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gauchobill
Advanced Member

1034 Posts

Posted - May 14 2017 :  3:06:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My wife and I are flying to Atlanta in the coming week for granddaughter's high school graduation. Georgia has reciprocity with my home state of Florida. I never travel unarmed in Atlanta, usually driving up there.

I read TSA rules to say you must declare to the airline agent that the gun is "locked in a hard container" in checked baggage (unloaded condition). My concern is whether the hard plastic box in which the gun left the factory satisfies the requirement of "hard container". Most have one or more holes which will take a padlock.

Your own experiences with this requirement would be appreciated.

Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5020 Posts

Posted - May 14 2017 :  3:17:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Contact the particular airline, they should be willing to help. Plus there are a number of inexpensive but fairly solid metal lock boxes available; just do the Googly thing for 'Firearm Lockboxes'. Should be able to get one for under $50 that would suffice for air travel---won't keep out a determined thief, but if they're gonna steal it out of your luggage, they'd have time to pop open a solid titanium, triple-locked, concrete-encased one-gun safe, even if you wrapped it in duct tape. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4311 Posts

Posted - May 14 2017 :  3:18:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Last time I flew with a gun, the desk agent for the airlines was about to not allow my padlocked Pelican plastic box (made expressly for that purpose); b/c she was able to just barely pry the two haves of the box apart-- though not enough to get the gun out--- while it was locked. (That was because I'd locked it with those wire-loop type 'airline-friendly' type padlocks). Luckily her supervisor came over and told her to let it go.

I do believe you want to padlock it--- or any luggage for that matter--- with those airline-friendly padlocks that allow the airlines people to open them if they want to inspect the contents of your bag.

Coincidentally (?) on that same flight, the airlines opened and inspected my other checked bag; and left a note telling me they'd done so. I hadn't realized they were legally allowed to do that....


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 14 2017 3:27:58 PM
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Evan
Administrator

34096 Posts

Posted - May 14 2017 :  8:34:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I always print out both the TSA and specific carrier I'm flying on and put a hard copy in my lap top bag. I never ask anything. I simply tell them I have unloaded firearms and I need the form.

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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esq_stu
Senior Member

USA
907 Posts

Posted - May 14 2017 :  8:47:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Per TSA's websitePer TSA's website
quote:
*Declare each firearm each time you present it for transport as checked baggage. Ask your airline about limitations or fees that may apply.
*Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock.


In my personal experience flying dozens of times with a pistol checked in luggage::
Use any lockable gun case with a lock (built in or padlock) on it that only you can open. Lock it. Place this inside a suitcase with a TSA lock on the suitcase. I use a zipper closed wheeled suitcase withe a TSA lock on the zipper.

"Ms Gate Agent, I am declaring a firearm in my checked bag. Please inspect it. May I have a declaration form to enclose with my gun (if it isn't offered)?"

Open it for the agent if requested. Sign the declaration that it is unloaded and enclose the declaration in the suitcase outside the gun case.

Pack ammo separately inside the suitcase and in ammo manufacturer ammo boxes or in MTM-type Case Guards or in magazines or speed loaders inside a box or container to keep the ammo from popping out loose in the suitcase. I put a couple of loaded mags mag belt pouches in an interior pocket of the suitcase. Offer to show the agent the ammo as well.

I always wait at the check-in counter for a little while. About half the time I get paged to see TSA and open the case for their inspection as well.

On one occasion, TSA demanded that I give them the combo rather than open the case for them. Arguing with TSA, my copy of the TSA rules in hand, that it is against the TSA rules to give them the key or combo was a mistake. I was met with some real hostility. Whatever.

On one occasion (in CA), the check-in agent barely spoke English. I told her I was declaring a firearm and she just smiled and nodded. I asked for a supervisor. Never just let it go - TSA will check for the declaration.

I've used plastic cases with NON-TSA padlocks and steel cases with combo locks. My favorite is a V-Line because I can lock it with a cable in various places when I cannot carry.

Kol Tuv (All the best!)

-- esq_stu


Edited by - esq_stu on May 14 2017 9:03:35 PM
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1668 Posts

Posted - May 14 2017 :  11:45:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
ESQ gave some great advice.

Briefly:

1. The box your gun came in from the manufacturer is acceptable if hard sided and lockable. Having said that, a more robust and non-descript (no gun logos) locking case is advised in case your luggage breaks open and all your stuff comes out in dribs and drabs on the conveyor belt over the couse of twenty or thirty yards (ask me how I know);

2. Clearly mark the exterior of your locking box with name and contact phone number, in case of 1.), above;

3. Do NOT put a TSA lock on the gun box. These are OK for your luggage, but not the gun box itself;

4. Never let your bag go without a Firearms Declaration inside. Don't let the airline put any external markings on your luggage that a firearm is inside because that violates federal law. This is currently an issue with Delta Airlines, BTW--they are placing a "Check And Give Protection To" (CAGPT) sticker on the outside, and in some cases are also putting a large zip tie around the bag to make it more difficult for you to open your bag within the non-sterile part of the airport. Both of these signal to people in the know that a firearm is inside;

5. You can actually check the firearm in a hard-sided, lockable, luggage and skip the separate locking gun box (think: Pelican Case). The lockable gun box inside is only a requirement if you're putting it in soft-sided luggage;

6. Most carriers restrict you to 11 pounds of ammo--keep this in mind if going to a class. Ammo can be in factory packaging of cardboard, styrofoam, etc, or in a plastic box made for it. Do not put it in a magazine.

Mike
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1668 Posts

Posted - May 14 2017 :  11:50:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Almost forgot:

7. It's highly recommended to cable lock or chain lock your locking box to the metal frame of the onside of your luggage. This protects you from 1.) above, and also from employees with sticky fingers.

Mike
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oldmuleskinner
Senior Member

788 Posts

Posted - May 14 2017 :  11:55:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From my experience, ESQ and Ten Driver laid it out well. I have never been hassled, but have been called to open my luggage and gun case several times. I do like the idea of using a cable lock to secure the gun case inside my luggage.

Each of us is an innkeeper, and we decide if there is room for Jesus.
Neal A. Maxwell
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gauchobill
Advanced Member

1034 Posts

Posted - May 15 2017 :  06:17:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks all of you!
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Michael Shovel
Starting Member

USA
40 Posts

Posted - May 15 2017 :  06:29:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I purchased a small lockable metal gun case for $30. I always check it in properly and have never been called back by TSA. I've probably traveled with ffirearms checked in my bag over 100 times since 911. Follow the rules and notify the gate agent and you shouldn't have any issues.

Mike Shovel
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4311 Posts

Posted - May 15 2017 :  06:55:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oldmuleskinner

From my experience, ESQ and Ten Driver laid it out well. I have never been hassled, but have been called to open my luggage and gun case several times. I do like the idea of using a cable lock to secure the gun case inside my luggage.


+ 1

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 15 2017 07:27:09 AM
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esq_stu
Senior Member

USA
907 Posts

Posted - May 15 2017 :  5:10:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ten Driver

Almost forgot:

7. It's highly recommended to cable lock or chain lock your locking box to the metal frame of the onside of your luggage. This protects you from 1.) above, and also from employees with sticky fingers.

Mike

Good point. That is how I use my V-Line lock box when I bring it - I use the cable and lock it to the suitcase. When the telescoping handle of the wheelie bag runs through the inside of the case you may be able to put the cable around it.

Kol Tuv (All the best!)

-- esq_stu

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gauchobill
Advanced Member

1034 Posts

Posted - May 16 2017 :  06:47:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good point. Again, Thanks!!
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bso900p
Average Member

USA
366 Posts

Posted - May 18 2017 :  10:22:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
FL to GA.... drive with no hassle.
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gauchobill
Advanced Member

1034 Posts

Posted - May 21 2017 :  6:00:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just returned from my 4 day visit to Atlanta. Carried a Sig 229 .40cal. with 3 empty magazines and a full box of Federal HST 165gr HP in a plastic box the 229 came in when originally purchased. Positions for 2 locks so I locked both with identical key locks. Leaving RSW the ticketing agent looked at the TSA form and gave it back to me. When I picked up the luggage in ATL it wasn't placed on the carousel and I was instructed to pick it up at the Delta Special Service luggage counter---no problem there, and it had been strapped with large black zip-lock ties.

Upon returning to RSW today, same procedure and result. The Delta employee commented that the heavy plastic straps were added to requirement to make it difficult to open the container, retrieve and load the gun, as done in Ft. Lauderdale recently. Having just come through the TSA "clean" environment you will not have cutting tools with which to remove the heavy plastic zip ties.
Had no problems of any kind with TSA or Delta employees other than certifying that the gun was not loaded (signing a card form to that effect). At checkin I was referred to a special check-in counter for the Delta employee to require me to open the gun case for a visual inspection although they didn't touch the gun, magazines, or box of ammo and, further, to sign the certification.
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5020 Posts

Posted - May 21 2017 :  8:59:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am hoping to never have to fly anywhere ever again; but if I do, I will have to figure out a way to have something in my carry-on bag that will let me cut that zip tie if they put one on my checked bag. I'll cut it there, and give it back to them to do with whatever they do with old zip ties.

Will you come visit me in jail? Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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Charlie Foxtrot
Junior Member

203 Posts

Posted - May 21 2017 :  10:08:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ace

I am hoping to never have to fly anywhere ever again; but if I do, I will have to figure out a way to have something in my carry-on bag that will let me cut that zip tie if they put one on my checked bag. I'll cut it there, and give it back to them to do with whatever they do with old zip ties.

Will you come visit me in jail? Ace



I was just on the TSA website where you can search for allowable items. Multi-tools without blades are permitted on aircraft (carry on). Many multi-tools have pliers with wire cutters. That "should" be allowable, but the TSA website also mentions that the final decision is made by the TSA Officer.

Good Luck, and to answer your question, No, I will not visit you in jail.
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1668 Posts

Posted - May 22 2017 :  1:00:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GB, did you also have the CAGPT sticker on your bag, as I addressed in 4, above?

The zip ties are a Delta policy, not a legal requirement. You can cut them off immediately in their presence, Ace, and not suffer any consequences. That's what I'd do, too. A razor blade placed in the outside pocket of your CHECKED bag should do the trick, but if you forgot that, you can always use a shoelace.
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gauchobill
Advanced Member

1034 Posts

Posted - May 22 2017 :  2:06:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, indeed, TD, the CAGPT sticker was placed on the bag. The Delta person I spoke with after retrieving my luggage at RSW told me the large zip ties were required by TSA; I am not surprised that they would lay it off on TSA. I agree that the zip ties are a tip-off as to the contents of the bag, as is the CAGPT sticker.

The zip ties on the return trip were so loose I just pulled them off and discarded them. On the ATL end of the trip the zip ties were so tight they could only be cut off.
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1668 Posts

Posted - May 22 2017 :  2:24:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, that's incorrect--zip ties are not a TSA requirement, just a Delta policy. They're the only ones doing it. Same with CAGPT, which is basically a "steal me" sticker
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oldmuleskinner
Senior Member

788 Posts

Posted - May 22 2017 :  3:35:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dang...I'm flying Delta to Cincinnati next month. I'll be taking four handguns with me...one for the wife and the others for me. I've never had a problem in the past.

Each of us is an innkeeper, and we decide if there is room for Jesus.
Neal A. Maxwell
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4311 Posts

Posted - May 22 2017 :  3:56:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ten Driver

Yes, that's incorrect--zip ties are not a TSA requirement, just a Delta policy. They're the only ones doing it. Same with CAGPT, which is basically a "steal me" sticker


Good reason not to fly Delta if you have a choice.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4311 Posts

Posted - May 22 2017 :  3:59:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oldmuleskinner

Dang...I'm flying Delta to Cincinnati next month. I'll be taking four handguns with me...one for the wife and the others for me. I've never had a problem in the past.


It may depend on the individual Delta employee who happens to be there.

I don't know if it might be worth your while to contact Delta ahead of time, explain to them why you don't want your bag zip-tied and stickered, and see if you can get them to agree not to--- in writing.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 22 2017 4:09:24 PM
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4311 Posts

Posted - May 22 2017 :  4:08:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ten Driver

Yes, that's incorrect--zip ties are not a TSA requirement, just a Delta policy. They're the only ones doing it. Same with CAGPT, which is basically a "steal me" sticker


And I'm guessing that even though it's their policy and not the law, that Delta may be legally entitled to refuse to carry your bags if you don't conform to their rules.

And whether it's legal or not, they're holding all the cards at that point: they've already got your money, and probably don't care whether you fly or not.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 22 2017 4:09:45 PM
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4311 Posts

Posted - May 22 2017 :  4:20:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oldmuleskinner

Dang...I'm flying Delta to Cincinnati next month. I'll be taking four handguns with me...one for the wife and the others for me. I've never had a problem in the past.


Hey, I've got it! You can resist their policy--- and become the first test case!

When they refuse to deviate from their silly rules, start waving your cellphone around, talking in a loud voice, making a huge fuss, and recording everything that happens--- right up to the moment when the airport police come and drag you away kicking and screaming.

I'm thinking you'll have a good chance of making the nightly news--- scuffles on airplanes seem to be popular at the moment--- and bringing this issue to the attention of the public at large. Otherwise, Delta's just gonna keep on trampling on the rights of gun owners. As they're booking you, keep reminding yourself: you're doing this for all of us!

And who knows... you may even end up sharing a cell with Ace....


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 22 2017 4:39:19 PM
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oldmuleskinner
Senior Member

788 Posts

Posted - May 22 2017 :  8:32:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow...I've always wanted to be on the front page of National News. Maybe this will be my big chance!

Thanks for the idea Bill!

Each of us is an innkeeper, and we decide if there is room for Jesus.
Neal A. Maxwell
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