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Flying with handgun will this work?
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Contributors to this thread:
JohnMC 01-Oct-21
Ok...Russ 01-Oct-21
White Falcon 01-Oct-21
JohnMC 01-Oct-21
DanaC 01-Oct-21
soccern23ny 01-Oct-21
Blood 01-Oct-21
yooper89 01-Oct-21
Bob H in NH 01-Oct-21
IdyllwildArcher 01-Oct-21
kota-man 01-Oct-21
JohnMC 01-Oct-21
White Falcon 01-Oct-21
Matt 01-Oct-21
RK 01-Oct-21
JohnMC 01-Oct-21
JSW 01-Oct-21
JohnMC 01-Oct-21
Matt 01-Oct-21
JL 01-Oct-21
Buskill 01-Oct-21
kota-man 01-Oct-21
Zbone 02-Oct-21
BIGHORN 02-Oct-21
DanaC 02-Oct-21
brettpsu 02-Oct-21
Matt 02-Oct-21
JohnMC 02-Oct-21
tobywon 02-Oct-21
t-roy 02-Oct-21
JohnMC 02-Oct-21
Hunts_with_stick 03-Oct-21
txhunter58 10-Oct-21
DonVathome 12-Oct-21
From: JohnMC
01-Oct-21

JohnMC's embedded Photo
JohnMC's embedded Photo
I am going to vacation to the Keys next week. Planning on taking a handgun. This is the case a Glock came in. Probably the gun I will take is the glock that came in this case. Will a lock around handle like in the picture work for TSA? Will use a different lock. I had that one in my gym bag and it to short to actually lock.

From: Ok...Russ
01-Oct-21
Nothing on the TSA web page to say it wouldn't be allowed. Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container. No mention of a specific type of lock or container so think it would work. https://www.tsa.gov/news/press/factsheets/firearms-and-ammunition

From: White Falcon
01-Oct-21
Lock will not work. Has to be one TSA can get into. I think.

From: JohnMC
01-Oct-21
I am same place Russ is. I don't see anything says it won't be allowed. But it does seem a little gerry rigged so that why I am asking.

White- I don’t think that is the case. This is from United site.

Handguns must be packed in a hard-sided container with a lock. The container must be locked at the time of acceptance by United Airlines and the key or combination must remain in the customer's possession. The locked hard-sized container holding the handgun may be placed inside an unlocked soft-side piece of luggage. The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can easily be opened will not be accepted for travel.

From: DanaC
01-Oct-21

DanaC's Link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4wkCcsWs4c

From: soccern23ny
01-Oct-21
It does not have to be a tsa approved lock. And that container would suffice assuming the gun cant be weaseled out while prying 1 side open. Simply a lock that you have the key to. The way its worded it even alludes to using a lock that the tsa cant unlock without you. I would especially not use a tsa lock for a hand gun. That's a higher theft item than a rifle is. Plus tsa locks a pretty chincy. I had one come off luggage I had before

From: Blood
01-Oct-21
Put a lock on it that only you have the key for. Put it in your luggage and lock your luggage. You only have to declare it when you check it in. They red tag it and it will get where you’re going. Good luck.

From: yooper89
01-Oct-21
I just flew a rifle and pistol and made sure not to use “tsa approved” locks. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to check a firearm. I used combo locks as well but my case had specific spots for locks to go. If you do catch any hell for it, my guess would be that it’s missing specific lock spots. I am sure you will be fine with that setup though.

From: Bob H in NH
01-Oct-21
It should NOT be TSA locks, only you are supposed to be able to get to it and you won't be allowed access to it. You declare it, they MIGHT pull it aside and have you unlock to show it's unloaded - that's hit or miss depending on the airport. They give you a tag, you sign saying it's unlocked and you are supposed to put that IN THE CASE, not on the case. When I checked 2 rifles in Boston, they even asked me to NOT open the case at checkin so others wouldn't see guns, just take one lock off and slide it in there. They advised me to go grab coffee before going through security as TSA might pull it for inspection, they didn't.

No issues. One recommendation in case you run into someone who doesn't really know the rules is have a TSA lock handy. I just put my TSA locks in the case in case I needed them. I didn't

01-Oct-21
Yes, that will work. The only downside is that it's going to count as a bag and it's small so you can't put anything else in with it for your money.

You CANNOT use a TSA lock for guns. It needs to be a non-TSA lock.

From: kota-man
01-Oct-21
White Falcon’s info in incorrect. No TSA locks on Firearms. Some gate agents may not know better, but I’ve seen a lot of hunters miss their flights because they had TSA locks on their firearms. Go to TSA website and don’t only read the regs,, but print them out and have them with you along with the airlines regs on firearms.

From: JohnMC
01-Oct-21
Idyl to be clear that will go in side a normal suit cases. From what I have read that will be no problem .

From: White Falcon
01-Oct-21
Correction excepted.

From: Matt
01-Oct-21

Matt's Link
From the TSA Website, "You may use any brand or type of lock to secure your firearm case, including TSA-recognized locks." There is a lot of confusion around this point, but I still would probably not use a TSA lock in case some airport worker has the same sort of incorrect understanding.

I researched this about a year ago and believe this represents a policy change on the TSA's part.

From: RK
01-Oct-21
I think one should carry everywhere but if there is ever a place that a firearm is probably not needed is the keys. Of less in case you are scared of being assaulted by some Gay and their lap dog??

From: JohnMC
01-Oct-21
RK I hear your point we are spending a couple nights in Miami as well. We have been watching the show Dexter lately. Apparently there are lost of serial killers in Miami according to that show ;) Ain't scared of the gays just don't like them.

From: JSW
01-Oct-21
I flew to AK with a handgun last month. You will not have to make it an extra checked bag. Your locked gun case can go inside a checked bag. You can not have more than one locked gun case in any given checked bag. You can have more than one firearm in a single locked case but only one case per bag.

Ammo can go in a checked bag and here is where I'm not sure. I thought you had to have ammo in a locked ammo case and it couldn't go in the same bag as your gun. I know for sure you can't have any ammo in the gun or in the locked gun case. I just used a $4 plastic ammo box that had the ability to attach a tiny padlock. The check in person told me it needed to be in it's original packaging or a locked box and being in the same checked bag was alright.

I was taking 2 checked bags so I put the ammo in bag #2. She didn't ask to look at the ammo but it will be xrayed. Make sure it is in a separate container, either the factory box or an ammo box and not in the gun case.

I would definitely read the airlines rules regarding firearms and I would declare to the checkin person that I have a firearm. If you don't you are asking for trouble. Here I've had 2 different rules. You may need to open it up to show it's not loaded. You may not. You may need to open it up and insert a card with your name and signature, then lock it back up and hand them your bag. This card may be stuck to the outside of your gun case and not inside. You will have to wait for the luggage police to xray it which might happen close by. You may be walked to another area of the airport and wait while someone xray's. All of this can take and extra 30-40 minutes so be prepared.

Don't try to get it through xray without going through these steps. It could very well delay you and or your bags enough to make you miss your flight. It's really not a big deal if you go by the rules.

From: JohnMC
01-Oct-21
Idyl to be clear that will go in side a normal suit cases. From what I have read that will be no problem .

From: Matt
01-Oct-21
On ammo, 2 things:

From the TSA website (same link as above), airline-specific rules could possibly differ: "Ammunition may be transported in the same hard-sided, locked case as a firearm if it has been packed as described above."

I wouldn't recommend packing your pistol and ammunition in separate bags in the event one bag arrives and the other is delayed (especially true in an ammo shortage as you may not be able to replace the ammo at your destination). Ask me how I learned this (that would be the hard way).

From: JL
01-Oct-21
FWIW.......I carried a lot of ammo in my checked bags over the years. It has to be either in it's original box or a organizer. You CAN"T check in loose ammo. Another FWIW......you can't carry-on (bags) empty brass or the bullets for reloading. IAW with the brain-surgeons.....they are considered firearms components. They have to be checked......BTDT.

From: Buskill
01-Oct-21
I don’t think I’d take the chance with that case. I’d go to Harbor Freight and buy one of their Pelican knock offs. Much more durable and should have a couple places to actually adhere a couple locks.

From: kota-man
01-Oct-21
Thanks Matt. That is a change since I last looked at it. I agree, I still wouldn’t use TSA locks.

In New Mexico a few years ago, I watched airline agents deny check in to at least 6 guys that had TSA locks on their firearms. This was obviously before the recent change allowing TSA locks.

So White Falcon…I stand corrected. You can use TSA locks but I still wouldn’t do it. I want to be the only one with access to my firearm.

From: Zbone
02-Oct-21
Thanks for the link Matt...

From: BIGHORN
02-Oct-21
Are you going through or to a country that doesn't allow handguns? If so, they will confiscate it for sure. When I was in Namibia and South Africa a couple of months ago I had 4 of my 6 TSA locks broken or missing. They wanted to take my 308 rifle badly but I had the proper paperwork. Bullets had to be in a separate locked container from the firearm. I will never take a rifle to Africa again!!!

From: DanaC
02-Oct-21
Do you print out the current TSA regs along with the link? Or bookmark it on your phone browser?

From: brettpsu
02-Oct-21
John you should be good with you plan. I agree on having TSA paperwork printed out prior to flying just in case. Here's what I did a month ago and it was rather seemless.

Used a mid grade pistol case, some factory cases are just as good.

At home I put empty handgun, extra empty clip, and full ctn of factory boxed ammo into case and did not lock it yet. You can leave handgun case out of luggage for the time being but make sure you have room for it to fit into a checked bag.

Once I got to airport I went to check-in counter and declared I had a handgun. They lady proceeded to check us all in, take all our regular checked bags and give me a regular luggage tag and a red tag for the checked bag I would put my handgun case into. She then told me where to go for the handgun inspection.

Once you get to the inspection point a TSA agent will look over your handgun and ammo. Sometimes they will swab it, tear apart the foam, inspect the firearm, etc and other times they barely look at it.

After inspection they will tell you to lock you case and put the gun inside a checked bag, which you should have with you. Some airports will tell you to wait at a certain area in case there's an issue with the checked bag screening. After a few minutes you should be good to go but every airport is different is how and where you pickup your gun. Just ask someone soon as you arrive in baggage claim where to pickup a handgun.

From: Matt
02-Oct-21
Some airports have the TSA screening behind closed doors, so you may be asked to hang out for ~15 minutes before heading through security in case they need your keys to open/inspect the inside of your case. I've never had to. This is where using TSA recognized locks could save time.

From: JohnMC
02-Oct-21

JohnMC's embedded Photo
JohnMC's embedded Photo
I hope the TSA person is not a Joe Biden fan. I’ve only put a mask on once to this point and the airport will make twice. But I ordered this mask for the trip. It is shame to cover up such a beautiful face.

From: tobywon
02-Oct-21
John, that mask reminded me of a saying my late, great Dad used to say…”as useless as tits on a bull”…always makes me laugh. I’m no help with with the gun question but hope you and your wife have a great trip and hope you never need to use it!!

From: t-roy
02-Oct-21
Not sure what’s gonna potentially cause you more issues at the airport. That mask, or the stache!…… Have a good time in Florida!

From: JohnMC
02-Oct-21
Definitely the ineffable handlebar mustache. The women cause the issues especially when the wife with me. She gets made when all them start putting their hands on me or cat whistling at me.

03-Oct-21
I just flew as well. I cabled my pistol to the inside frame of the suitcase and then through the gun which was then placed inside a hardcase. That way luggage handlers don't get sticky fingers.

From: txhunter58
10-Oct-21
Good thread

From: DonVathome
12-Oct-21
FYI current TSA regs say ANY lock (in the past you could NOT use a TSA lock, now you can). I always have BOTH with me in case someone is not aware of regs.

KEEP IN MIND YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH YOUR ARILINE AND TSA. Also if you run into someone who does not understand the correct rules there are no "rule police" to call. I barely made a flight because of this once. Nightmare.

Carry both, be nice.

I went to AK this year and at CLE checking next to me was heading on a big hunt (moose, griz, cairbou) I could tell he was stressed. So was I when I saw TSA locks on his guns. I did not say anything because airline people were checking it in - at the time I still thought TSA locks on guns were not allowed. I finished and walked away and loked rules up to show him - so he would have more time to call someone to get correct locks asap. I was shocked when I read any lock is ok. God to know, but as others pointed out no doubt some airport personal are not aware of this. (TSA or airline).

Carrying both types is easy! No arguement, switch and go with the flow.

Trust me, trying to argue with a antihunter checking in your guns is NOT A GOOD PLAN.

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