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View Full Version : Flying with Firearms. Discrepancy in info regarding TSA access to locked guncase?


Untamed1972
03-29-2011, 2:50 PM
I have had some varying experiences lately when checking firearms at the airport. I copied this over from another thread because I thought it best have it own title.

My main question is about what the actual TSA policies / Federal law is regarding how TSA may inspect your firearm case and if it must be inspected in your physical presence.

There seems to be a discepancy between the aforementioned "handouts" at ( http://deviating.net/firearms/
) and the actual TSA website. The bolded portion below is NOT on the handout, but does seem to be a critical peice of information.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm


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.

This does not say anything about the bag having to be screened in your physical presence. As was my experince in San Diego, they wanted the key but there was no publicly accessible screening area for them to open the case in my presence.

Can I get some clarification on this?

But after reading the TSA website I'm not so sure. I know that at terminal #2 in SD there is no publicly accessible baggage screening area, so it creates a problem, and to firmly stand ones ground they first need to know what ground they're standing on. I know that is has been repeatedly stated here to NEVER surrender your key.....but upon reading the TSA website it seems to be saying something different. So I do think some clarification is in order.

It almost seems that the portion I bolded from the TSA website was editted out of the handout from the other webiste or has TSA changed the website since it was produced?

Where can one find the actual federal code sections that cover firearms transport that the TSA policies are derived from?

Agent Orange
03-29-2011, 2:59 PM
My experience has been that after inspection the ticket agent will have you bring the bag to a nearby screening area and have you wait until it's cleared. If not and the TSA needs to get into the container the gun is in they'll try and contact you either by page or phone. I have my cell# on the container for that reason but have never had to deal with that aspect. Regardless, if they need to look in the case you'll be the one to open it. It's my understanding that to give anyone the key or combo, even the TSA, is against federal law.

bigcalidave
03-29-2011, 3:01 PM
Your link to the TSA isn't valid, but it does say "recommend". Probably to avoid issues at the gate. I believe you can refuse, relevant links will be posted soon I'm sure :)

Coded-Dude
03-29-2011, 3:09 PM
my experience(haven't done it in a while): they screen it when you declare it. I don't understand why they would have any reason to open it again.....

Untamed1972
03-29-2011, 3:09 PM
My experience has been that after inspection the ticket agent will have you bring the bag to a nearby screening area and have you wait until it's cleared. If not and the TSA needs to get into the container the gun is in they'll try and contact you either by page or phone. I have my cell# on the container for that reason but have never had to deal with that aspect. Regardless, if they need to look in the case you'll be the one to open it. It's my understanding that to give anyone the key or combo, even the TSA, is against federal law.

but like I said.....at the SD airport there is no publicly accessible screening area.....so what then?

To me IF the law says I have to open the case, but there is no publicly accessible place for me to do that for them then that should mean they pass the bag, not demand that I allow them to violate the law to inspect the case because they dont have the proper facilties.

Everyone says "my understanding is the law says...."....but I want to see the actual law that says that so I would actually have firm ground to stand on.

Untamed1972
03-29-2011, 3:10 PM
my experience(haven't done it in a while): they screen it when you declare it. I don't understand why they would have any reason to open it again.....



You declare it to the airline ticket agent.......TSA does the screening. 2 different parties.....the ticket agent does have authorization to "screen" your bags.

Untamed1972
03-29-2011, 3:13 PM
Your link to the TSA isn't valid, but it does say "recommend". Probably to avoid issues at the gate. I believe you can refuse, relevant links will be posted soon I'm sure :)

Link fixed.

I tried to refuse and was told that my bag would not be put on the plane. I told them I would open the case for them to inspect in my presence, but was told that was not possible due to lack of publicly accessible bag screening area.

So again....that is the dilemna I am trying to rectify. Does federal law actually require the case to be inspected in your presence?

Untamed1972
03-29-2011, 3:23 PM
Copied this over from the other thread.

Originally Posted by taperxz

In San Francisco, you go up and declare, they then take you to a small room and ask you to open up the case.

MY thinking is if you let them do it, and you leave your weapon with them, who is to say they CAN'T set you up??? You must open the case and YOU must close the case lock it and keep the key so that NO ONE else can open up that case while in transit.

BDMSCHS is right! TSA in SD are full of it!!

That was their claim.....there was no "small room" for me to go to. So again....what is my "ground to stand on". If it truly is a violation of federal law then TSA is openly advocating on their website something that is illegal which is an issue in itself.

Yet on my return flight from S. Dakota there is a little TSA stand right there I can walk up to. The first time the guy didn't wanna see inside, just swabbed everything down....was very cool about it. (he even told me how a local range in town had just got a G18 to rent and he couldn't wait to go try it out!)

Second time, he did ask me to open the case and place the declaration tag inside and then locked the case and went on to swab down the rest of the bag.

For the record the time my key was demanded was back just before New Years. I just made the same trip last week and my key was not requested although they did call a supervisor to double check the screening. So they seem to not even be consistent in their handling of things.

If TSA at that airport needs to be straightened out then I'd like to bring this light and start chasing down who needs their in command needs to be addressed to get things right so I and others wont have this issue in the future at the SD ariport.

Agent Orange
03-29-2011, 3:34 PM
If there's no open screening it usually goes into the rabbit hole like any other bag. They may or may not tell you to wait. If they don't you need to listen for a page as you make your way to the gate.

The process varies from place to place but for me it's always been:

1) The firearm is discreetly declared at the counter. I always tell the agent I have "something" in the bag that needs declaring and every single one of them has immediately understood. Some seemed peeved, most did not. Depends on where I am.

2) I fill out the little declaration tag and sign it.

3) After I open container and show the gun isn't loaded he/she places the tag inside. I've had instances where the agent threw the tag in from two feet away as if the firearm would bite her if she got too close but that always happened California. In gun friendly states they don't bat an eye. The tag goes inside the locked container but I've heard some airlines put it inside the luggage the locked container is in. NEVER allow them to put it on the outside like they did in the old days.

If they have a nearby "over-sized items" belt it goes on that. They tell me to wait while they go through a secure door. Then after minute they come back out say I'm good to go. Where the screening area is nearby and in the open I just wait until the TSA goon gives the all clear to me directly.

I recently went through an open screening where the machine did both x-ray and explosives. The TSA guy already knew about the pistol but freaked when the machine highlighted the loaded magazine in bright red on the screen. A nearby supervisor told him "it's just ammo" and waved me on.

Again, I'm almost sure no one is allowed to have the combo or key but you and you must be the one who opens the container. If there's a problem, either with the airline people or the TSA, always request a supervisor.

Maestro Pistolero
03-29-2011, 4:04 PM
I had this experience in San Diego as well. When I rechecked the TSA site, the 'suggestion' had changed. They previously said it had to be opened in my presence, and not to relinquish the key or combo to anyone. Confusing.

If you pack the hard sided container so that there are no overlapping items, i.e. no mags or ammo containers sitting on top of a gun, etc, and they can clearly see what is in there, they are less likely to need to open it. Keep a little space between the items and it is easier for them to see what is going on.

WDE91
03-29-2011, 4:21 PM
I have flown once with firearms

2 rimfire rifles,10lbs of ammo,bipods, slings, and cleaning gear in a SKB bunkbed styled hard case on Southwest
I really like that case, it is sized just perfectly, it fits my rifles and is small enough that I dont get hit with an oversized baggage fee

I flew out of Orange County, then had a layover in San Jose and then onto Seattle
In Orange County everything went very smoothly, there is a little table behind a chest high partition so I could easily see over and she checked everything over and was very polite

On arrival to Washington my case was the first piece of to come down the oversized ramp
I grabbed my case and headed to my Grandmas

I flew out of Portland airport and this is where I ran into issues
I get there and declare at Southwest, fill out my paper then they send me and my case over to TSA
they run the locked case through the scanner
and then ask me for the key I respond with "where is this case going to be opened?"
he points to a table in a far off corner and I say I want to be present when the case is checked over
TSA responds with "GIVE ME THE KEY OR THE CASE DOESNT FLY"
So I get a Southwest rep and tell them what is happening and things change quickly
I get walked back there and they do the inspection and I lock my case

I get his name and badge number and immediately call and report him

My advise
Have a list of everything is present in the case
take photos
have the regulations and rules of both TSA and the particular airline

jello2594
03-29-2011, 4:22 PM
I've always been told to wait 10 minutes near the check-in counters in case they need me. They've always come back out and told me that I was cleared to fly, except for one time in Burbank, when they wanted me to open my case. I told them I had the combination and will gladly open it for them. They led me into an "employee only" area where i opened the lock, took a step back while they looked at a box of ammunition, then told me to lock it back up again. I've never heard of a time where the TSA would want someone to give them the combination.

Untamed1972
03-29-2011, 4:27 PM
I had this experience in San Diego as well. When I rechecked the TSA site, the 'suggestion' had changed. They previously said it had to be opened in my presence, and not to relinquish the key or combo to anyone. Confusing.

If you pack the hard sided container so that there are no overlapping items, i.e. no mags or ammo containers sitting on top of a gun, etc, and they can clearly see what is in there, they are less likely to need to open it. Keep a little space between the items and it is easier for them to see what is going on.

Statements like yours make me even more curious what the actual law says that everyone so firmly states to be the case. I'm thinking maybe the law isn't actually whatever everyone thinks it is.

Good suggestion on how to pack the case. I was using a different case the first time when they demanded to inspect it. That was was packed in a manner that might have made it harder to see the contents on the x-ray. The case I used this time seemed to go thru w/o issue (except for the 2nd check by the supervisor).

You can imagine how much I freaked out back in Dec. when I arrived at my destination and my bag was not there! :eek: it did show up a couple of hours later on the next flight, musta missed the connection. Everything was in order with my back when I received it, but it was a tense few hours for me till it showed up.

Agent Orange
03-29-2011, 4:47 PM
49 CFR 1540.111 Transportation, carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals:

(c) In checked baggage. A passenger may not transport or offer for transport in checked baggage or in baggage carried in an inaccessible cargo hold under §1562.23 of this chapter:

(1) Any loaded firearm(s).

(2) Any unloaded firearm(s) unless—

(i) The passenger declares to the aircraft operator, either orally or in writing, before checking the baggage, that the passenger has a firearm in his or her bag and that it is unloaded;

(ii) The firearm is unloaded;

(iii) The firearm is carried in a hard-sided container; and

(iv) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.

Untamed1972
03-29-2011, 5:03 PM
49 CFR 1540.111 Transportation, carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals:

(c) In checked baggage. A passenger may not transport or offer for transport in checked baggage or in baggage carried in an inaccessible cargo hold under §1562.23 of this chapter:

(1) Any loaded firearm(s).

(2) Any unloaded firearm(s) unless—

(i) The passenger declares to the aircraft operator, either orally or in writing, before checking the baggage, that the passenger has a firearm in his or her bag and that it is unloaded;

(ii) The firearm is unloaded;

(iii) The firearm is carried in a hard-sided container; and

(iv) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.

Hmmmm....I wonder if they would claim that by returning the key to you after inspection that they are not "retaining the key". But TSA's actions in SD do seem to be in contradiction to the above stated federal law.

My main issue with SD is that inspection is done where I cant watch, hence would no way of knowing that the firearm was not removed from the case or the case was properly re-locked and secured prior to the key being returned to me and the bag put on the plane.

I have a cable lock that secures the pistol case to the inside of my luggage. the cable lock does not need to be removed to open the case, but the case cannot be seperated from the luggage, so if my bag arrived at my destination with the case in it, but the gun missing from the case it would be obvious where it went missing.

So can we get some chime-in from the CGF legal eagles on these apparent TSA violations as well as suggestions on their website that seem to contradict federal law.

yelohamr
03-29-2011, 5:12 PM
TSA at San Diego is a joke. They really get irritated when you show them a printout from their website. The facts just confuse them.
The contracted security at Kansas City inspected my guns, in my presence, the way it's supposed to be done.

paul0660
03-29-2011, 5:25 PM
TSA at San Diego is a joke
I agree, but the airlines are involved. The same person who gives you the red card to sign, and attach to the case, might then ask you to break the law by asking for the key.

WDE91
03-29-2011, 5:31 PM
its to be expected when you have a bunch of highschool drop outs with way too much power
this video sums up TSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7AWw7t5zj0

GaryV
03-29-2011, 5:43 PM
I agree, but the airlines are involved. The same person who gives you the red card to sign, and attach to the case, might then ask you to break the law by asking for the key.

Hopefully they're not attaching the tag to the case either. It goes in the case. It is a violation to externally tag the case.

WDE91
03-29-2011, 5:46 PM
"Ah. Show us your work vid, if you work, which I doubt, since you have spent part of dinnertime disparaging people who work for a living.

When you have something to contribute, after you get your GED, come back."


why would you doubt that I work?
Dinner is actually in the oven right now

so right now you are batting 0 for 2 on what you think is happening

my job is actually pretty boring
I wash cars and move cars at a car dealership
I work about 30 hours per week and am going to college

Welp it looks like you struck out on what you think I am LOL
I graduated with about a 3.2GPA in highschool

Before you speak out your arse its best to know what you are saying and who you are saying it to

Untamed1972
03-29-2011, 5:49 PM
"Ah. Show us your work vid, if you work, which I doubt, since you have spent part of dinnertime disparaging people who work for a living.

When you have something to contribute, after you get your GED, come back."


why would you doubt that I work?
Dinner is actually in the oven right now

so right now you are batting 0 for 2 on what you think is happening

my job is actually pretty boring
I wash cars and move cars at a car dealership
I work about 30 hours per week and am going to college

Welp it looks like you struck out on what you think I am LOL
I graduated with about a 3.2GPA in highschool

Before you speak out your arse its best to know what you are saying and who you are saying it to

Hey boys....take it somewhere else if you wanna have a d_ck measuring contest. Lets keep this thread on topic please.

nation
03-29-2011, 6:10 PM
ive only flown w/a firearm one time and it was,well really nice.

i flew out of sacramento. checked 2 deer rifles in. they inspected right at baggage claim,had me close and lock it back up and tied a tag to it.

after a week in colorado i flew out of grandjunction. i almost had an issue. when i presented the case i spun around to grab my other bag and backpack. in that 20 seconds the checker cut my lock off and started to give me attitude about having it locked for inspection. lucky for me his supervisor was present.
he not only was super sorry for the actions of the agent,he sent the guy to source me a brand new lock/key.

packnrat
03-29-2011, 6:36 PM
if i am forced to fly someplace i will ship my guns via ups. as it is ok and within the law to ship a gun to yourself. this way it is insured, has a tracking number and ups does not want a hassle with stolen items.
the tsa perverts are out of this loop.

would do the same with ALL of my things that have a monetary value to them. maybe even my clothing as no luggage weight penalty and shipped right to the motel or home with the dirty things.
and the luggage is not in Baghdad while i am in london. :eek:


:TFH:

.

MrBrent
03-29-2011, 6:43 PM
I flew out of John Wayne about a month ago. I declared my firearm, the agent handed me a white card which was an affidavit that it was unloaded and asked me to sign it. I signed the card and she initialed it I put the card in my suitcase and was done. She never asked to see the gun or for me to open the case. On the return trip the agent asked me to open the case so she could confirm it was unloaded which I did. I told her about the agent not looking on my first flight and she said I have to sign that I checked it, so I will check it to see if it is unloaded. Very smooth on both flights for me.

ldsnet
03-29-2011, 6:57 PM
My last flight out of San Diego on SWA was un-eventful. I declared it at the counter, filled out the red tag, they had a very small area around the corner for me to open the bag. Both TSA and a Southwest rep stood there to watch me verify my handgun was unloaded and the ammo was stored properly.

The funny part was AFTER it was all locked up and in their posession they ran the bag through the X-ray machine. Why? To see if the gun was in there?

Bag arrived on time along with the flight.

The return flight from Nashville was even easier (so simple I don't even remember the experience). I had more issue with my kydex holster in my carry-on than the gun in the luggage.

Unbeliever
03-29-2011, 7:07 PM
The funny part was AFTER it was all locked up and in their posession they ran the bag through the X-ray machine. Why? To see if the gun was in there?


To make sure you didn't put anything ELSE in the case with the firearm in a hidden compartment.

Firearm cases get special screening, but that doesn't mean they're exempt from ALL screening. They would have called you back to re-open the case if they found anything hinky.

--Carlos V.

Unbeliever
03-29-2011, 7:09 PM
Although it will probably get round-filed, this is the comment I posted on the TSA contact us link:


Although this is probably a TSA screener policy issue, it is in regards to something on the website:

"Traveling with Special Items"

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

The issue is with firearms in checked baggage. Specifically the statement:

"We recommend that you provide the key or combination to the security officer if he or she needs to open the container. "

That appears to be in direct conflict with Federal regulations. Specifically 49 CFR 1540.111 (c)(2)(iv), in part:

"The container in which it is carried is locked, and ONLY THE PASSENGER RETAINS THE KEY OR COMBINATION." (emphasis mine)

Divulging the combination or giving the key to a security officer would cause the passenger to be in direct violation of Federal regulations. Anyone in earshot will hear a combination, and the key would be out of the passenger's direct control during the time the screener unlocking the case.

Can you please get that statement on the website clarified, thank you. There are reports of screeners at San Diego demanding keys/combos and, if refused, not allowing the bag to be checked even if the passenger offers to open the case for the screeners. The reason given by the screeners is that there are no publicly accessible screening areas.

Thank you for your time


Funny, I just noticed that the TSA web page listing the statement to divulge the combo/give the key is listed as an editorial.

--Carlos V.

Agent Orange
03-29-2011, 7:14 PM
Just so we're clear, the TSA isn't *required* to inspect firearms in checked baggage. They can but nothing says they must. After they've been notified by the airline a bag contains an unloaded firearm (supposedly verified by the airline) it becomes like any other piece of checked baggage, subject to further inspection but only at their whim. In my case I've never had the TSA present at an inspection (usually done right there at the airline counter) and never had one ask to open the case after screening.

There's been occasions when they've gone into my bag after it's been screened out of my sight though. I know because of they left the little pamphlet. Usually that happens only because something else caught their eye. Ammo not in with the gun for example, something I've done in the past but usually don't. 99% of the time the bag is never disturbed after screening.

bulgron
03-29-2011, 7:30 PM
I've flown several times with a firearm (pistol) from San Jose to Minneapolis. At San Jose you open the case for the ticketing agent as described in previous posts. She looks it over, then you put a signed red tag inside the gun case, then you lock up everything. Then she makes you wait about 10 minutes until TSA says they don't want to look in your case.

Coming back from Minneapolis is different. You do everything as described above. However, once the case is locked back up again, they have an airport employee come over, and he escorts you and your suitcase to a special xray machine. He tells the TSA employee there that there's a firearm in your suitcase. She runs the suitcase through xray while you stand there and watch. Then you are free to move about the airport as normal.

I have never had anyone ask me for my key, or want to inspect my suitcase after I've shown my firearm to the airline agent. Maybe I just have an innocent face.

All in all, flying with a gun isn't a big deal, and people shouldn't be afraid to do it. It's actually cool because it's the only way that you get to lock your luggage with something TSA can't open. My one issue is that I only own soft-sided luggage, so I always end up putting a locked hard-sided gun case inside my soft-side luggage. This is probably a bad idea, especially since my wife likes to fill suitcases up to 49.9 lbs, which means there's no room (by weight) for my sidearm. So now I'm looking for a hard-sided case just for me that will fit three or four days worth of clothes plus my firearm. I'm actually thinking about one of these pelican cases:

http://www.pelican-case.com/1560.html

PM me if you have a better suggestion.

:)

Unbeliever
03-29-2011, 7:36 PM
First time I flew with firearms, the ticket agent had me open it up right at the desk. The family behind me had a mini-freakout when they saw me pull the rifles out to do the chamber check demonstration to the agent.

But the baggage handlers really beat up and dented my metal case. Probably going to swing for pelican cases if I do this more often.

--Carlos V.

Untamed1972
03-29-2011, 8:09 PM
Some of you guys posted experiences have been totally different from mine. Both outbound SD flights were with American airlines at terminal 2 (I think there is a publicly accessible screening area by the SWA ticket counter at terminal 1....but nothing like that at terminal 2) The AA ticket agents have never asked me to open my case for them, they hand me the red tag and tell me to put inside my suitcase, but outside the gun case (returning from S.Dakota they have me put the tag inside the gun case, but still never ask to inspect the firearm but the return flights were on United.) The ticket agents in SD seem to be kinda snooty about it actually.

Charlie50
03-29-2011, 8:22 PM
My experience has been that after inspection the ticket agent will have you bring the bag to a nearby screening area and have you wait until it's cleared. If not and the TSA needs to get into the container the gun is in they'll try and contact you either by page or phone. I have my cell# on the container for that reason but have never had to deal with that aspect. Regardless, if they need to look in the case you'll be the one to open it. It's my understanding that to give anyone the key or combo, even the TSA, is against federal law.

Same experience, same understanding of law. I've only flown with firearms on Southwest, they were pretty cool. Avoid using the word "gun" firearm is a better word around nervous people. Allow yourself add'l 15-20 minutes time. Also avoid say hi to your friend Jack once on board :).

grinchcop
03-29-2011, 9:19 PM
I always fly with a pistol in checked luggage, typically on Southwest, in and out of Sacramento. Rarely a problem of any kind, even when transporting AW's or other "more scarier" looking stuff.

Except last October; the Sacramento Southwest ticket agent gave me the affidavit, which I signed, she initialed and then I threw it into my bag (a large Blackhawk bag with TSA lock, containing a small Pelican case with non-TSA locks within). She'd already declined wishing to see my pistol, but now started insisting I leave the gun case unlocked, since she had to take it into the TSA bat-cave for them to inspect.

This ended up with me insisting on speaking with her supervisor, although her last words to me were, "I should know, I do this all the time."

The supervisor arrived & I explained my not wishing to turn an unsecured firearm over to anyone (I also provided him with a photocopy of the TSA regs, as well as Southwest policy). He apologized, asked me to secure everything with locks and then directed me to wait as he disappeared with my bag. Less than 10 minutes late, he reappeared, apologized again and wished me a good trip.

I am glad I stood my ground and had the printed materials with me.

hoffmang
03-29-2011, 10:44 PM
San Jose has a new terminal and a new policy that also violates the FAA directives here. It may be worth injecting some CGF letter into. However, the plates are kind of full so it's not going to have a high priority.

I'm 2 for 2 in key requests at the gate from TSA...

-Gene

wildhawker
03-29-2011, 10:52 PM
I had a nearly identical experience in February going from OAK to SLC with Delta.

-Brandon

I always fly with a pistol in checked luggage, typically on Southwest, in and out of Sacramento. Rarely a problem of any kind, even when transporting AW's or other "more scarier" looking stuff.

Except last October; the Sacramento Southwest ticket agent gave me the affidavit, which I signed, she initialed and then I threw it into my bag (a large Blackhawk bag with TSA lock, containing a small Pelican case with non-TSA locks within). She'd already declined wishing to see my pistol, but now started insisting I leave the gun case unlocked, since she had to take it into the TSA bat-cave for them to inspect.

This ended up with me insisting on speaking with her supervisor, although her last words to me were, "I should know, I do this all the time."

The supervisor arrived & I explained my not wishing to turn an unsecured firearm over to anyone (I also provided him with a photocopy of the TSA regs, as well as Southwest policy). He apologized, asked me to secure everything with locks and then directed me to wait as he disappeared with my bag. Less than 10 minutes late, he reappeared, apologized again and wished me a good trip.

I am glad I stood my ground and had the printed materials with me.

Funtimes
03-30-2011, 2:30 AM
Link fixed.

I tried to refuse and was told that my bag would not be put on the plane. I told them I would open the case for them to inspect in my presence, but was told that was not possible due to lack of publicly accessible bag screening area.

So again....that is the dilemna I am trying to rectify. Does federal law actually require the case to be inspected in your presence?

If you give them access, you are giving access to firearms to people without a permit or authorization. You can't do that. We almost ran into this in Nevada last week, the lady told us there was no screening and we should give them the key -- I told her absolutely not because that is against the law. I asked her how do I know your person isn't prohibited from possession of a firearm? She couldn't answer it.

I think about it this way -- why would I give anyone access to AR-15's, Glocks, revolvers and ammunition without me being there lol.

ldsnet
03-30-2011, 3:16 AM
I have used Pelican cases for luggage befere, actually worked very well (transporting tools)

edgerly779
03-30-2011, 3:18 AM
I flew to texas last week from lax and back monday. At lax they had me lock the double ifle case and they put it in xray then took it 50 feet to a table and had me unlock it and inspected guns. Had me prove the ar was not an assault rifle. Luckily the tsa supervisor and his associate were vets one look and they said nice cal legal rifle. I locked the case and left. In houston they had me open case to put signed declaration inside . I locked it they took it at ticket counter and I said goodby. Everything arrived here fine. Only unsettleling thing was if I was not at baggage claim to get it anyone could have taken it and left no security on firearms at all.

WDE91
03-30-2011, 5:57 AM
TSA can make you prove that your firearm is not an assault rifle?
Something doesnt sound correct

BusBoy
03-30-2011, 6:47 AM
If you give them access, you are giving access to firearms to people without a permit or authorization. You can't do that. We almost ran into this in Nevada last week, the lady told us there was no screening and we should give them the key -- I told her absolutely not because that is against the law. I asked her how do I know your person isn't prohibited from possession of a firearm? She couldn't answer it.

I think about it this way -- why would I give anyone access to AR-15's, Glocks, revolvers and ammunition without me being there lol.

Im only quoting Funtimes here just for context... but, can someone please find the Fed or TSA cite that you and only you are the one to unlock the case?? No key can be given to the TSA??

I see no where in the Fed or TSA rules/regs that say the owner of the gun MUST be the one to unlock the case.

Maestro Pistolero
03-30-2011, 7:01 AM
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm


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.

Paper Boy
03-30-2011, 7:01 AM
I dont trust TSA I had a 1911 stolen from my bag at LAX a few years back. I fly with guns at least once a year to go hunting with some friends and every year it’s the same thing in both OR and CA.

I have thought about saying no to the requests for a key but I am at the point that as long as they ask for it and they are opening the case directly in front of me I would rather avoid the drama. If they wanted to take it in a back room I would have an issue.

Normal check in goes like this.

Declare gun
TSA agent at the counter usually does not even want to see the gun they just hand me a tag to fill out to place in the case -they never ask to see the gun, fill out tag, place tag in the case and lock the case.

Then over to the X-ray machine where the put the case – and my locked bag holding ammo – in front of everyone else’s bags and send it on through.

Without fail they have then asked for the keys and opened the case in front of me – but separated by a counter I guess so I can’t grab them and go on a shooting spree at all times the guns and case have been within visual range.

Then they lock the case back up and hand me the key back, I then ask to give the locks a tug just in case – never had an issue with that they usually just bring the case over and let me give them a tug and send it on its way. sometimes they look irritated that I dont trust them :rolleyes:

When I have landed the gun cases are usually with security or someone gives them to an agent to watch over until I arrive with my ID and claim ticket – how could they know what they are unless they have some kind of code on the tag? This has happened in both CA and OR and on multiple airlines – makes you wonder and also makes me want to blame delta even more for my stolen pistol.

Always been the same no one really freaking out or backing away just suprised looks, but I guess I have been lucky. That is except for my stolen gun here is what happened with that.

Landed in OR and got my luggage from the agent had my pistol and rifle in separate cases attached to each other and locked. Got to my buddies place and unlocked them to go ahead and make sure the rifle was still sighted in and when I opened the pistol case there was no gun.

Queue absolute terror and panic. One magazine and the TSA tag saying they had inspected my luggage were in there still. On closer inspection I found the case had been tampered with and one side had cracks and tool marks on it, these were on the bottom lip where it was not seen until it was open so I did not notice it until I actively looked – who ever did it was careful.

Notified Delta, TSA, and Police and filed a claim that night, when I got back to my paperwork at home in CA I sent in everything they needed for a claim and took my serial number and everything to the airport police in CA to make sure there was a complete report and correct serial number on file. 3 months later had a check from delta for my loss.

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 7:10 AM
Im only quoting Funtimes here just for context... but, can someone please find the Fed or TSA cite that you and only you are the one to unlock the case?? No key can be given to the TSA??

I see no where in the Fed or TSA rules/regs that say the owner of the gun MUST be the one to unlock the case.


Go read post #14 & 15. The actual fed regulation was posted. But I think it does leave some room for interpretation unfornutately. And given room to interpret TSA is always gonna give err on their side and not our's.

BusBoy
03-30-2011, 7:13 AM
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm


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.

What you quote is NOT regulation... it is an editorial, furthermore the language "we recommend that you provide the key or combination to the security officer..." is just that... a recommendation. Where does it say I MUST relinquish my key and have then disappear with it?

many people here have said... only YOU can unlock the case... WHERE does it say this?? I agree it is unsettling to have someone disappear with the key to a firearm that is registered to you... you have no idea if that person is a prohibited one or not as previously stated above.

Id sure like to be able to tell TSA.. "Sorry, go get my bag or bring me to it, you cant have my key. Please see rule/reg # XYZ.

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 7:17 AM
San Jose has a new terminal and a new policy that also violates the FAA directives here. It may be worth injecting some CGF letter into. However, the plates are kind of full so it's not going to have a high priority.

I'm 2 for 2 in key requests at the gate from TSA...

-Gene

If there is any leg work I can do to gather preliminary info here in Sd please let me know.

Would help to try and contact an upper level supervisor at SD to try and get at least a statement of what they believe their policy is and ask some preliminary questions as to why they seem to be doing things contrary to the Fed.Regs?

On top of all this the time I flew back in Dec. I actually had the AA ticket agent tell me I was supposed to have TSA locks on my gun case....I think my reaction to her statement kinda pissed her off.

I have considered contacting AA as well and tell them that their ticket agents are giving out unsafe and illegal information.

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 7:24 AM
What you quote is NOT regulation... it is an editorial, furthermore the language "we recommend that you provide the key or combination to the security officer..." is just that... a recommendation. Where does it say I MUST relinquish my key and have then disappear with it?

many people here have said... only YOU can unlock the case... WHERE does it say this?? I agree it is unsettling to have someone disappear with the key to a firearm that is registered to you... you have no idea if that person is a prohibited one or not as previously stated above.

Id sure like to be able to tell TSA.. "Sorry, go get my bag or bring me to it, you cant have my key. Please see rule/reg # XYZ.

The fed.reg posted in post #14 DOES say they only the firearm owner should retain the key/comb to a checked gun case.....but it doesn't say anything specficially about it having to opened by you or inspected in your presence. So it does appear that portion of the reg is a bit ambiguous and open to interpretation.

I would like to ask TSA how they are justifiying requesting peoples' keys in light of what the fed.reg clearly states. To me it seems pretty obvious that the intent of the reg was to prevent ANYONE including TSA personnel from having unrestricted access to checked firearms.

Because if the case is opened and inspected out of my presence how am I to know that nothing was removed from the case or that is was properly relocked so that no one down the line can have access to it?

I have no issue with them inspecting the contents of the case so long as I can watch them do it and check the locks to make sure it is properly secured afterwords.

BusBoy
03-30-2011, 7:28 AM
Go read post #14 & 15. The actual fed regulation was posted. But I think it does leave some room for interpretation unfornutately. And given room to interpret TSA is always gonna give err on their side and not our's.

Yep that about as close as I can find in terms of telling TSA to go get my bag or bring me to it... you cant have my key. Still searching.

CHS
03-30-2011, 7:31 AM
Im only quoting Funtimes here just for context... but, can someone please find the Fed or TSA cite that you and only you are the one to unlock the case?? No key can be given to the TSA??

I see no where in the Fed or TSA rules/regs that say the owner of the gun MUST be the one to unlock the case.

The following:

49 CFR 1540.111 Transportation, carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals:

(c) In checked baggage. A passenger may not transport or offer for transport in checked baggage or in baggage carried in an inaccessible cargo hold under §1562.23 of this chapter:

(2) Any unloaded firearm(s) unless—

(i) The passenger declares to the aircraft operator, either orally or in writing, before checking the baggage, that the passenger has a firearm in his or her bag and that it is unloaded;

(ii) The firearm is unloaded;

(iii) The firearm is carried in a hard-sided container; and

(iv) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.

"And only the passenger retains the key or combination".

First off, if you're dealing with a combination the second you actually tell someone the combination it is now public knowledge. It would be impossible for you to be the only person to retain that combination.

With keys, I can show you how to impression a key for copying later. It takes just a few seconds.

The *ONLY WAY* for you to ever be the only one to retain the key or combination is to NEVER give it out to anyone.

I don't see any room for interpretation here. That language is pretty black and white.

BusBoy
03-30-2011, 7:32 AM
I would like to ask TSA how they are justifiying requesting peoples' keys in light of what the fed.reg clearly states. To me it seems pretty obvious that the intent of the reg was to prevent ANYONE including TSA personnel from having unrestricted access to checked firearms.


I like that train of thought! :thumbsup:

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 7:37 AM
The following:



"And only the passenger retains the key or combination".

First off, if you're dealing with a combination the second you actually tell someone the combination it is now public knowledge. It would be impossible for you to be the only person to retain that combination.

With keys, I can show you how to impression a key for copying later. It takes just a few seconds.

The *ONLY WAY* for you to ever be the only one to retain the key or combination is to NEVER give it out to anyone.

I don't see any room for interpretation here. That language is pretty black and white.

I thought the same thing.....once you tell someone a combo.....it's not like you can "ungive it" or erase it from their memory. And I agree....it seems the intent is pretty clear that they are NOT supposed to have uncontrolled/unsupervised access to the guncase. But apparently they think they are are allowed under certain circumstances and this really needs to be addressed.

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 8:57 AM
I found some more confusing information on the TSA website:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/customer/editorial_1029.shtm

Firearms
Q. Is there a limit to the number of firearms I can take in my checked bag?
A. TSA does not limit the number of firearms in checked baggage. All firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case, and declared to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process. For more information about traveling with firearms, please read our Firearms and Ammunition Section.

Q. What is the proper lock that I should use to secure my hard-sided firearms case?
A. Travelers can use a single key or combination lock to which only the traveler has the key or combination, or a TSA-recognized lock. For more information about traveling with firearms, please read our Firearms and Ammunition Web page.

Q. Are TSA-recognized locks permitted for securing firearms in a hard-sided case?
A. Yes. For more information, please visit Traveling with Special Items.



Seems like they are contradiciting themselves and the federal regulations with some of those statements. Ugh.....no wonder you can never get the same story twice from anyone.

BusBoy
03-30-2011, 9:13 AM
I found some more confusing information on the TSA website:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/customer/editorial_1029.shtm


Seems like they are contradiciting themselves and the federal regulations with some of those statements. Ugh.....no wonder you can never get the same story twice from anyone.

Not surprising to me. TSA wants to be able to access your baggage at will. Stick with a hefty key or combo lock.

Unbeliever
03-30-2011, 9:55 AM
Got a response this morning. Looks like a typical cockroach letter. Also note how when they paraphrased the reg, they totally ignored the key aspect and then repeated the suggestion to give up the key.

I wonder if Deviant's talk is encouraging more and more people to put flare guns in cases with valuables in order to use non-TSA locks.

Follows is TSA's response, and my response to that.


Thank you for your e-mail message concerning the checked baggage screening process and how it affects passengers carrying firearms in checked baggage.



On flights that originate in the U.S. passengers can transport a firearm in accordance with 49 CFR §1540.111 under the following conditions:



• the firearm must be unloaded;

• it must be in checked, not carry-on, baggage;

• it must be in a locked hard-sided container; and

• it must be declared to the airline.



If these conditions are met, the airline will place a declaration tag inside the checked baggage containing the firearm. This notice alerts Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) to the presence of the firearm if they have to open the bag to inspect it.



The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is required by law to electronically screen all checked baggage that goes aboard a commercial passenger flight. If electronic screening cannot verify that a bag and its contents are safe to bring onboard the flight, TSOs will inspect the bag by hand. TSA, therefore, encourages (but does not require) passengers to keep their checked bags unlocked to facilitate the process and reduce the need to break locks.



TSA recommends that you place the locked hard-sided container with the firearm inside a suitcase or other bag before you check it with your airline. This will allow you to leave your suitcase unlocked but also to comply with the requirement that the firearm be in a locked container.



You can use a hard-sided locked suitcase as the sole container for your firearm. However, this can lead to one of the two following complications if your bag needs to be inspected by hand:



• If the TSOs can determine from the screening equipment that the bag contains a firearm, they will not open it. They will instead attempt to locate you and obtain the key or combination so that they can inspect the bag. If they cannot locate you, the bag will not be allowed onboard the aircraft.



• If the TSOs do not see that the bag contains a firearm before they open it, they may force open the lock and proceed to inspect the bag. Once the lock is forced open, the bag cannot be allowed on an aircraft until it is relocked. TSA will attempt to locate you and make suitable arrangements.



These potential inconveniences can be avoided by following TSA's recommendation that you pack your firearm by itself in a separate, hard-sided, locked container and pack the container inside your suitcase. If TSOs need to open your bag to inspect it, they will be able to do so without breaking a lock on the bag.



Once the TSOs open the bag, they will see the declaration in your suitcase and will not open the locked container encasing the firearm. They will proceed to search the bag, close it, and (presuming the bag is free of prohibited items) will be able to allow it onboard your flight.



We encourage you to visit our Web site at www.tsa.gov for additional information about TSA. We continue to add new information and encourage you to check the Web site frequently for updated information.




Thank you for replying to my message regarding checking firearms as baggage IAW 49 CFR §1540.111.

In that response, you paraphrased the regulation as follows:

"• the firearm must be unloaded;"

"• it must be in checked, not carry-on, baggage;"

"• it must be in a locked hard-sided container; and"

"• it must be declared to the airline."

There is one more requirement that was left out listed in 49 CFR §1540.111 (c)(2)(iv) That the key or combination is soley held by the passenger. Again:

"The container in which it is carried is locked, and ONLY THE PASSENGER RETAINS THE KEY OR COMBINATION." (emphasis mine)

We passengers are well aware that the container or bag may need additional screening, and are willing to stand by or be called and open the container or bag for the TSO to avoid divulging a combination or surrendering a key. We are also willing to stand by to re-secure it when the TSO completes his duties.

However, there are reports coming from fellow travelers that some airports such as San Diego and Sacramento are not allowing that. Reasons given are being either local policy, or there being an unsuitable publicly accessible screening area.

Please clarify how travelers can assist a TSO's screening effort without violating 49 CFR §1540.111 (c)(2)(iv) by surrendering a key or combination. Large rifle cases are impractical to pack in another bag as per TSA's suggestion.

Thank you for your time.


--Carlos V.

Unbeliever
03-30-2011, 10:03 AM
Had me prove the ar was not an assault rifle. Luckily the tsa supervisor and his associate were vets one look and they said nice cal legal rifle.

Someone didn't get the memo after the Ron Paul staffer moneybox incident. The TSA got a bit red-faced and issued a statement that the duties of a TSO does not include general law enforcement questioning.

And second, airlines are common carriers, useable as any step to travel from point a to point b. It is perfectly legal to to land in LAX with an CA-illegal firearm if you intend to rent a car when you land and drive to Nevada where it is legal.

--Carlos V.

thetaxman
03-30-2011, 10:21 AM
[QUOTE=Unbeliever;610621

And second, airlines are common carriers, useable as any step to travel from point a to point b. It is perfectly legal to to land in LAX with an CA-illegal firearm if you intend to rent a car when you land and drive to Nevada where it is legal.

--Carlos V.[/QUOTE]

I find this highly unlikely. Where in CA statute does it allow an assault weapon to be transported through or in CA without approval, ie CA registered.

BusBoy
03-30-2011, 10:24 AM
I find this highly unlikely. Where in CA statute does it allow an assault weapon to be transported through or in CA without approval, ie CA registered.

I believe Unbeliever is right here... There is case law I think out of Illinois about a real unfortunate incident that happened with a missed flight and a bag with a gun.

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 10:25 AM
I find this highly unlikely. Where in CA statute does it allow an assault weapon to be transported through or in CA without approval, ie CA registered.

It's federal law....Firearm Owners Protection Act which protect transportation of firearms across state lines.

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 10:30 AM
Got a response this morning. Looks like a typical cockroach letter. Also note how when they paraphrased the reg, they totally ignored the key aspect and then repeated the suggestion to give up the key.

I wonder if Deviant's talk is encouraging more and more people to put flare guns in cases with valuables in order to use non-TSA locks.

Follows is TSA's response, and my response to that.





--Carlos V.

Thanks for the update. Suprised they answered so fast. I wonder if it would be helpful to contact my local Rep. Ducan Hunter also to get some outside pressure on TSA about the contradiction in their policy and recommendations vs. the fed.regs.

BusBoy
03-30-2011, 10:31 AM
It's federal law....Firearm Owners Protection Act which protect transportation of firearms across state lines.

its from Wiki but it gets the message across...

One of the law's provisions was that persons traveling from one place to another cannot be incarcerated for a firearms offense in a state that has strict gun control laws if the traveler is just passing through (short stops for food and gas) and the firearms and ammunition are not immediately accessible, unloaded and, in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment, in a locked container.[6]
An example of this would be that someone driving from Virginia to a competition in Vermont with a locked hard case containing an unloaded handgun and a box of ammunition in the trunk could not be prosecuted in New Jersey or New York City for illegal possession of a handgun provided that they did not stop in New Jersey or New York for an extended period of time.

Unbeliever
03-30-2011, 10:32 AM
I find this highly unlikely. Where in CA statute does it allow an assault weapon to be transported through or in CA without approval, ie CA registered.

Look in Federal Statute:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm_Owners_Protection_Act#.22Safe_Passage.22_p rovision

--Carlos V.

BusBoy
03-30-2011, 10:33 AM
Thanks for the update. Suprised they answered so fast. I wonder if it would be helpful to contact my local Rep. Ducan Hunter also to get some outside pressure on TSA about the contradiction in their policy and recommendations vs. the fed.regs.

+1 and sorry for the earlier threadjack! Back on topic!!

thetaxman
03-30-2011, 10:34 AM
For flights I can understand the position. Seattle to LAX to Las Vegas on one ticket. The poster brought up driving from LAX to Las Vegas. Seems the common carrier piece would end in LAX.

Calling Bill or Gene.......

BusBoy
03-30-2011, 10:41 AM
For flights I can understand the position. Seattle to LAX to Las Vegas on one ticket. The poster brought up driving from LAX to Las Vegas. Seems the common carrier piece would end in LAX.

Calling Bill or Gene.......

Lets call Bill or Gene to a NEW thread. This one has slipped enough (I'm partially to blame here) and is pretty important to many people that the information NOT have to be sifted through with OT info.

Unbeliever
03-30-2011, 10:45 AM
Suprised they answered so fast.

They answered so fast because it was a cockroach letter (http://www.snopes.com/business/consumer/bedbug.asp).

A "real" person hasn't looked at it yet. Just a clerk noticing that it was a firearm question and pulling out the standard firearm response.

Maybe if more of us do it all at once, it might get bumped up faster.

--Carlos V.

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 11:21 AM
They answered so fast because it was a cockroach letter (http://www.snopes.com/business/consumer/bedbug.asp).

A "real" person hasn't looked at it yet. Just a clerk noticing that it was a firearm question and pulling out the standard firearm response.

Maybe if more of us do it all at once, it might get bumped up faster.

--Carlos V.

thats why I was thinking perhaps an inquiry to our local conrgessional Reps. When they make a call to TSA it's gonna get alot more attention than just sending emails to the "contact us" page on the TSA website.

Manic Moran
03-30-2011, 12:48 PM
That reminds me, I need to bug the person here again about an update to the process used at this location. (Not necessarily where my profile says I am, by the way, and this is entirely unofficial so I'm not advertising where). I started the conversation on the basis of the 'Packing, and the Friendly Skies' presentation on how to secure valuable cargo.

A compromise suggested on the last thread (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=409661)on this matter about two weeks ago was that the passenger insist that the key would be provided to a LEO only. That was accepted by the locals at first blush as a reasonable insistance, though I accept that it doesn't meet the requirements we're looking for. Another matter that was discussed was the possibility of bringing the passenger to the screening area. It is not in a publicly accessible place, but a number of badge-holders do have 'escort' priviliges, and there is no legal or policy reason why it could not happen (as long as the passenger can't see the monitors). You would need to speak with a TSA manager, though, the average officer or supervisor isn't likely to have such a badge.

The last option was that they bring the bag out, you unlock it, then they take it away for screening. As it was initially locked, you did not 'offer for transport' the unlocked case, and you always retain the key/combination yourself. I don't like it, but it does seem like it can fit the letter of the law, if not anywhere near the spirit.

NTM

Unbeliever
03-30-2011, 12:49 PM
For the second response, I got back the exact same cockroach letter, but this time they included a "well, if you still have questions, call 866-289-9673" line.

--Carlos V.

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 1:08 PM
That reminds me, I need to bug the person here again about an update to the process used at this location. (Not necessarily where my profile says I am, by the way, and this is entirely unofficial so I'm not advertising where). I started the conversation on the basis of the 'Packing, and the Friendly Skies' presentation on how to secure valuable cargo.

A compromise suggested on the last thread (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=409661)on this matter about two weeks ago was that the passenger insist that the key would be provided to a LEO only. That was accepted by the locals at first blush as a reasonable insistance, though I accept that it doesn't meet the requirements we're looking for. Another matter that was discussed was the possibility of bringing the passenger to the screening area. It is not in a publicly accessible place, but a number of badge-holders do have 'escort' priviliges, and there is no legal or policy reason why it could not happen (as long as the passenger can't see the monitors). You would need to speak with a TSA manager, though, the average officer or supervisor isn't likely to have such a badge.

The last option was that they bring the bag out, you unlock it, then they take it away for screening. As it was initially locked, you did not 'offer for transport' the unlocked case, and you always retain the key/combination yourself. I don't like it, but it does seem like it can fit the letter of the law, if not anywhere near the spirit.NTM

The problem with that is they any number of unknown persons behind that closed door now have unrestricted access to your firearm, and you also have no way of knowing if the guncase was properly relocked/secured following the inspection.

If all they want to do is a visual inspection of the contents of the case why does this need to happen in some special screening area? That could be done anywhere in the terminal. You open the case for them, they inspect. You close/lock/secure case and THEN they take it away to run thru x-ray and all that jazz.

Because again....to me the wording of the CFR regs make it seem clear that the intent is that NO ONE except the owner would have access to the contents of the case.

Manic Moran
03-30-2011, 2:28 PM
Because again....to me the wording of the CFR regs make it seem clear that the intent is that NO ONE except the owner would have access to the contents of the case.

Right, and the intent of the assault weapons ban was that none of us mere private citizens could own evil black rifles. We all know how well that worked out.

Are they within the letter of the law? That's the only question which is pertinent, and unfortunately, the law may offer some workarounds.

If all they want to do is a visual inspection of the contents of the case why does this need to happen in some special screening area?

It can be more than just a visual inspection.

NTM

Untamed1972
03-30-2011, 2:36 PM
Right, and the intent of the assault weapons ban was that none of us mere private citizens could own evil black rifles. We all know how well that worked out.

Are they within the letter of the law? That's the only question which is pertinent, and unfortunately, the law may offer some workarounds.

It can be more than just a visual inspection.

NTM

I agree.....that's what I'd like to get to the bottom of. Because in addition to the surrending of the key for a non-TSA lock......TSA is also indicating that it is acceptable to put TSA locks on a firearm case which seems to be directly contradicting the "ONLY THE PASSENGER RETAINS THE KEY OR COMBINATION" part of the CFR regs.

paul0660
03-30-2011, 2:44 PM
unknown persons behind that closed door now have unrestricted access to your firearm, and you also have no way of knowing if the guncase was properly relocked/secured following the inspection.


Or loaded, since ammo can be in the same container.

erik
03-30-2011, 3:31 PM
San Jose has a new terminal and a new policy that also violates the FAA directives here. It may be worth injecting some CGF letter into. However, the plates are kind of full so it's not going to have a high priority.

I'm 2 for 2 in key requests at the gate from TSA...

-Gene

My only exceptional case was at the former Terminal C at SJC. They also did not have a public screening area and wanted to look inside the gun case. They wouldn't let me back, I wouldn't let the key out of my sight. Eventually we agreed on a compromise where they brought the gun case back out to the counter where I unlocked it in front of the TSA agent who looked at it, poked the foam on the inside of the case (but never touching the pistol), and called it good. I locked it, and that was that.


(Gene: PM inbound.)

GaryV
03-30-2011, 5:21 PM
That reminds me, I need to bug the person here again about an update to the process used at this location. (Not necessarily where my profile says I am, by the way, and this is entirely unofficial so I'm not advertising where). I started the conversation on the basis of the 'Packing, and the Friendly Skies' presentation on how to secure valuable cargo.

A compromise suggested on the last thread (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=409661)on this matter about two weeks ago was that the passenger insist that the key would be provided to a LEO only. That was accepted by the locals at first blush as a reasonable insistance, though I accept that it doesn't meet the requirements we're looking for. Another matter that was discussed was the possibility of bringing the passenger to the screening area. It is not in a publicly accessible place, but a number of badge-holders do have 'escort' priviliges, and there is no legal or policy reason why it could not happen (as long as the passenger can't see the monitors). You would need to speak with a TSA manager, though, the average officer or supervisor isn't likely to have such a badge.

The last option was that they bring the bag out, you unlock it, then they take it away for screening. As it was initially locked, you did not 'offer for transport' the unlocked case, and you always retain the key/combination yourself. I don't like it, but it does seem like it can fit the letter of the law, if not anywhere near the spirit.

NTM

There is one more option, and I have actually heard of this happening a couple of times in these situations where people have refused to hand over their keys and cited the law. The bag can be brought out and screened in the public area. All they are going to do is open it and do a visual check of the contents. This only happens if they see something in the X-Ray that looks suspicious. They do not check the firearm (unless it appears loaded) at all, and they don't do swabs or any other test. There is no need for any special "area" to be used for this since there is no special equipment involved. All they need is some horizontal surface on which to set the bag.

Quser.619
03-30-2011, 6:08 PM
Have experienced these issues as well flying out of SD. Last time, around XMas, I let them have the key figuring I didn't want to cause a scene. They didn't lock one of my matching locks which disappeared en-route. Went to file a complaint & seek damages for the lock never got a response from the TSA. Will now show up 3 hours early & will not give up the key.

I have heard that one of the terminals does close their TSA screening after a certain time, though whether its 1 or 2 I can't remember

Quser.619
03-30-2011, 6:21 PM
This might make a great sticky, a print out of the Federal law, including codes. I'd personally place one in my case along w/ the CalGuns flow chart just to avoid any further issues. I'd also carry it to reference as well.

Funtimes
03-30-2011, 9:50 PM
Or loaded, since ammo can be in the same container.

This is why I will never allow them unsupervised access to my firearms. As I do travel with loaded magazines in a gun sock. That is all I need is some agent to go all :iggy2: and start shooting people.

That and I don't know any of their backgrounds, that guy could be prohibited by federal law from carrying a gun (Depression, med marijuana whatever) and I feel it's my responsibility to make sure MY firearm(s) don't get into the wrong hands.

Untamed1972
03-31-2011, 7:46 AM
There is one more option, and I have actually heard of this happening a couple of times in these situations where people have refused to hand over their keys and cited the law. The bag can be brought out and screened in the public area. All they are going to do is open it and do a visual check of the contents. This only happens if they see something in the X-Ray that looks suspicious. They do not check the firearm (unless it appears loaded) at all, and they don't do swabs or any other test. There is no need for any special "area" to be used for this since there is no special equipment involved. All they need is some horizontal surface on which to set the bag.

That is exactly my thinking......they could do the visual check right outside the baggage door that I have outside while they screen my bag.

I think I will print out CFR regs and demand to see a supervisor next time.

The problem becomes, as is seen from the TSA webiste, they are proffering info/advice that seems contrary to the CFR regs, which likely means that TSOs are being trained that demanding the keys is acceptable despite what the regs say. And trying to argue the law with a TSO in ther terminal while you're trying to make your flight could likely be a pointless exercise.

That's why it would be nice to get some input from higher up the chain at TSA about the discrepancies in their policy.

Manic Moran
03-31-2011, 9:53 AM
The bag can be brought out and screened in the public area. All they are going to do is open it and do a visual check of the contents. This only happens if they see something in the X-Ray that looks suspicious. They do not check the firearm (unless it appears loaded) at all, and they don't do swabs or any other test.

That bolded bit is not a guarantee. They may wish to do other tests.

I think I will print out CFR regs and demand to see a supervisor next time

Good luck. People higher than 'supervisor' have been directed to the CFR here and are still chewing on it. The matter has not been dropped by either party and is still a work in progress. Of course, it's worth a try.

And trying to argue the law with a TSO in ther terminal while you're trying to make your flight could likely be a pointless exercise.

Agreed. They are going to rigidly follow the policies in their SOPs. If their SOP says that they can demand the key, as far as they are aware, it is in compliance with the law. (I have not read the SOP, so I don't know if it actually so states. Even if I had, I wouldn't verify what it says in public!). They are not lawyers, neither are the supervisors, managers, or even police, who generally will follow whatever TSA says on the matters. That said, they are not jerks, and if a compromise can be met which may not be 'standard', but still meets within the confines of their written policies, they may well go with it.

NTM

Manic Moran
04-05-2011, 1:03 PM
Finally got an answer back from an appropriately ranked person. At this Bay Area airport, the word is that if the passenger wishes to stand on the principle that the case is not to be opened outside of his presence, that is to be accommodated. If it means taking him back behind the screening area, so be it. Unfortunately, not everyone below was giving the same answer, so I'll see what I can do about encouraging a little knowledge transfer.

NTM

Untamed1972
04-05-2011, 1:06 PM
Finally got an answer back from an appropriately ranked person. At this Bay Area airport, the word is that if the passenger wishes to stand on the principle that the case is not to be opened outside of his presence, that is to be accommodated. If it means taking him back behind the screening area, so be it. Unfortunately, not everyone below was giving the same answer, so I'll see what I can do about encouraging a little knowledge transfer.

NTM


good to know. thanks for the update.

Can you give me an idea of what rank of person I may need to get in contact with at the SD airport to have this conversation with?

Manic Moran
04-05-2011, 2:05 PM
The highest you're likely to be able to talk to as a passenger at any airport is a TSM (Manager). They don't wear uniforms and are not always at a checkpoint, but are always on call (I don't know if you can demand to speak with one, though). I had to go higher than that for a definitive answer. Give me a bit more time, I'll see if I can get him to tell me a definitive, system-wide reference which might actually be of use to you.

NTM

Untamed1972
04-05-2011, 2:12 PM
The highest you're likely to be able to talk to as a passenger at any airport is a TSM (Manager). They don't wear uniforms and are not always at a checkpoint, but are always on call (I don't know if you can demand to speak with one, though). I had to go higher than that for a definitive answer. Give me a bit more time, I'll see if I can get him to tell me a definitive, system-wide reference which might actually be of use to you.

NTM

Cool....thanks