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Thread: Handguns in checked baggage ?? CA to AK

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Default Handguns in checked baggage ?? CA to AK

    Good friend that lives in California passed away, wife wants me to have a couple of pistols that were his, I'd like to bring them back with me next time i get down there, whats the easiest way, i know i can't mail them by usps, just pack them in lockable cases and put in my checked baggage & declare at check in counter & go through TSA ?

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Don't know about coming out of California but have done it numerous times out of Oregon and once out of AZ just as you listed it.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Flying with firearms in checked baggage is easy. Check with your particular airline prior to flying regarding case types, ammunition containers and quantity, etc.

    Varies a bit from airline to airline but generally- you declare it at the ticket counter, fill out a form saying it's unloaded, put the form in the case, lock it and hand it over to TSA.

    I've flown with firearms dozens of times. Believe it or not, but post 9/11 it actually got easier.
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    Don't use American Airlines if you will be switching airlines somewhere along the way. For whatever reason, to fly with a gun in checked baggage with them, your final destination has to be with them. Otherwise, it's a piece of cake!

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    This needs a FFL transfer,, not the same as flying pistols you already own. Get a copy of the FFL from the FFL you plan to use and have the widow pack them up (she will need the FFL copy) and send them FED EX AIR to your FFL and then fill out the form and you will be good to go.

    I recently had a similar situation and this was the advice given to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    Good friend that lives in California passed away, wife wants me to have a couple of pistols that were his, I'd like to bring them back with me next time i get down there, whats the easiest way, i know i can't mail them by usps, just pack them in lockable cases and put in my checked baggage & declare at check in counter & go through TSA ?
    I just flew from ATL to AK on Alaska Air and had no problem. Make sure the handguns are in a hard case with locks. Ammo can be stored in magazines or ammo boxes and are allowed to be in the case. Just can't be in the gun.

    There was was a military guy flying on another airline. He had his handgun in a soft case in a soft piece of luggage. Luckily for him I was traveling with a rifle and handgun. I was able to give him my handgun case.


    may want to read up on Cali law:http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Tr...Family_Members

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    This needs a FFL transfer,, not the same as flying pistols you already own. Get a copy of the FFL from the FFL you plan to use and have the widow pack them up (she will need the FFL copy) and send them FED EX AIR to your FFL and then fill out the form and you will be good to go.

    I recently had a similar situation and this was the advice given to me.
    Why would that require an FFL transfer?


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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Why would that require an FFL transfer?


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    handguns have a totally different set of rules. CA has its own rules as well. Family gifting seems to be ok, but this case isn't family.
    I dealt with this situation this summer. I was going to trade my Glock and a .22 I had for am44 mag. The guy I wanted to trade with balked because I was an out of state resident. I had no idea I was breaking the law. However I didn't want a paper trail either.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Why would that require an FFL transfer?


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    The HAND guns are in a state in which the person that is receiving them is NOT a resident of. Most states prevent transfer of HAND guns of NON residents. So since the guns have not been legally transferred to him, they are not legally his to transport by commercial aircraft.

    The correct way is for the person that is giving them away to mail them by FEDEX Air directly to an Alaskan FFL and then for the receiver to fill out the firearm form and take his new pistols home.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    The HAND guns are in a state in which the person that is receiving them is NOT a resident of. Most states prevent transfer of HAND guns of NON residents. So since the guns have not been legally transferred to him, they are not legally his to transport by commercial aircraft.

    The correct way is for the person that is giving them away to mail them by FEDEX Air directly to an Alaskan FFL and then for the receiver to fill out the firearm form and take his new pistols home.
    WHile I thik you are correct here (I think it's actually a FED law that disallows SALES of guns by FFLS to non residents, are we not just talking about a private transfer here? I think the OP's friend can just give the guns to a private individual with no paperwork, just as if I sold or gave you a gun through a web listing ad.

    In any event, what documentation is the airline going to ask for for proof ownership? None.

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    I think some are over thinking things. What I have not seen is that the Lock must be one that TSA has a key for. The last time I flew with a handgun I went to a Lowes and purchased the TSA approved lock. Otherwise they will cut the lock off and it will fly without one or they will keep it. There have been a ton of arrest for theft by TSA and airport staff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    I think some are over thinking things. What I have not seen is that the Lock must be one that TSA has a key for. The last time I flew with a handgun I went to a Lowes and purchased the TSA approved lock. Otherwise they will cut the lock off and it will fly without one or they will keep it. There have been a ton of arrest for theft by TSA and airport staff.
    you keep your lock. TSA had me open my cases. Then the swiped them for explosives. Then they locked the case back. Key stayed in my possession. When I flew down they didn't even open my case. Just swiped it.

    If traveling with guns I do recommend arriving a little earlier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    WHile I thik you are correct here (I think it's actually a FED law that disallows SALES of guns by FFLS to non residents, are we not just talking about a private transfer here? I think the OP's friend can just give the guns to a private individual with no paperwork, just as if I sold or gave you a gun through a web listing ad.

    In any event, what documentation is the airline going to ask for for proof ownership? None.
    Even a private transfer for handguns technically require the FFL for nonresidents.

    However there isn't paperwork needed at airport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    I think some are over thinking things. What I have not seen is that the Lock must be one that TSA has a key for. The last time I flew with a handgun I went to a Lowes and purchased the TSA approved lock. Otherwise they will cut the lock off and it will fly without one or they will keep it. There have been a ton of arrest for theft by TSA and airport staff.
    Using a lock that the TSA can open at will, isn't going to prevent theft by TSA or anyone else. No lock will do that.; if somebody want's your stuff, a little lock isn't going to stop them. You take your chances there.

    To each his own, but personally I don't use TSA approved locks; never have, never will. If they want into my bag, they'll ask me to unlock it when I'm checking in. (This has occurred many times). If they want into my bag after that time, they'll have to cut the lock off. (To date, this has never occurred; but if it were to occur, at least I'd know they were in there.).
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    If its not legal for a ffl to sell someone a gun its not legal for anyone to do so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    This needs a FFL transfer,, not the same as flying pistols you already own. Get a copy of the FFL from the FFL you plan to use and have the widow pack them up (she will need the FFL copy) and send them FED EX AIR to your FFL and then fill out the form and you will be good to go. ...
    STID 2677 is 100% correct. In California, the State law is very specific that any sale, trade, gift, or transfer of a handgun to anyone other than a direct family relative, is ILLEGAL. Each transfer must go through an FFL dealer, background check, etc. The dealer will then ship the handguns to your designated dealer in Alaska, upon his receipt of the FFL's signed copy of his FFL.

    You can get into some big trouble if you try to circumvent this onerous Calif. law. Good luck.

    L.W.

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    Question, OK the handgun in a locked case but does the bag the gun case is in need to be locked as well. I know I would like it to be. I have a tsa lock for the case should I get a tsa lock for the bag as well?

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    I haven't locked the big bag, just the gun case...with my locks. I stand by until TSA clears the bag in case they want the gun box unlocked, seldom for me, but they have, and often they've wanted to check out my ammo. Often after they have done their thing they'll ziptie the zipper ends together and then send the bag on its way.

    Don't expect things to always go the same. Lots of folks report different ways TSA has done this. I think the main thing is to have the gun unloaded and tell the check in person right after saying "hi" that you have an unloaded firearm to declare. Follow instructions from there.

    I've never had a problem with AlaskaAir...not so with some of the others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK DUCKMAN View Post
    Question, OK the handgun in a locked case but does the bag the gun case is in need to be locked as well. I know I would like it to be. I have a tsa lock for the case should I get a tsa lock for the bag as well?
    Bag doesn't have to be locked. The case does. Make sure that the case or bag is hard sided. I always thought the gun case had to be hard sided but found out in ATL that if the luggage was hard sided the gun didn't have to be.

    I travel with with a school duffle bag. I lock the zipper after TSA inspects the gun. I've only flown with Alaskan air I the last few years though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK DUCKMAN View Post
    Question, OK the handgun in a locked case but does the bag the gun case is in need to be locked as well. I know I would like it to be. I have a tsa lock for the case should I get a tsa lock for the bag as well?
    And you don't necessarily need a TSA lock. A master lock will work. The TSA locks are locks that TSA deemed worthy of deterring a thief. At least that is what I was told last year. i also use a combination lock as well as key locks on my case. It's a little bit more of a hassle but that's fine with me.

    If you are traveling with ammo it must be stored in a box or in a magazine. Magazine can not be in handgun but can be in case.

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