TSA guy is law enforcement too.


Thing is, there are security reasons for why the rules are the way they are. You don't want other people having access to your firearms, period, when you travel.

On top of that, I know that in cases where the TSA "just wants your key", they are obligated by federal law to bring it to you at the gate. The friend of mine who runs the "packing and the friendly skies" website has had this happen on numerous occasions. They have even held up flights for him because of it.

Manic Moran
06-23-2010, 9:05 PM
Here's the bit that I'm not sure about: You're the only person authorised to be able to open/close the container, but once open, is there a law prohibiting TSA (Or anyone else) from taking the firearm out of your sight? I'm trying to find chapter and verse in the US Code, not a web page summary.

NTM

Doheny
06-23-2010, 9:14 PM
Here's the actual law (http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title49/49-9.1.3.5.8.2.10.6.html). You can see it doesn't say anything about staying with your gun. It just says that you'll retain the key or combo.

Also:
Access to the declared firearm must be restricted, with only the passenger possessing the container combination or key to the lock. In the event TSA must open the container for inspection, it is preferred that the passenger turn over the key or combination to the screener. Bold mine. Found in this TSA advisory. (http://www.mynsca.com/downloads/firearm-transport.pdf)

The advisory has an email address; maybe somebody should write them?
.

sandwich
06-23-2010, 11:41 PM
I flew out of LAX on United and I had to sign a bright orange post card that my firearm was unloaded and put it in with my gun. I think they asked for the combo of my lock so I wrote it down. Anyway, the TSA person took my bag and then came back to tell me I was good to go.

At Philadelphia (PHL), they didn't ask for my combo. The counter person took my bag and then came back to me to tell me that I was good to go (I had to sign the orange card again and put it in with the gun). (While waiting for the x-ray, I realized that I had forgotten to take out my folding knife from my carry on, so I bailed and went back to the check in counter and asked the counter person if I can add my knife too -- they pretended to make a fuss, but they were very nice about it and I did find the knife after I got home.)

It was interesting to see that I was the only person check in a gun at LAX and PHL. Also, the counter person at PHL was surprised to see a hand gun (I have CCW from UT & FL so I can conceal carry in PA), since she's used to handling long guns (presumably hunting rifles?).

KylaGWolf
06-23-2010, 11:48 PM
Bill while normally I would agree with you there are dishonest TSA agents. There has been problems with people not even passing a background and working TSA. That being said I can also see your point of with tight connections and such not wanting to mess with it. I think it comes down to the situation if you push the issue or not.

Dismal_Scientist
06-24-2010, 12:17 AM
It's against federal law for the combination or key to your firearms container to be outside of your control.

That means that you can't just give it to the TSA.

I know Bill always says to just hand it to them, but that's wrong. You tell them that it's against Federal law, and if they need to inspect your bag they can bring it to the gate where you're waiting for your plane.

I have a friend who has done exactly that, and he in fact goes around the country talking about the very subject:

http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/
This is a great resource. Worth watching the video as well: http://www.vimeo.com/3923535

I have experience checking firearms at SAN, DFW, ATL, PHL, SFO, PHL, and HDN.

I've never been asked for a key. At SFO in T3 with UAL they walk you downstairs to open the case for TSA inspection. At ATL, they ask you to take it over to TSA to open the case for inspection. In both instances, they have me open the locks and relock the bags once complete.

bwiese
06-24-2010, 12:43 AM
Bill while normally I would agree with you there are dishonest TSA agents. There has been problems with people not even passing a background and working TSA. That being said I can also see your point of with tight connections and such not wanting to mess with it. I think it comes down to the situation if you push the issue or not.

I'm not caring about the dishonest TSA agents. I was merely referring to "FAA says X, but TSA says Y". When I have two mutually excluding situations like that from FedGov and the TSA guy says gimme the key and I can save a trip to the basement and not risk missing my flight, I'll take the opportunity.

When I'm travelling with a suite of guns (multiple AWs w/optics and a handgun or two), I pay $10 per $1000 of "excess valuation" coverage.
That seems to improve tracking a bit and seems to make the big green Starlight case stay in the "oversize luggage office" for pickup only w/claim check + driver's license.

wash
06-24-2010, 9:30 AM
So far, every time I've travelled with a gun has just been so I could lock a case that had other valuables in it. Usually I just have a Glock frame for light weight and compactness. Once when I travelled to NY I brought a bolt action without the bolt and stock to avoid any handgun band and "AW" ban drama.

The first reason is to keep my case locked, the second reason is so that I can call the local media and say there is a gun on the loose behind security if my case goes "missing".

I don't mind shutting down an airport if they lose my bag.

Mstrty
06-24-2010, 10:17 AM
So far, every time I've travelled with a gun has just been so I could lock a case that had other valuables in it. Usually I just have a Glock frame for light weight and compactness. Once when I travelled to NY I brought a bolt action without the bolt and stock to avoid any handgun band and "AW" ban drama.

The first reason is to keep my case locked, the second reason is so that I can call the local media and say there is a gun on the loose behind security if my case goes "missing".

I don't mind shutting down an airport if they lose my bag.

Thats funny you say that I had a customer that was a photographer. He told me he owned 3 starter pistols. and always flew with a pistol in each case. Not being a gun guy himself it was solely for the purpose of security of his camera gear. he told me "No airport wants to be on the evening news loosing multiple guns at an Airport. I always get all my gear to my destination." I just thought it was interesting and thought I would share.

N6ATF
06-24-2010, 10:34 AM
So far, every time I've travelled with a gun has just been so I could lock a case that had other valuables in it. Usually I just have a Glock frame for light weight and compactness. Once when I travelled to NY I brought a bolt action without the bolt and stock to avoid any handgun band and "AW" ban drama.

The first reason is to keep my case locked, the second reason is so that I can call the local media and say there is a gun on the loose behind security if my case goes "missing".

I don't mind shutting down an airport if they lose my bag.

:43:

gun toting monkeyboy
06-24-2010, 11:02 AM
I have never had any trouble getting rifles through check in anywhere. San Diego, several airports in PA and TX. The most TSA has had me do is open the case, and stay there while they do their inspection. Then I locked it up, and went on my merry way. I have to say Texas had the least raised eyebrows when I let them know I was flying with a gun. I mentioned it to the ticket agent there, and he gave me a knowing smile and just said "This IS Texas..."

xLusi0n
06-27-2010, 11:55 AM
Lately TSA has been swabbing my weapon cases...and weapons through the itemizer. Doesn't make sense since those things are more likely to set it off for obvious reasons.

audiophil2
06-27-2010, 1:04 PM
Lately TSA has been swabbing my weapon cases...and weapons through the itemizer. Doesn't make sense since those things are more likely to set it off for obvious reasons.

Actually the chances are very low. You have a much better chance off getting an alarm on golf bags vs. anything firearm related.