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Steps to flying with guns

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by bluebobbysue, May 5, 2008.

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  1. bluebobbysue

    bluebobbysue TS Member

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    I am thinking about flying to Las Vegas for their Fall shoot. Does anyone know the rules on flying with guns and ammo? Is there certain airlines that are better then others? I have never flew with a gun or even thought about it so any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Buddy O

    Buddy O TS Member

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    I've travelled with guns on United, Alaska & Southwest airlines around the US & to Canada . With rifles, I keep them in padded sleeves with the bolts removed & pack them in an old 2-piece SKB golf case which has a padlock. For shotguns, I break them down & use an aluminum Americase with lockable latches.
    I use a lockable hard plastic box for rifle ammo. I buy shotgun shells at the destination. I tell the airline personnel at the counter that I have firearms in my luggage & they ask me to sign a form which is placed with the firearms. I accompany my luggage to the TSA x-ray machines & tell the agents there that there are firearms being checked in. I wait until after they inspect the guns to check that they are unloaded, & leave only after they are placed in the outgoing luggage carts. I retrieve the guns at the luggage carousel when I arrive. I've never had any trouble flying with guns.
     
  3. K80433SC

    K80433SC Member

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    I have flown MANY times with firearms, both domestic flights and those to Canada.
    Typically - you will not encounter problems with any of the airlines.

    First thing you need to keep in mind is that your gun and ammunition may not "travel" together. Your firearm should be placed in a hinged, hard case -- one that is approved for air travel. Naturally -- it must be unloaded, with the action open, or taken apart (as in a hinged action shotgun). You will be required to sign a card, verifying that your firearm is unloaded. That card is placed inside the case with the gun, and you then proceed to screening. You may ask to lock the gun case for the actual flight, but only AFTER it clears the screening procedure.

    A word of caution here, though.............I have already had TSA employees who obviously know NOTHING about guns want to further inspect my gun case. They might want to physically inspect the foam padding ; possibly even to remove it. Just make sure the you have the gun packed the way YOU want it, before it goes into the luggage hold of the aircraft. That is your right. Because, trust me -- there will be no "special treatment" given to a firearm. If anything, I think those airline bozos PURPOSELY throw guns around. I once had an idiot take my stock and receiver of my K80 out of the case, in order to do her further inspection. When she put it back, the retaining strap (velcro) was not fastened. I immediately jumped in there, explaining that this was a very expensive firearm, and that I wanted it packed properly. She was obviously annoyed that such a "lay-person" would try to tell her how to do her "most important" job, but after all -- it is YOUR investment. Do not lock the case and send it to the hold, unless you are comfortable with what you see.


    If you plan on taking any ammunition with you, it must be packed in your checked luggage -- in the original packaging (boxes)that it came in when you bought it from the manufacturer. Any type of "loose" ammo. is taboo. This will probably not be much of an issue with attending a trapshooting event, as the weight would be prohibitive, anyway. Most airlines have a 40 or 50 lb. limit on checked bags, and shells can eat up that in no time. You will most-likely be buying your shells after your arrival. Ammunition packaging is more of a concern when going on a hunting trip, when you might want to bring your own ammo. along.

    I have also encountered some difficulties in the past, when taking my own gun cleaning products with me. They will probably confiscate any aerosol cans (WD40, G96, etc). Also be careful of any containers of lubricating grease. These little containers seem to put the TSA on "orange-to-red" alert.

    The "best" one I've experienced was a flight from Kansas City, MO a few years ago. Several friends and I had just been on a week-long, wild pheasant hunt in western Kansas. We stayed with relatives of one of my hunting companions, and the wife sent us home with several jars of her home-made chokecherry jelly. When we hit security at the airport, they literally dismantled EVERY one of our duffel-style hunting bags. It seems that the jelly had a similar consistency to plastic explosives, and they had to look at all of them before we were permitted to pass the screening area. Go figure...............
     
  4. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    There are a couple of airlines that refuse to check firearms - USA3000 is one, if your not flying one of the majors - call about their firearms policy before you book your tickets...

    Jay
     
  5. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    A few links...

    http://www.losttarget.com/firearmsflying.htm
     
  6. perazzitms

    perazzitms TS Member

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    Buy lots of insurance.


    Then buy some more.


    If available, buy the airline insurance - it helps when it's their nads on the line as well.


    Buy a cheap(er) aluminum case that you can put actual padlocks on - one keyed - one combination.


    Print out 2 copies of the firearm requirements from the TSA web site. Keep one with you. Tape the other to the outside of the case. Tape your name, cell phone number and flight information in huge letters on an 8 x 11 sheet of paper and tape it to the outside of the case. Get the name of the TSA guy who checked the gun.


    Save yourself some trouble and take everything out of the case save the gun itself. No oil. No snap caps. No tools. No grease.


    Hope some $9/hr boob in baggage handling doesn't walk off with it and turn it into the real ghetto blaster.
     
  7. scott calhoun

    scott calhoun Well-Known Member

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    Blue -

    I hate to think that you will get scared off of flying with your gun, but based on some of the replies I think if I didn't know any better I'd probably decide to leave it at home.

    I fly a couple of times a year with my gun and have yet to have a problem. Get a good hard-sided case that can be locked, don't put anything in the case that would cause anyone to be suspicious and be polite when dealing with the airline and TSA reps. I don't take anything out of my case that's normally in there - I have a tube of grease, some choke tubes, a few Sheath wipes in the single-serving packages, various shop towels for wiping the gun down, the stock and adjustment wrenches, etc. I fly from the most anti-gun state in the union (according to everyone on here anyway) and from the most anti-gun county/city in that state (Cook/Chicago) and have never had a problem. I also have insurance that will cover full replacement - and while I would hate to use it at least I know I'll get compensated if my gun does disappear.

    Right after 9-11 my case always got a full inspection, but in the past couple of years the only time it ever gets opened is at the ticket check-in counter so the declaration card can be placed in the case. The TSA guys have requested that it be locked BEFORE I turn it over to them and they ask that I wait until they are finished screening in case they have a need to open it - but never have.

    The only recommendation I would make is to keep an eye on your case until it goes thru the hole in the wall, and then get to the baggage claim right away when you land. At O'Hare for instance once TSA is done with the case they call for a porter to take it down the concourse to where they load oversize bags. Once they call they just set the case with the other oversize luggage. I stay there until the porter shows up and then follow him to the oversize area to make sure it goes thru the hole. Nothing I can do after that, but at least I know it made it that far. I also only take direct flights when I have my gun, just to eliminate the additional handling that is required for a change of planes.

    I'm sure others have different experiences, but mine have all been nothing but positive.

    Scott
     
  8. shooter99

    shooter99 Well-Known Member

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    Some new policies have been started I believe. It has to do with luggage. You are allowed one carry on and one in the cargo. If you add more it will cost you more money.With Northwest it is $25.00 for one piece over and $100.00 for each piece after that. This would include your guns. I heard this so check it out. If this is true you will be better off shipping your guns to Steve at the club and then ship them home when you are finished.
     
  9. Lead Man

    Lead Man TS Member

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    I fly a few times a year to Texas and Colorado. I have had no problems at all. Southwest airlines have fairly good rules. The TSA requires you to show id at the destination. When going to the JR Olympics last year I saw 15yr old kids picking up shotguns in Colorado and upon returning to Nashville. They are fairly laid back if you are.

    Use a lockable case, the shorter the better, long cases tend to hang off the carts that they drive like race cars. I like the ones that have a bar that slides through and lock on the end.

    Southwest limits you to a few pounds of ammo, you can pack about 5 boxes of 12 ga. and be fine. I take tools chokes and replacement parts in the case. Just remember you can't take any parts chokes etc. in your carry on. If you do be prepared to miss your flight.

    Tony
     
  10. bluebobbysue

    bluebobbysue TS Member

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    So has anyone flew out of Wichita or Las Vegas? I am leaning toward Allegiant Air.
     
  11. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    I've flown several times with guns, always on Skywest/Delta to San Antonio or Spokane. Perhaps it is a little easier where the TSA folks have seen people flying with guns before, but I have never had problems. At SAT the guns always come off the plane separately from the regular baggage and are delivered to the Delta luggage counter where I show my baggage claim tickets to pick it up. I think at GEG it came off with the oversize luggage. At PIH it comes off with the regular luggage.

    I have never had a hassle with it yet. I just declare at the counter that I have an unloaded firearm. They give me the orange card to sign. At PIH they call the airport police over to inspect it, and then ask me to lock it. At SAT and GEG they call the TSA folks to do it. I have never had a problem with a tube of hinge lube in the case.

    Do not attempt to take loose ammo along. I had a round or two in my shell case pocket one time at PIH, and the TSA folks had me take it back out and lock it in my vehicle. As was said earlier, many airlines now charge for a second checked bag, including Delta, but that is waived for their frequent fliers. I took my wife along to the SW Grand last month, and we had one suitcase apiece, plus two guns. We had no problems at all, and were not charged extra even though I have Medallion status on Delta and she does not.

    The only other advice I'd give is to allow a little extra time for check-in. Also direct flights are nicer if you can get them, but the first time I went to SAT I used frequent flyer miles and had to accept what they offered. I went from Pocatello to Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Houston to San Antonio, with two changes of plane and barely enough time in Atlanta to make it from one terminal to the next. My gun made it with me, no problems.
     
  12. Buddy O

    Buddy O TS Member

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    I've flown to & from Las Vegas with guns & never have had a problem. Check in early, as the lines are very long.
     
  13. K80433SC

    K80433SC Member

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    Much of my earlier post centered around the basic "do's & dont's" of flying, as they would pertain to most air travel with firearms. Since you specifically mentioned Allegiant Air, I will tell you that I have flown them on more-than-one occasion, and have had absolutely NO problems.

    I actually purchased my K80 at the Florida State Shoot in 2006, and flew it back home along with a KS5 and a Browning Citori. The guns were combined to fit into 2 gun cases. Coupled with my suitcase, I now had three checked bags. For the extra checked bag, I paid an additional $25. I'm sure that today's charges for additional baggage have escalated ; that is something you can verify by calling the airline.
     
  14. Fast Oil

    Fast Oil TS Member

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    If I could make a suggestion to those that "ship" their guns to an event.

    Have your shipper (fedx UPS etc) make & pay for a return shipping document for after the shoot so that when you are ready to leave all "you" have to do is place the label on. This saves the Club a lot of work.

    There are different Fedx divisions (ground, air) and one does not pick up for the other. Call tickets work but as above with many packages going out after an event, it's hard to know what goes by who.

    Scott
     
  15. primed

    primed Well-Known Member

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    I suggest that you do NOT FLY INTO LAUGHLIN with guns. There is one ticketing and check in company only. When I checked in for my flight, I declared that my checked luggage contained an unloaded firearm. They told me they had to have it's unloaded condition verified. I offered to show them but they declined and said that it was their policy to call the local Bullhead City police and have them send an officer to verify that it was unloaded. That only took one hour. After it was verified, the bag went to TSA for screening. They do not have any xray screening, it is all done by hand. Every piece of luggage is opened and searched. It was more trouble than it was worth.

    Good luck

    Bob
     
  16. EuroJoe

    EuroJoe TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I fly alot on various airlines. TSA doesn't limit weight of ammo, but the airlines do: 11 lbs. 4 boxes of pigeon loads,.It's not worth it for 4 boxes, better off buying at the shoot.
    You must use a lockable, hard case, keyed or combination lock, or both. The trick is to hide it in your luggage bag, still declare it, but conceal the fact from the baggage handlers, who might steal anything that looks like a guncase.
    Weight is a problem, now limited to 50#, down from 75#. You're better off paying $25 for overweight, than revealing a guncase to potential thieves.
    Beretta, Orvis, and others offer large duffle bags with compartments underneath for cases, but make sure you have NO ammo in same bag.
     
  17. bluebobbysue

    bluebobbysue TS Member

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    Do you have a website where I can find a duffle bag that I can fit a 32 and 34 inch barrel into?
     
  18. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    I use a large Alu. Amercase with a sliding steel rod that can be locked. I also have my name, address, and phone painted on the outside. The dummies at the counter always want to inspect, even though many don't know if a shotgun is in two parts when they see it. Have nothing else in the case. Have the gun insured to the max. Take those piece's of advice, for sure. Save yourself a lot of hassel and buy your shells when you get to where you're going.
     
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