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Thread: 1st Time

  1. #1

    Default 1st Time

    Going to do some fishing out of Wasilla July 1. Never flown with a handgun before (usally take my wife). I need suggestions on a case and any tips to help get through the Airport. I have a brother in Anchorage. CAN I and should I ship it UPS? THANKS

  2. #2
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    I have never hunted Alaska, but have travelled many times with firearms, either transporting them or going hunting. You need an airline approved case, first -- any gun shop can help you with this -- it will need a metal band around it (just ask your shop). Check with your airline to make sure that there are no restrictions to flying with firearms. It is simple then, when you go to check your luggage in, proclaim that you are flying with a firearm, and a TSA agent will look at it and make sure it is unloaded (your ammo needs to fly separately) and safe, they will put a tag in the case saying that it has been examined, and then you will lock the case in front of them. Then, it will be checked in. Make sure they don't put the tag on the outside as that is an announcement that you have a firearm in the case and you don't want to tempt any miscrients on the other end. That's it.

  3. #3
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    Shipping a handgun can be a challenge. All handguns have to go overnight air (2 day for Alaska). They also have to go to an FFL holder and you have to do all the paperwork all over again.

    If you fly with it, make sure you check with your airline in advance as they may have seperate rules. Also, make sure the lock you use is TSA approved, but don't get their TSA lock they sell at the airport as they are usually junk.

  4. #4

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    Download the "contract of carriage" from the website of the airline that you are going to fly. Search for the term firearms in it (it will be a large file). This will answer your questions.

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    I don't think I have ever flown without a handgun, on a domestic flight, except to kalifornia which is one trip back a few years, and I have a lot of frequent flyer miles. I have a Bear Track case sold by Freedom Arms and a Pelican case. My rifle cases are Pelican (Browning) and Kallispell.

    The best way to do it is get a very good quality case (strong indestructable case), pad-lock lockable that will fit in one of your big duffle bags. If you're just taking one gun, you just need that size but it may be best to get a two gun case for the future. Honestly the Pelican cases are fine or a gun specific case such as a Kalispell case, but they are usually bigger for about four handguns. It is best to fit it into your bagage.

    Just go to the counter and tell the clerk that you need a firearms declaration form. The form says; Firearms. Unloaded. Then you sign it at the bottom. It is a two part form and usually bright orange, give it to the clerk for their part and they will give you the other to put into the case.

    You need a good lock(s) on the case and an odd thing about the TSA rules is that if this gun case goes inside other luggage you don't need to present it unlocked to a TSA agent to look at the guns, but make sure you tell them it is there and put the declaration form inside the luggage on top of your guncase, unless otherwise instructed by TSA. They have different rules in different cities. (??!) The reason for putting it inside luggage is that a small case with a padlock on it is obviously a pistol case and some of the baggage monkeys are criminals.

    There is no difference with handguns vs long guns in this "flying with guns" thing.

    TSA doesn't inspect the gun to see if it is unloaded they just look at it or sometimes swipe it for explosive residue and close it and lock it. (make sure they lock it) They are not allow to touch the guns, by regulation. They could not possible be able to determine if any and all guns were unloaded since they know nothing about guns and cannot even clear a Glock. There is no basis for this level of harrasment it is just part of the program to make people think they do a public service. Whom do they think they are protecting? It becomes just another annoying part of the already bizzarre routine we must go through just to fly. When you do this twice a week, you get used to it but hate it more each trip.

    The TSA people are more concerned about an old lady smuggling a bottle of lotion in her carry on bag than a whole case full of guns. There is no limit, BTW. Have a good trip.


    I'm sorry, but I've just got to ask. How does the wife preclude the carrying of a handgun?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  6. #6
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    In every case that I have flown with firearms, they have inspected them (visually) to make sure they are unloaded. I normally have the bolt out of my bolt-guns so that it is obvious (that is assuming the TSA agent isn't a complete moron and in many cases this isn't a stretch). Murphy is right about it being better to put the case (if it is a small one) in your luggage to prevent the temptation of the bad element at the airport.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the info. The tip about including in a larger bag is a good one. Murphy, my wife is really a good egg and she does the outdoor thing really well, we have 4 boys. So when she is along you might say things are a bit less remote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitworth View Post
    In every case that I have flown with firearms, they have inspected them (visually) to make sure they are unloaded. I normally have the bolt out of my bolt-guns so that it is obvious
    Do you mean to say that the TSA guy actually picks up the gun and looks in the chamber? My guns are fully assembled and they aren't even touched before the cases are locked. Once a TSA guy ran my closed Pelican case back and forth through the scanner about ten times while I watched. I got his attention and asked what's up and he said; "It looks like your rifle is loaded." I said; "which one?" (two gun case) He got a dumb(er) look on his face and then just let the case go through without reopening it. Technology at work.

    I've flown a dozen or more times since I found out about this particular airports "policy" about not needing to look at the guns when it is in the luggage and the pistol case was locked and inside my duffle and nobody asked, nobody cared. I declared the guns to the clerk and told the TSA that there were guns in a locked case inside the luggage and they said no problemo and away they go. This is Fairbanks Int'l airport where we go through this. But don't you just feel safer knowing that our TSA is at work?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9

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    It's extremely simple. You have to have a "lockable hard case" for the gun. I put mine in the factory plastic box, stick a Master Lock around the handle and toss it in my checked bag. Ammunition can go in the big bag with the gun case, but it can't go inside the gun case. Tell the person at the counter you have a gun in the bag and she'll give you a form. Sign the form saying that the gun is unloaded and stick it in with the gun. Present the key to the TSA dude and he'll go back in the little room. A few minutes later he'll reappear with your key. Pick up your bag at your destination. Enjoy the friendly skies.

  10. #10
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    No, Murphy, they didn't pick it up, but they got down to look at it closely and as I said before, I always pull the bolts and if I have a revolver in a rifle case (I always bring a handgun when I hunt with a rifle), I will strap it in with the cylider unlatched and the strap going through it. It seems to put them more at ease.

    The last time I flew out of California with two firearms (2 months ago), they made me lock it before they took the case in back unlike in previous times where they took my key and locked it out back and brought me my key.

    I like putting the case in another piece of luggage so that it cannot be seen on the carousel.

  11. #11
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Default I'll be darned

    Quote Originally Posted by akav8r View Post
    ...Ammunition can go in the big bag with the gun case, but it can't go inside the gun case. ...
    So, is that a new rule, or have I gotten away with putting the ammo boxes in the rifle case for years in violation of some law or other? It's been 2 years or so since I flew on a jet with a rifle, so let's use that as the definition of 'new' for purposes of this question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitworth View Post
    ...I like putting the case in another piece of luggage so that it cannot be seen on the carousel.
    Wow. I've never had them put a gun case on the carousel. Alaska Air, at least, has always handled those as separate bags you have to see the baggage agent to get. It's a policy I appreciate, precisely because of the occasional bad element among our fellow passengers.

  12. #12
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    I fly from Alaska to Michigan every year to hunt and ALWAYS have my ammo in with my rifle and handgun. TSA has never had a problem with that.

    Only airline I have had my rifle case come up on a carousel was NW, and I was very surprised. Asked about it and was told someone made an error!

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