Duck Hunting-Flying With Firearms

Discussion in 'Hunting Discussion' started by fishin4whatever, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. fishin4whatever

    fishin4whatever Newbie

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    Hey guys, I'm headed up to Sacramento this weekend to hunt at my buddy's duck club. I've never flown with a firearm before and was trying to get others experiences with this. If it's a hassle I'll just use one of the pump guns my buddy has up there but if at all possible I'd like to bring my semi-auto. From what I've read it seems straight forward, show the ticket agent that the gun is unloaded in a hard case, check the gun, and be on my way. Is it really that simple? Anyone had any experience with this? I'll be flying with Southwest Airlines. Thanks.
     
  2. da crab

    da crab Newbie

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    Yeah it's straightforward as you said, I think the hard case you have the gun in has to have a key lock on it.
     
  3. IMAKECARSFAST

    IMAKECARSFAST provider of protien

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    i heard 2 locks for airplane checking... like a latch lock (combo or key on the case latch) and a mini padlock...

    just what i heard
     
  4. YANK N CRANK #2

    YANK N CRANK #2 Proud Wyoming Resident

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  5. blowboater

    blowboater Fishing with Papa

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    Just need a TSA approved lock on the case. Easy.
     
  6. blowboater

    blowboater Fishing with Papa

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    no ammo in the case. ammo must be in original packaging or something as sturdy or sturdier (no loose shells - I found that out the hard way) and in luggage separate from the gun.

    you will have to show them that the gun is unloaded. i put a lock on the gun(s) too but that wasn't really necessary.

    just did this 2-3 weeks ago.
     
  7. Carwash

    Carwash Newbie

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    I went to So. Dakota to hunt and flying w/ guns was easy. I went to Canada and it was a pain in the ass. Make sure you have a locking gun case. Southwest is agood airline and flying in this country w/ guns does'nt seem to be a problem IMO.
     
  8. Marcus

    Marcus "Oddjob"

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    I fly with my shotgun to Montana onnce a year. Locking, airline approved hard case. Simple.

    Hell I just flew to and from Arkansas with two arabs, we took our shotguns and it was as easy as pie.............

    You are allowed up to 11lbs of ammo in your checked bags. Must be in the box it came in or a hard sided container. Make sure you don't carry your choke tubes in your carry on........
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  9. Mad_Scientist

    Mad_Scientist Newbie

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    in october, my friend and i flew San Diego to Sac on Southwest with our rifles in checked baggage. we were removed from the passenger list and, as a result, almost missed our plane. first, the check-in line wrangler had a mild freak-out when I told her what was in our pelican cases, and she had a cop shadow us while we waited to check in. then, we checked in separately and got two different sets of instructions. I was told to "wait ten minutes, then get in the security line", my friend was told to just get in the security line since it was so long it would provide plenty of time for TSA to clear our gear. Well, we waited ten minutes then joined the line and as we came even with the checkin counter, I see my friends rifle case on the floor, next to the baggage conveyor.

    So, we step out of line, my friend goes over to keep an eye on his case and I went to the line wrangler and told her that one of our cases was sitting there, unattended and just out of sight of all the ticket agents. Some clown goes over to pick up the case and makes a machine gun gesture with his hands--much appreciated by all the people in line watching the fuss.

    Then, we asked how long we should wait and were told not to worry about it and just head off to our flight (still an hour off). We went through security, got some food and tried to find a seat--we ended up three gates away from ours (at ghetto Terminal 1 in San Diego, this distance is like thirty feet). When we got in line 40 minutes later, we immediately heard a page asking both of us to check with the gate agent. According to Southwest, they'd been "paging" us for thirty minutes and had pulled our bags and rifle cases....and our names from the flight. TSA wanted to do a full interior check of our bags. Southwest prevented us from giving the keys directly to the TSA, claiming that our only chance to be rebooked and get on our flight was to give our keys to a Southwest employee. My idea of security is handing my keys to someone with a badge, and my reading of the rules (since updated to be even more unclear) was that we were only to give our keys to a TSA agent with the case in our presence.

    We spoke to the TSA on the phone and gave up the keys, made the flight and were met at Sacramento baggage claim by a knowlegable bag handler who brought our cases out and checked our IDs and baggage claim receipts before handing them over.

    The return trip went the same way--the folks in Sacramento knew exactly what to do and communicated clearly and accurately with us, had us wait in a specific place and came back and told us we were good to go when TSA had cleared our cases. When we arrived in San Diego, our cases didn't show up. When we inquired, the baggage agent got on the radio and asked all the handlers to look for our bags--she got nowhere with those guys on the radio, so she left her counter and went out back (almost in a panic) to find our cases. She found them immediately, and two baggage guys brought 'em out mumbling excuses as to why they hadn't seen the cases. I couldn't tell what they were up to..but something was strange.

    Anyways, my point is that you need to get online, understand what TSA and the airline expects you to do...and expect that all the airline employees may not. As for packing ammo, the way I read the rules, you can pack your ammo with the firearm, as long as it's contained in a sturdy box like the one you bought it in. We packed ours in our cases--nobody seemed to mind, and we were inspected only in San Diego.

    Also, look forward to dealing with the Southwest employees in Sacramento--they were super professional and knew exactly what was going on.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Fresh One

    Fresh One Well-Known "Member"

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    I do it all the time. Domestic and international. Get a SKB case with the TSA approved locks and you won't have to deal with the key bullshit. TSA has keys for TSA approved locks.

    Standard procedure anymore is to check in at the counter and wait 10 minutes. If you don't get called, you should be good to go. The last few times at the SD airport, TSA came out and told me personally I was good to go.

    The agents at the counter in CA can be a pain in the ass. Most in CA are liberal hippies, you just have to expect it. When I check in at the Oklahoma City Airport when I return from hunting, I never get hassled. Hell, I brought an entire processed deer home one time in 1# bags in my backpack (carry on). TSA in OKC said, "did you get a deer" when it went through X-ray. We all had a good chuckle. That is the difference between CA and OK.

    In summary, its easy, know the process, have the right equipment and you are good to go. I cannot stress enough the importance of the TSA approved locks. Make it easy on TSA and they will make it easy on you.
     
  11. Mad_Scientist

    Mad_Scientist Newbie

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    TSA practices don't seem to line up with actual law. My reading of this section, and general belief, is that TSA locks are not a good idea. I'd rather force them to contact me--even if the airline can't figure out the PA system. Anybody else know of an exception to this section? Anyone know of a congressman we could get to fix this? --should be simple to slip into a bill.

    From: Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:
    § 1544.203 Acceptance and screening of checked baggage.


    (f) Firearms in checked baggage. No aircraft operator may knowingly permit any person to transport in checked baggage:
    (1) Any loaded firearm(s).
    (2) Any unloaded firearm(s) unless—
    (i) The passenger declares to the aircraft operator, either orally or in writing before checking the baggage that any firearm carried in the baggage is unloaded;
    (ii) The firearm is carried in a hard-sided container;
    (iii) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the individual checking the baggage retains the key or combination; and
    (iv) The checked baggage containing the firearm is carried in an area that is inaccessible to passengers, and is not carried in the flightcrew compartment,.
    (3) Any unauthorized explosive or incendiary.
    (g) Ammunition. This section does not prohibit the carriage of ammunition in checked baggage or in the same container as a firearm. Title 49 CFR part 175 provides additional requirements governing carriage of ammunition on aircraft.
     
  12. Marcus

    Marcus "Oddjob"

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    I fly with TSA approved locks. From what I have read it is a new rule that TSA approved locks are not approved for use of locking your gun case. I spoke with TSA people at Bozeman airport and they preferred TSA locks and even told me they did not know TSA locks were not approved. I read this when I flew earlier this year. From reading the TSA site now I don't see this requirement anymore but they may be covering themselves with the first regulation in red above as TSA locks means TSA has keys also not just the owner of the firearm.

    As far as ammo goes:

    You can have ammo in the same hardsided case.

    Restrictions are:

    # You must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging that is specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.

    # You can't use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).

    Here are some restrictions on quantity from the airlines:

    Southwest: Customers are limited to 11 pounds gross weight (ammunition plus container) per person

    United: A maximum of 11 lbs. of small arms ammunition is allowed in checked luggage in the original manufacturer's box or securely packed in a fiber, wood or metal box to prevent movement of cartridges.

    American: Ammunition is limited to 11 lbs. per passenger.
     
  13. el Toro

    el Toro I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    As one who flys with weapons a lot too, get a case with the TSA locks. The SKB Fresh One mentioned is the best. Allow yourself extra time checking in (2 hrs), tell the counter agent what you have, sign the declaration card, and you wont have any problems. Make sure all ammo is in its original box. I've done this too many times to count and it's never a problem.
     
  14. fishin4whatever

    fishin4whatever Newbie

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    Thanks for all the input guys, it was super helpful. After reading all the responses I decided to fly with my gun and it wasn't bad at all. I'll post my experience in the hopes that someone else may get some useful information out of it. I used a simple plastic hardcase with three small keyed padlocks (Non TSA approved). The gun also had a trigger lock and action lock for good measure. The ammo was just in the carboard boxes that they came in from the store and placed in the case with the gun. When I arrived at the Southwest counter in Ontario the ticket agent wasn't the one who viewed the firearm. She just had me fill out a form with my contact info and signature attesting to the fact that the gun was unloaded, then sent me to the end of the building where a TSA agent had me open the case. He took a cotton swab and swabbed the inside of my case and then put the cotton swab into a machine that made a few beeping noises and spit the swab back out which he proceeded to throw away. From there he asked me to lock the case back up and he took the gun to the plane. On the flight back the procedure was a bit different in that the ticket agent at the counter was the one who inspected the gun to be sure it was unloaded and then took the locked gun into a back room to have it put under the xray. She came back in about 2 minutes to say it was all good to go. Both times the case was picked up at the baggage claim office. It didn't just pop out with the rest of the normal baggage. Anyhow, that's my experience. All in all, it took only about 5 minutes longer than normal to check in with a firearm than without. Super simple, super easy.
     

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