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TSA/Delta opened gun case

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by PAR8HED, Jun 19, 2012.

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  1. PAR8HED

    PAR8HED Member

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    Greetings, I'm posting this just to relate my experience yesterday. That said, I wouldn't mind hearing suggestions for the future. I flew home to Minneapolis yesterday after spending the weekend at Keystone for the Perazzi Grand Prix. My route of travel was from Harrisburg, PA via Detroit to Minneapolis. Check-in at Harrisburg was fairly normal. Sign the card, put it in the gun case, lock the case and take it to TSA for the x-ray check. Due to weather issues, my flights were all delayed or missed connections and I didn't get home until midnight. When I picked up the gun case from Delta baggage, again normal procedure, I immediately noticed the lock was missing.

    I immediately notified the Delta supervisor of the issue and we did an inspection of the gun case. Thankfully, everything was there. I filed a complaint with Delta and surprisingly they have been very proactive in this. I think the magical phrase "firearm issue" motivates them. Today I've been on with Delta baggage and Delta security, both are working to find out what happened.

    On the flip side, MSP Airport Police and TSA especially have basically taken the attitude of "It's not our problem." The TSA agent at the airport last night admitted that he had no idea what to do about the problem. A phone call today got me no further.

    I'm being a little proactive on this for two reasons. First, it is my understanding of the CFRs that the owner of the firearm is to retain control over the lock and that the firearm can never be loaded onto the aircraft in an unsecure condition. Clearly that happened last night. Second, I want someone to look into what is clearly a security breach. Someone cut the lock, for what reason I may never know.

    In answer to the inevitable questions. The gun case is a Rhino case with a steel bar through the handles that was secured by a single key Master lock. This was NOT a TSA compatible lock and would have to have been cut in some manner. There was no damage to the case itself. In my opinion, had the case been a Pelican, I think it would have been forced open. I am also of the opinion that this happened in Detroit and not Harrisburg.

    Sorry for the long post, hope nobody else has to go through this.

    Harold Hitchcock
     
  2. shooter99

    shooter99 Well-Known Member

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    Good luck on finding out what happened. Hope it is not like "Fast and Furious" but it probably is, it is same government in charge.
     
  3. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    With my case I have locks on the case and a stainless steel plate to go around the case with a lock.

    I use the best lock I can get that a bolt cutter can't cut. Buy the best lock you can. SPEND THE MONEY at a good lock store. Not you hardware store but a lock store. They will have what you need.

    In FL I was coming back home and did the paper work in the case and was locking it back up. Some TSA offical said for me not to lock the case and to hand him the keys. I looked at him and locked the case up. I then said you have no right to ask for my keys or to have me leave my gun case unlocked and your not getting the keys. He said he has the right to open the case if he has to. If you need to open it I will be here once it goes through your X-ray. He wasn't happy at all but I stood my ground. The case went through the x-ray and I said WELL? He was not happy with the fact everything was fine. He said in an angry voice YEAH. I just smile and walked away. I know the rules and they don't like that.
     
  4. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    I recently had my dealings with TSA in Orlando. That is an agency, at least at Orlando, that is totally out of control. I had no problems with TSA in either Pittsburgh or Washington (Reagan) but the good dealings there were completely opposite in Orlando. Their actions prompted me to write to all three of my Federal Congress people.

    One thing that really set off the "How stupid are you?" alarm was when they decided my shaving cream was a potential explosive. This is the same shaving cream that made it through both Washington and Pittsburgh with no problems at all. Once Orlando TSA took it, the agent threw it with such force into a about three foot high plastic trash container that it almost bounced out! I don't know about you, but my mind says if it might be explosive, TREAT IT WITH EXTREME CAUTION. I guess that just goes to show that he was either the world's biggest idiot and/or he knew it was not a problem but just wanted to show he could bully people around. I have to wonder if he dug it out afterwards to have some shaving cream to take home.
     
  5. EuroJoe

    EuroJoe TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I pack my guncase in the bottom compartment of a large duffel bag. If it doesn't look like a gun case, the criminals won't bother with it.
     
  6. cafowler

    cafowler Member

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    Harold,

    I had a similar situation coming home from a shoot in San Antonio a few years ago. Baggage handler brought my case out with no locks on it and only one clasp closed and some of the padding/towels hanging. He proceeded to tell me the rules required for a gun case I had obviously failed to follow. I explained I saw the case locked when TSA loaded it on the conveyor. I didn't loose either of the guns in the case, obviously they didn't find a $20k K-gun, only a $600 Gold auto.

    I was worked up also and dug into this. No-one and I mean no-body at TSA in any of the airports I traveled thru were contactable by phone. The TSA website lists a number in DC or someplace that had an answering machine on it. Never heard back from them. As your case travels the belts in the bowels of the airport, there are spots where the criminals can pull it off and work on it undetected. A year later when I was back in San Antonio I went and found someone from the airline to give a piece of my mind to, I was still hot a year later. They explained I was not the only one to have been hit a year prior. Due to the large shoots in SA, they now have camera survelance on all the baggae handling belts throughout the entire airport that are constantly monitored by an individual to avoid this. That's just one airport out of all of them in the country. I think you summed up the problem when you said you transfered planes in Detroit.

    I've never had any problem with my case at Reagan in DC or anywhere else beside SA. We did have a baggage handler leave a case on the ground outside the plane in Regina, SK a few years ago. Air Canada lost it twice in one day if you can believe that.

    Glad you didn't get ripped off, Rhino Joe builds a hell of a case.
     
  7. waverider

    waverider Well-Known Member

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    Seems like because of the missed connection and/or delays that TSA may have cut the lock to re-inspect the gun/case. Was there a TSA card in the case that stated that they opened the case?

    One time I checked in very early at our local airport connecting through San Francisco to Reno and they miss understood me. I just wanted to check in my bags early but still take the later flight. They changed my reservations to the earlier flight. I was called out of the holding area in San Francisco so they could re-inspect my gun case in front of me. This could be tied in with flying on the same flight as your luggage.

    If the TSA agent inspects you gun case in front of you, you could ask if they still put a sticker on the baggage tag signifying that the case has been manually inspected, if so ask the agent to please put the sticker. I know that they did in the past.

    Jason
     
  8. SongDogSniper

    SongDogSniper Member

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    Harold, et al,

    I found this for a friend of mine back in December when they had TSA issues last year returning from The Grand. Could help, maybe not, but it's worth a shot.

    "The NRA is looking for specific information on the treatment of the shooting community by airlines, airports and the TSA. Based on information to date there appear to be patterns at specific airports and with specific airlines. In order to clearly identify the airlines and airports that are doing it right and doing it wrong we need your help. We are asking competitive shooters because your community has some issues, interests and needs that differ from other gun owners.

    We need information on your experiences traveling with guns for competitive shooting events only – both good and bad. Specifically, we would like to know:

    - The airport where the experience occurred. - If your comments are about an airline identify the air carrier and if it was with counter personnel or baggage. - If the experience was with TSA. - If your experience was with local law enforcement or private airport security separate from TSA please identify the department or company to the best of your recollection.

    - In some instances more than one player may be involved so please separate what each participant did or did not do - be specific

    Again, we want both good and bad experiences.

    What we will & will not do with this information:

    - We will gather the information into a report. - We intend to use the report to attempt to correct poor performers and this is where the people who got it right are important. We want to be able to show airlines, airports and branches of TSA can do their jobs and respect our rights at the same time.

    - We will not put any personal information provided by you into the report but we need to be able to follow up and confirm what you tell us.

    - We cannot accept anonymous information. The strength of the final product will be in its verifiability.

    How to contact us

    E-mail: ILAlegal@nrahq.org

    Phone: (703) 267-1161

    Fax: (703) 267-1164

    Thank you for your consideration of this request. "
     

    Good Luck, I hope you get some answers.

    Gene
     
  9. DB Bill

    DB Bill Active Member

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    The only time I went thru Regan Airport with a firearm was almost a disaster.

    My combo double rifle/shotgun was being transported in a custom Americase with the receiver in one compartment, the rifle bbls with FE in the other and the shotgun barrels in a3rd section. It had a canvas cover with a small lock to hold it in place and the typical combo locks that Americase uses.

    When I told the clerk at the counter I was traveling with a firearm and needed to check it she stepped back and in a loud and frightened voice yelled "He has a gun! He has a gun" I don't know who was more scared -- the rookie security guard who had drawn his sidearm or me watching his hands shake.

    Took about 30 minutes to get things squared away - this was 8 or 9 years ago but havne't flown thru Reagan sinc.
     
  10. PAR8HED

    PAR8HED Member

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    Hi all,

    First, there was no "Hi, we searched your suitcase. Love TSA" card in the gun case. That was actually the first thing I looked for when I opened the case. Also, the firearms certification was still inside. If this was a "re-inspection" of my gun, I'm a little burned I wasn't contacted for the key.

    San Antonio used to be easy to get through. Last fall they were taking everyone off to their little secure room for an inspect and swab for explosives routine. The agent complained to me that it was causing problems because there were so many guns coming through that day. Well, it was the day after Fall Selection in Kerrville and we were just following their procedures.

    I did contact NRA-ILA about the travel experiences and I would recommend anyone who travels with firearms to do the same. I travel to around 5-7 shoots a year, so I had a few stories to relate. But that is for another thread on another day.

    Harold
     
  11. SevenMaryThree

    SevenMaryThree Member

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    I had a similar experience in DTW on my way back from Argentina. Never again.
     
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