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Hi Folks, I know many of you have answered questions on here about flying to shoots with trap guns. I apologize for not paying attention, but I never considered flying with a gun until now!

My wife and I are considering flying to Florida where I would like to shoot the Dixie Grand. I have a heavy break-down case with the Remington name on it, but the only locks on it are combination locks. Will TSA accept this?

Any other tips would be appreciated. Thanks, Martinpicker (Jack)
 

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The airlines are brutal to gun cases. I have had very good luck using a Cabelas "bullet proof" aluminum takedown case. It has survived 7 round trips to North Dakota. It looks like hell now but my gun has survived with no problem and the case is still functional. fwiw, I would not trust a plastic gun case to the airlines and I do not believe combination locks are enough. My case has a stainless locking rod that goes through all 4 latches and is secured with a padlock. Jess
 

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When you travel with firearms you MUST NOT USE TSA approved locks - they will scrutinize the bag a bit extra at check-in (you will need to stick around in case they want to look inside), but other than that NO ONE should be able to gain access to the case but you.

Double check with the airline as to their firearms policy - There is Federal stuff (check out the TSA web site), but each airline has a different policy - some will NOT carry firearms.

Will you travel with ammo or pick it up in FLA? - you may only carry 11 lbs per person - and it must go in each individual's bag - cannot combine ammo for two people in one bag. Also, it must be packed a certain way - basically in the original box, or one specifically made for ammo - no loose shells, no rounds loaded in magazines (if you were to carry a pistol).

I have three Pelican cases (different sizes) and travel often with firearms - do not use fiber cases or cheap plastic ones, aluminum cases are marginally OK, but will get beaten up quickly. I have found the heavy plastic of the Pelicans to be the best.
 

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TSA specifically tells you to NOT use locks that can be opened by a third party (i.e., TSA approved locks)

They recently changed their website so it is less clear, but read between the lines:

"Travelers 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 they need your key to open the case - that means they have no key that will open it. If they can't open it, and cannot find you the case will be turned over to local police authority to be dealt with - it will not fly with you.

It has less to do with TSA as it does to potential access to the case through the rest of the shipping process.

I have seen cases denied acceptance because they were locked with 'TSA approved locks.'

Do your homework before you fly with firearms. Don't be afraid to print out and carry with you the rules you will be flying under (both federal and the specific airline). Often the person you are dealing with will not know the actual rules that govern firearms transport.
 
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martinpicker,

After you decide what case to buy you might consider doing the following.

On my case I stenciled "Property Of Peoria Symphony Orchestra" It makes the case look less like a gun case and more like a musical instrument case.. Just make sure that what ever city you select, they don't have a symphony orchestra. You don't want somebody in the airport asking if you know his buddy who place the cello.

As a LEO told me once, stealing is not a good way to make a living. These guys are usually not too smart.
 

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RE: I have seen cases denied acceptance because they were locked with 'TSA approved locks.'

The last time I asked TSA about locks I received this;

Thank you for your e-mail about using Transportation Security Administration (TSA)-recognized locks to secure firearm cases.

Passengers may use TSA-recognized locks to secure firearm cases. However, TSA does not recommend or endorse any specific brand or type of lock to use on firearm containers.

------------

Could you provide dates, times, and airports where you seen cases denied acceptance because they were locked with 'TSA approved locks, as I'm getting ready to fire off a letter to the TSA to confirm they have made a policy change in regard to locks as I don't read between the lines when it comes to federal regulations.

Thanks
 

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Joe,

I fly often in and out of Philadelphia (based here). I travel with firearms roughly 6 ~ 10 times per year, much of this is international.

The TSA specifically stated about two ~ three years ago that one should NOT use TSA approved locks on firearms cases. There remains the risk of third party entry into the case.

The problem today is the actual agent(s) you are dealing with - when they were trained - and their personal exposure to firearms. While I do not disagree with the info you provide I have seen people being denied carriage on firearms cases when using TSA locks (Philadelphia, don't remember which - either LA or San Fran, and Milwaukee). Remember these locks tend to be flimsy and easy to defeat.

With these TSA locks in mind you may, in theory run afoul of BATFE in that you are technically allowing third party access to your firearms - this is a gray area, but I would not wish to be the test case.
 

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Use an old-fashion MASTER LOCK!!!!

No TSA locks on gun-cases, they have no reason going into your case once it is signed-off at the check-in.

Get a Pelican, nothing else comes close.

SW
 

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Combination locks are ok, you need to have at least 2 of them close to the corners of the case. 1 combo lock in the middle and a 2 non locking latches is not acceptable especially if the corner of the case can be lifted and the agent can reach inside.

I am not familiar with the Remington case, if it is soft plastic, I would get a Pelican case.

My understanding of flying with ammo is 11 pound per bag is allowed. So if your wife has 2 bags and you 1 bag plus your gun you can have 12 boxes of 12 ga target ammo. Unless you have very specific ammo that you like, I would purchase the ammo in Florida.

When you check in you need to declare that you have an unloaded firearm in your check in bag. I suggest that you do not have snap caps in the chamber(s), because something in the chamber implies that it is loaded to the uneducated. An Airline agent will ask you to sign a declaration that is to be placed in the gun case. Lock the case after placing the declaration in the case. Either you or an airline agent will take the gun case to TSA. Follow your case and stick around in the event that TSA wants to look inside the case, because only you should have the key and/or combination to the locks. Some times they just X-ray the case or swab the outside and send it on. Other times they ask that the case be opened and they swab the inside.

Jason
 

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RESPONSE FROM TSA (9:38 AM - Dec 29, 2013)


Thank you for your e-mail regarding travel with firearms using Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - recognized locks.


On flights that originate in the United States, passengers may 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.


Travelers may use any kind or type of lock for securing firearm cases, including TSA - recognized locks. However, TSA does not recommend or endorse any specific brand or type of lock to use on firearm containers.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The Remington case is a hard shell break-down luggage type case with two combination locks...one on each end. The inside of the case is part permanent and part moveable pieces of foam. The outside is covered with a canvas type fabric with metal reinforced corners.

Since I obviously don't do this often, I was hoping to avoid the purchase of a new case, especially since I don't care for break down cases for regular day use.

One more point...I have decided that if I go, I will just take my old 1976 Citori Trap. That way I would be sure it would be covered by the $1,000 insurance!

Thanks to all for your input. I will be checking back for further tips. By the way, do any of you have a ball park price for a Pelican case? Thanks, Jack
 

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another vote for Pelican Cases....they're guaranteed against everything except a shark attack.
 

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waverider,

Be careful, as read TSA guidelines allow 5 Kg/11 Lbs per person, not per bag.

I know of no airline that will allow more than 5 Kg/11 Lbs per passenger.
 
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