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Air travel with firearm
#1
I am planning to take a trip later in March that requires me to take a firearm, and 250 rounds of ammo. I have already researched the airline regulations as well as the TSA regulations...but I am not a very experienced air traveler to begin with, and this flight will be pretty much all the way across the US. SW air offers a flight that has 1 stop, but does not need a plane change which sounds like a good plan. What I am asking for here is any advice or tips from someone that has flown with a firearm...such as how much earlier to check in, did you encounter any delays, what types of containers you used (brand, etc) as far as a gun safe goes, etc. and any other advice you can offer. thank you in advance!
Malinois, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Dec 2012.
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#2
Malinois;79078 Wrote:I am planning to take a trip later in March that requires me to take a firearm, and 250 rounds of ammo. I have already researched the airline regulations as well as the TSA regulations...but I am not a very experienced air traveler to begin with, and this flight will be pretty much all the way across the US. SW air offers a flight that has 1 stop, but does not need a plane change which sounds like a good plan. What I am asking for here is any advice or tips from someone that has flown with a firearm...such as how much earlier to check in, did you encounter any delays, what types of containers you used (brand, etc) as far as a gun safe goes, etc. and any other advice you can offer. thank you in advance!

GOOD LUCK!! I am actually in the process of this right now. I have gone through a couple of different decision changes because I'm not experienced at it yet either.

Below is a video that helped a good deal. Granted it's about flying to a competition but the principles are the same. However, I still had some questions so I reached out directly to the guys in the video. Got a little clarification and hopefully I'll be doing the right thing.

The good news is that I'm flying in the beginning of March and can give a full report once I get back. I would love to video the whole experience, but I don't know if that will be allowed.

Here is what I know:
1 - unloaded gun must be in a lockable, hard-sided container that is not "easily" opened.
2 - Magazines (unloaded) can be in the same case
3 - Ammo must be boxed and can be in the case with the firearm
4 - Get to the airport 2 hours prior to flight time
5 - When you check in at the counter you must declare that you have a firearm. Best bet is to calmly tell the ticketing agent that you "wish to declare an unloaded firearm in your checked baggage." For the love of God, don't simply tell them "I've got a gun!"
6 - To help against theft, secure the case to something inside the luggage.

I was going to post one of my videos about how I'm going to do this, but I've already flip-flopped a couple of times on my methods. So my plan for packing is the following (and mind you I AM packing for a competition):
1 - Gun goes into a GunVault NanoVault with chamber flag just as added proof the gun is clear
2 - I retain the key and will only allow TSA to inspect while I'm present
3 - My ammo was just shipped to my destination (my airline only allows 250 rounds up to 11 pounds... I need 300 and it weighed 17lbs to ship)
4 - I have a sign on the locked gun case with my contact information in case the TSA needs to screen everything again
5 - My magazines are going to be in the slots inside my range bag. Anything "firearm-related" (minus the gun) will also be in the range bag
6 - my range bag is going inside my checked luggage
7 - I will be securing the gun case to the metal supports of my suitcase
8 - the gun case will NOT be inside the range bag

I hope some of this helps. When I get back from Florida I will do a complete evaluation of my experience.



NRA (Life), GOA, FOAC (Life), NAGR, AMGOA

RocketFoot's Minion since 09-07-2012
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