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Old 05-27-2009, 02:15 AM
RolexBenz190E RolexBenz190E is offline
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Default Declaring a firearm in airport baggage...

Hi, Im from Arizona and I'm new to the forum. I am going to fly to CA for a wedding and then going to fly to VA right afterwards. I can't carry my firearm in CA, I know that. But I do have reciprocity in VA with my AZ CCW.

I was wondering if I am able to declare my firearm on a flight thats headed to CA and how I would do that legally.

I want to be able to carry while I'm in VA and unfortunately I'm not going to go back to AZ after the wedding in CA to pick up my firearm.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:47 AM
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Yes you can fly to CA with firearms. Unloaded, magazines out and in a TSA approved hard sided locked case. You must declare your firearm at luggage check-in, but you do not need to declare your ammunition. It's all explained here on the TSA website.

TSA: Traveling with Special Items

Also check with your airline to see if they have any additional rules.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:21 AM
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While in California keep your hand gun in a locked container with the ammunition in a separate location. You may use your hand gun while in a hotel room or private residence for personal protection. However while transporting it must be in that locked container.

spc
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:37 AM
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Maybe you could ship it from AZ to VA?
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by paul0660 View Post
Maybe you could ship it from AZ to VA?
Shipping firearms (especially handguns) is very tightly regulated and in general, unless you're shipping it to a Federally-licensed firearms dealer, not legal. I wouldn't recommend that.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:27 PM
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Shipping firearms (especially handguns) is very tightly regulated and in general, unless you're shipping it to a Federally-licensed firearms dealer, not legal. I wouldn't recommend that.
+1 Bad idea! Follow TSA guidlines & you'll be OK.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:17 PM
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I have flown many times with handguns.

Firearm and magazines unloaded in a locked hard shell case. This can be any hard case that can be locked. The one a lot of handguns come in from the manufacture, if it can be locked works nice.

These work very nice too becasue they don't take up a lot of room in your suitcase.

In Car Gun Safe

Other than that I always put the ammunition in a factory box. OUTSIDE the locked case but in the suitcase.

Now put it all in your suitcase. When you get to the airport tell the counter agent you need to declare an UNLOADED firearm in your checked baggage. They will hand you a bright orange card that says unloaded firearm. You sign and date it.

Now is when it gets interesting. In most cases they will want to check to see if the firearm is unloaded. Leaving slide open on semi autos is handy. Face case towards them (helps block what you are doing) and open it, I usually lift handgun so they can see into the ejection port, I even sometimes stick my finger into the chamber to prove it is indeed unloaded. Now I lock case and they will hand you the Orange paper to set on top of the case in your suitcase. Sometimes they will tape Orange card to the case.

Get your suitcase all zipped up and then I put an additional (TSA approved) lock on the outer suitcase.

Only variations I have seen is at some airports I have been directed to a TSA office to check my bag and verify firearm is unloaded. Some airlines at certain airports want you to go to their over-sized luggage check in counter.

Either way it is not THAT big a deal.

Also if you travel with your handgun unloaded in the locked case while in California, you will have no issues with local laws.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:32 PM
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+1 to BONOVOX! An added advantage to the COM or Secure-It case is the steel cable that comes with it. The cable can be wrapped around the supports of the luggage making it a bit more secure in the bag and less likely to "walk off."
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonoVox View Post
I have flown many times with handguns.

Firearm and magazines unloaded in a locked hard shell case. This can be any hard case that can be locked. The one a lot of handguns come in from the manufacture, if it can be locked works nice.

These work very nice too becasue they don't take up a lot of room in your suitcase.

In Car Gun Safe

Other than that I always put the ammunition in a factory box. OUTSIDE the locked case but in the suitcase.

Now put it all in your suitcase. When you get to the airport tell the counter agent you need to declare an UNLOADED firearm in your checked baggage. They will hand you a bright orange card that says unloaded firearm. You sign and date it.

Now is when it gets interesting. In most cases they will want to check to see if the firearm is unloaded. Leaving slide open on semi autos is handy. Face case towards them (helps block what you are doing) and open it, I usually lift handgun so they can see into the ejection port, I even sometimes stick my finger into the chamber to prove it is indeed unloaded. Now I lock case and they will hand you the Orange paper to set on top of the case in your suitcase. Sometimes they will tape Orange card to the case.

Get your suitcase all zipped up and then I put an additional (TSA approved) lock on the outer suitcase.

Only variations I have seen is at some airports I have been directed to a TSA office to check my bag and verify firearm is unloaded. Some airlines at certain airports want you to go to their over-sized luggage check in counter.

Either way it is not THAT big a deal.

Also if you travel with your handgun unloaded in the locked case while in California, you will have no issues with local laws.
Very well explained. I have travelled twice with my CCW firearm via plane and it went very much as explained above. Each time I did however need to get it hand inspected by a TSA agent at a location other than the ticket counter. Each time it only added 10 - 20 minutes to my experience.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:13 PM
derringer derringer is offline
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Should the locks on the locked firearms case also be TSA locks? Once it is determined the firearm is unloaded and the luggage is checked, do they still have authority to open the firearms case?
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonoVox View Post
I have flown many times with handguns.

Firearm and magazines unloaded in a locked hard shell case. This can be any hard case that can be locked. The one a lot of handguns come in from the manufacture, if it can be locked works nice.

These work very nice too becasue they don't take up a lot of room in your suitcase.

In Car Gun Safe

Other than that I always put the ammunition in a factory box. OUTSIDE the locked case but in the suitcase.

Now put it all in your suitcase. When you get to the airport tell the counter agent you need to declare an UNLOADED firearm in your checked baggage. They will hand you a bright orange card that says unloaded firearm. You sign and date it.

Now is when it gets interesting. In most cases they will want to check to see if the firearm is unloaded. Leaving slide open on semi autos is handy. Face case towards them (helps block what you are doing) and open it, I usually lift handgun so they can see into the ejection port, I even sometimes stick my finger into the chamber to prove it is indeed unloaded. Now I lock case and they will hand you the Orange paper to set on top of the case in your suitcase. Sometimes they will tape Orange card to the case.

Get your suitcase all zipped up and then I put an additional (TSA approved) lock on the outer suitcase.

Only variations I have seen is at some airports I have been directed to a TSA office to check my bag and verify firearm is unloaded. Some airlines at certain airports want you to go to their over-sized luggage check in counter.

Either way it is not THAT big a deal.

Also if you travel with your handgun unloaded in the locked case while in California, you will have no issues with local laws.
Hey, good info. I will be traveling w/handgun in August...thanks for sharing your experince!
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:59 PM
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Gr8Xfatman Gr8Xfatman is offline
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The TSA website does not specify the use of TSA approved locks.

The container must be locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from access by anyone other than you. Cases that can be pulled open with little effort do not meet this criterion. The pictures provided here illustrate the difference between a properly packaged and an improperly packaged firearm.
We recommend that you provide the key or combination to the security officer if he or she needs to open the container. You should remain present during screening to take the key back after the container is cleared. If you are not present and the security officer must open the container, we or the airline will make a reasonable attempt to contact you. If we can't contact you, the container will not be placed on the plane. Federal regulations prohibit unlocked gun cases (or cases with broken locks) on aircraft.

I use TSA approved padlocks just because. As far as them opening the case after inspection & approval, I don't now. You should have the only key on your person, sohow could they?
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:42 PM
Qlo Qlo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spc View Post
While in California keep your hand gun in a locked container with the ammunition in a separate location. You may use your hand gun while in a hotel room or private residence for personal protection. However while transporting it must be in that locked container.

spc
Just a question. Is a California handgun safety certificate required to own and operate a handgun legally in California (PC 12071)? Or does it only apply to state residents and out of state visitors are exempt?
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by derringer View Post
Should the locks on the locked firearms case also be TSA locks? Once it is determined the firearm is unloaded and the luggage is checked, do they still have authority to open the firearms case?
No. Only you can have the key or combination to those locks. If they need it opened, they have to get you.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:15 PM
derringer derringer is offline
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Thankyou, gr8fatman and Gimper. That's good to know I can rest easy, not imagining the TSA guys playing cops and robbers with my piece and dropping it when I wasn't looking I guess the only downside of using personal locks on the gun case is that the luggage wouldn't get on the plane if the TSA ever wanted to re-open the case and you "couldn't be found". That would suck big time, to be at your destination and not be able to have your luggage forwarded to you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fatman View Post
I use TSA approved padlocks just because. As far as them opening the case after inspection & approval, I don't now. You should have the only key on your person, sohow could they?
The purpose of the TSA lock is that the inspectors also have the keys. You certainly do NOT have the "only key"! Each lock is stamped with the TSA key number so they know which one to use.

Last edited by derringer : 05-27-2009 at 10:27 PM.
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