Flying With A Firearm

I’ll be flying for work in a week or two, and I’ll be going to a state that honors my concealed handgun license.

Any tips for a smooth trip? This will be my first time flying with a firearm. I’ve read up on the TSA regulations already.

6 thoughts on “Flying With A Firearm

  1. I am assuming you already have a case, lockable and that the lock cannot be opened by anybody, even TSA. The original gun case is not good in most cases because it can be easily pried open by a corner and the airline will balk. Even a cheap document box from Wally World will work.

    Print both TSA and airline’s regulation concerning firearms and have them with you.

    Use the cable lock that came with the gun and run it through the magwell and the ejection port. It will show that the gun is unloaded and will eliminate the need for TSA to manipulate the gun to see if it is unloaded.

    At the counter say with a clear tone of voice (yet not loud) “I need to declare a firearm.” Don’t say gun in case the counter person is easily scared.

    There should be no tag attached by the airline to the outside of your luggage that makes it “Special” as in “Gun Inside.” It is illegal for the airline to do so.

    If the counter person starts giving you troubles with imaginary regulations not in the printouts, politely request a supervisor or manager.

    Do keep the ammo in a separate box, preferably in its original packaging. Magazines should be empty just to avoid arguments with counter person or TSA.

    A TSA Agent may come to check the gun. If so, you are set for the trip. If not, you may be asked to stay near the TSA super-duper-secret area where they keep the x-ray machine for a period of 15-20 minutes in case they need to open your luggage. If the time p-asses and nobody calls you, you can proceed to your gate.

    9 to 1 you will not have any problems at all.

  2. I’ve flown several times with pistols to rifles and would recommend investing in a good pelican case (Fry’s has them at a good price, GT’s also has them).

    You can take it one step beyond Miguel’s recommendation and separate the slide from the frame. Depending on the airport they may or may not as to inspect the package. Each airport is different, arrive early and be patient. DIA is slow, AUS won’t touch the firearm, SFO hyperventilated. On that note, don’t permit airline personnel to handle the firearm, request a qualified TSA agent.

  3. I’ve got a Gunvault Nanovault 300 that I was thinking of using to hold my firearm in my luggage. Saw somewhere online a recommendation to use the security cable, and loop that through the frame of the suitcase. Meaning, I would need to make a small cut in the fabric to wrap the cable around the aluminum housing that contains the handle when retracted.

  4. Keep in mind any ammunition you’ll be taking with you will also need to be in the locked case, inside “packaging intended for the shipping of ammunition.”

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