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Thread: Locking gun cases (TSA approved or not)

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    Member fly_'s Avatar
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    Default Locking gun cases (TSA approved or not)

    I checked the TSA website and they indicate TSA approved locks are acceptable for firearms. However, the reviews for these locks are very poor which has me thinking is it easier to just use standard key locks? Probably should bring 2 extra in the carry on bag in case they get cut.

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    My experience in airports with the TSA approved locks is they don't mess with you as much on check thru. Granted maybe some bad dudes have master keys by now, but just a chance we all take. TSA approved cases sure do make check ins alot easier at airport security is all I can say. Don't matter what kinda lock you have anyway. The bad guys gonna get your gun anyway if he wants it....JMO
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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    BTW, get bubble wrap for all your lose stuff like the bolt and ammo and stuff inside the case, cuz if they open your case again after they do while your watching them the 1st time, at least you won't have metal against metal if they don't repack your gun case properly on a second check.
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    I've used both. The TSA locks ARE junk. I can easily break them with a quick twist. I now do exactly as us suggest and lock with real keyed locks and keep a spare set in the case. At least in Alaska, most TSA agents will just check your firearm case as you wait, and if they need to get in will just ask you for the key. I haven't had a set cut yet, and fly with firearms a dozen times a year.

    Yk

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    I've used both. The TSA locks ARE junk. I can easily break them with a quick twist. I now do exactly as us suggest and lock with real keyed locks and keep a spare set in the case. At least in Alaska, most TSA agents will just check your firearm case as you wait, and if they need to get in will just ask you for the key. I haven't had a set cut yet, and fly with firearms a dozen times a year.

    Yk
    Like I say, matters not what lock you have. The bad guys are gonna get your stuff if they want it. Locks are for honest people and you might as well get used to that. I'm just saying the TSA approved locks get you thru the airports alot easier.

    If your that worried about the locks, then get your guns insured for replacement value, then not a problem if you have a good insurance company that will take care of your loss quick. Especially if you need a gun like right now at the end of a flight to finish your hunting trip.
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default Do not use tsa locks!

    you are3 required to have them inspected before they head down the baggage shoot.. you will have to put that inspection sheet in the case..

    LOCK THE CASE WITH YOUR LOCKS AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE KEY ON YOU>. the inspection sheet requires this also.. but if you allow any TSA agent to open your case you may have them ALL OPENING your case..

    i travel AK to Vegas/AZ all the time now.. and always have guns with me.. mine are tripple locked. once with the combo case laock and twice more at each end with brinks pad locks.

    NEVER use a TSA lock.. you may not hvae a gun when you get there.. it was inspected at arrival and the declaration form shows up in the x ray.

    this includes luggage.. use hte tsa lock on the suit case... but not the hand gun case in it... IT MUST be locked also.. and an inspection form in it too...
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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Here's a question along these lines... Lets say you head to the airport with a takedown rifle in a small hardsided case and all your gear in a hard pelican stormcase. Can you have TSA inspect your rifle, lock it in the small case then put it in your storm case and lock that as checked baggage? Has anyone ever done something like this? I figure the advantage would be only having to check one item and having your gun case out of plain sight. This is of course if you have a small take down rifle like an Alaskan Co-Pilot etc.

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGSwimmer25 View Post
    Here's a question along these lines... Lets say you head to the airport with a takedown rifle in a small hardsided case and all your gear in a hard pelican stormcase. Can you have TSA inspect your rifle, lock it in the small case then put it in your storm case and lock that as checked baggage? Has anyone ever done something like this? I figure the advantage would be only having to check one item and having your gun case out of plain sight. This is of course if you have a small take down rifle like an Alaskan Co-Pilot etc.
    I'm pretty sure guns have to be in locked gun cases, about the only part of the gun you could maybe thro in your other checked luggage is maybe the bolt. And some ammo. I've done the ammo in checked bags for hunting trips.
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    I travel pretty regularly with M-16's and Berretta M-9's.. I always use good master locks, and keys. I open them for the TSA agent, lock them, and have them go down the chute. The only purpose of a TSA lock is for them to open when you're not there. If you open and show in the presence of an agent, TSA locks are not required... YMMV

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGSwimmer25 View Post
    Here's a question along these lines... Lets say you head to the airport with a takedown rifle in a small hardsided case and all your gear in a hard pelican stormcase. Can you have TSA inspect your rifle, lock it in the small case then put it in your storm case and lock that as checked baggage? Has anyone ever done something like this? I figure the advantage would be only having to check one item and having your gun case out of plain sight. This is of course if you have a small take down rifle like an Alaskan Co-Pilot etc.
    ALL guns in luggage MUST be in a locked case inside of the luggage.. the luggalge should also be locked.. it dont matter what configureation it is.. you can carry a hand gun in a duffle but it must be in a locked case in the duffle. the fire arm WILL be inspected regardless of the luggage/case/ you have it in.. ALL fireare cases will have the airline/tsa inspection sticker inside of them.

    ammo MAY be carried in the case as long as it is in approved containers.. .. IE: factory ammo boxes, or the snap lid type ammo containers we use for reloading... the catch is.. it must be an " ammo container"
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    ALL guns in luggage MUST be in a locked case inside of the luggage.. the luggalge should also be locked.. it dont matter what configureation it is.. you can carry a hand gun in a duffle but it must be in a locked case in the duffle. the fire arm WILL be inspected regardless of the luggage/case/ you have it in.. ALL fireare cases will have the airline/tsa inspection sticker inside of them.

    ammo MAY be carried in the case as long as it is in approved containers.. .. IE: factory ammo boxes, or the snap lid type ammo containers we use for reloading... the catch is.. it must be an " ammo container"
    "LOCKED HARD CASE" not soft cases in the luggage....
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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    I travel pretty regularly with M-16's and Berretta M-9's.. I always use good master locks, and keys. I open them for the TSA agent, lock them, and have them go down the chute. The only purpose of a TSA lock is for them to open when you're not there. If you open and show in the presence of an agent, TSA locks are not required... YMMV
    Your totally correct on that, you just have to be there if they wanna open it, which they will do no matter what.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I don't use TSA locks on ANY luggage, whether it contains firearms or not. If the SOB's want to get in there, they'll have to cut the locks off. At least that way I know positively that someone was molesting my luggage. Otherwise, as has been stated, locks only keep honest people honest. If a dirtbag wants to steal your stuff, they're just as likely to disappear your whole bag, locked or not.
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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGSwimmer25 View Post
    Here's a question along these lines... Lets say you head to the airport with a takedown rifle in a small hardsided case and all your gear in a hard pelican stormcase. Can you have TSA inspect your rifle, lock it in the small case then put it in your storm case and lock that as checked baggage? Has anyone ever done something like this? I figure the advantage would be only having to check one item and having your gun case out of plain sight. This is of course if you have a small take down rifle like an Alaskan Co-Pilot etc.
    My laptop is in a Pelican case when I travel. I often throw a handgun in there withe the misc electronics, lock and check it (with proper paperwork of course). They don't care what else is in the case as long as it is hard sided and locked. Your take down rifle doesn't have to be in a separate "gun case" as long as it's in your locked Pelican. 90% of the time, the won't even open it.

    When I travel with a long gun I also use a long pelican case but take out the foam and fill it with my clothes, gear, freeze dried food, etc. Actually not sure when the last time my gun case actually had the foam in it.... Since I usually jump straight from a commercial flight to a bushplane, conserving space is a big deal.

    Yk

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    Member agoyne's Avatar
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    FYI From United Airlines Website:

    United accepts one item of shooting equipment per customer as checked baggage. One item of shooting equipment is defined as one hard-sided shooting equipment case containing up to five firearms, with or without scopes, 11 lbs. (5 kg) of ammunition and articles used in the firearm sport.

    • Firearms will be accepted only from a customer who is 18 years of age or older.
    • International firearm regulations vary by destination and transiting country. Contact appropriate consulates or embassies to obtain specific entry requirements applicable to destination(s).
      • Firearms are not accepted to and from Bahrain, Denmark, Israel, Nigeria, Qatar and Turkey.
      • For travel to and from the United Kingdom, pistols, rifles and shotguns must be packed in a hard side rifle case.
      • Customers traveling to or through Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS) with checked firearms/ammunition must obtain permission from the Netherlands Consulate/Embassy in their country of origin prior to departure. Weapons are subject to confiscation in Amsterdam unless the owner can show all required permits. Customers traveling on military orders with checked firearms may do so without prior consent from Dutch Customs. Checked military ammunition is forbidden.
      • Customers traveling to Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA) with checked firearms and/or ammunition must be in possession of a gun import license or a temporary transportation permit, which must be certified and validated by a Guatemalan Consulate. Customers traveling with checked firearms and/or ammunition through Guatemala City do not require a permit as long as their bag does not leave the airport controlled area. Customers must ensure they have all the necessary documents required at their final destination.

    • Curbside check-in of a firearm is not permitted.
    • The firearm must be packaged in a hard-sided container capable of being locked. The container must be locked and the key or combination must remain in the customer's possession. If a hard-sided container is needed, see the container section of this site.
    • Handguns must be packed in hard-side lockable luggage. Baggage containing handguns must be locked at the time of acceptance by United Airlines and the key or combination retained in the passenger's custody.
    • The firearm will be transported in a section of the aircraft that is inaccessible to the customer. Proof of registration is not required.
    • Firearms carried in addition to the free baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge.
    • No more than 11 pounds of ammunition may be carried. The ammunition may be packed in the same container as the firearm or in a separate container. Ammunition must be packed in the manufacturer's original package or securely packed in fiber, wood or metal containers. The ammunition inside the container must be protected against shock and secured against movement.

    If applicable, the first or second bag fee applies to checked firearms.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    alaska air line is much better to deal with.. and dont matter how many cases as long as you pay the extra bag fee... and allows up to 50lbs of ammo
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    Member fly_'s Avatar
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    Thanks all, good tip on using clothes as the foam yellowknife. Vince, I should have known I'd find you here. LOL

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