Contributors to this thread:
Flying with Pistol and bow
Am I good to just put my Pistol and holster in my bow case and lock it? Or do I have to have a separate lock box for the pistol?
The best advise is to check both the TSA website and your airline's website for specifics.
Need a separate case with a non-tsa lock. I actually cabled mine to metal frame of my suitcase, ran it through a hard plastic case that was locked with a padlock. I heard stories of guns being stolen out of suitcases
Meat has the correct advice above. About a month ago I was waiting my turn in the check-in line at the airport and the lady in front of me had her pistol with her. She of course declared it. The airline lady had her take it out of her checked bag, show it was unloaded and watch her lock it and the ammo back in the carry case and put that carry case back inside inside her checked bag. I seem to recall the airline lady also tagged the checked bag. That might have been for the TSA folk???
It can be in bow case with bow just need to have locks on case that aren’t tsa locks.
I’ve never had anyone ask me to use non TSA locks. That’s all I’ve ever used and I’ve done it many many times. I suppose a couple non tsa locks brought along in the case could be nice just in case you get a picky person. Every airport is different on how the handle the checking of guns. In Johnson City they just take it with no questions . At SLC they swab the case in front of you. In Charlotte you have to follow a TSA employee who carries the case and examines it in a back room and then carries it for you back to check in. Ketchikan is like Johnson City. Getting it back is also different everywhere. I’ve had it dumped out on a separate conveyor type thing with skis and golf clubs, I’ve had to go way out of my way to get it from a secure room, I’ve had it brought to me ....there’s just no consistency to what anyone wants.
Buskill covered it. Be prepared for anything because you are at the mercy of the folks at each particular airport. My best advice is to always be as nice and polite as you possibly can no matter the circumstances. Airline/TSA employees have you over a barrel and they know it.
I’ve flown with mine twice out of Chicago in an SKB double bow case with TSA locks and they never questioned it. I guess I wasn’t supposed to do that? Had two bows and handgun both times. Maybe will have non-TSA locks with me just in case next time
I read the tsa website (Just flew in august) and it states non-tsa locks...
"I read the tsa website (Just flew in august) and it states non-tsa locks..."
The TSA website is clear as mud, as the below says any kind of lock including TSA-recognized locks will work. I have also read on the TSA website that TSA locks are not permitted, but I am not finding that now so they may have cleaned that up.
"Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations. You may use any brand or type of lock to secure your firearm case, including TSA-recognized locks."
I've flown more than a dozen times with my pistol in the pistol case inside my SKB case that has TSA locks on it. If you just put Gorilla tape over the part that says "TSA #X" no one knows and no one cares.
The reason you don’t want to use TSA locks is because that firearm is yours and no one else should be handling it. If TSA has an issue with it, then you are the person who should be opening it.
Flying to Montana today. Had my pistol and magazines in a small case. Put a cable lock thru my pistol and a padlock on my case. Then put my pistol case inside my bow case. Need to have ammo separate and in original packaging. Then locked my bow case. My case was tagged showing there was a firearm in it and then I signed a slip that said the firearm was unloaded. It went thru TSA with no problems.
I’m on my way to Anchorage now. Left DIA this morning with a Pelican gun case with 2 rifles and 1 handgun inside. I put my own NON TSA locks on the case and we zipped right thru.
Ammo was in checked baggage because the Pelican weighed right at 50lbs.