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Pistol in checked baggage?

Old 09-16-2008, 01:14 PM
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Default Pistol in checked baggage?

I'm flying out west and then driving back next month and I want to take my carry pistol. I've looked around online and haven't found a satisfactory answer for the procedure. I'm going to put it in a locked, hard case. Do I just declare that it's in my checked bag at the ticket desk? Are they going to want to inspect it? Is the ammo allowed in the same bag? Is it processed with everyone else's baggage and come off on the carousel?

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Old 09-16-2008, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

Guns & Firearms
Item Carry-on Checked
Ammunition - Check with your airline or travel agent to see if ammunition is permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. If ammunition is permitted, it must be declared to the airline at check-in. Small arms ammunitions for personal use must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply. Read our Firearms & Ammunition section. No Yes
BB guns No Yes
Compressed Air Guns (to include paintball markers) - Carried in checked luggage without compressed air cylinder attached.
No Yes
Firearms - firearms carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. Read our Firearms & Ammunition section. No Yes
Flare Guns - May be carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. Read our section on Camping. No Yes
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

bluffman2 - 9/16/2008 3:22 PM

Guns & Firearms
Item Carry-on Checked
Ammunition - Check with your airline or travel agent to see if ammunition is permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. If ammunition is permitted, it must be declared to the airline at check-in. Small arms ammunitions for personal use must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply. Read our Firearms & Ammunition section. No Yes
BB guns No Yes
Compressed Air Guns (to include paintball markers) - Carried in checked luggage without compressed air cylinder attached.
No Yes
Firearms - firearms carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. Read our Firearms & Ammunition section. No Yes (edit edit) no means carry on ...yes means checked....off of website listed below..
Flare Guns - May be carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. Read our section on Camping. No Yes
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...d-items.shtm#6
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

Call the airline, probably your best source of info.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

Take your gun to a Federally licensed dealer. Have it shipped to a dealer at your destination. It's a little more expensive but a lot less hassle.

Good luck!
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

Your biggest problem might be crossing state lines on the return trip.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

Jamisjockey - 9/17/2008 8:23 AM

Call the airline, probably your best source of info.


Two things:

(1) You must check with the airlines. What the gov't allows is one thing; the airlines may (probably do) have more restrictions.

(2) You must comply with the state laws in the area you will be in possession of the gun, i.e. the gun must be legal for you possess. You can travel with a firearm that is legal to possess in your source state and your destination state. And you can carry that firearm through any states inbetween, regardless of their possession laws. But you cannot take a firearm from one state into another state if it is not legal to possess that firearm in the destination state. Also, it is a gray area if you can possess that firearm in states inbetween if it is not legal to possess the firearm in your destination state.

Fwiw, things change and I am not current on this anymore, but you may be able to mail or send via courier (UPS, Fedx, etc) your gun to yourself at your destination. If you are thinking along this line, GET CURRENT INFO on if it is still legal to do.

Hopefully that inspires you to look deeper for more info before you grab for 6-shooter and hit the trail. They last thing you need is a problem because you tried to comply with the law.

Good luck!

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Old 09-17-2008, 04:12 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

If this is your concealed carry pistol, I believe your permit is only good in the issuing state (the carry permit--separate matter from whether the weapon is legal, as mentioned above).
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:13 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

I'm pretty sure you cannot use US Mail to ship a fire-arm except to send a gun you already own to a licensed gun-smith to repair it to you. They can then mail it back. If the problem is a jammed round, do not mail it! The fun-smith will report this to the USPS and it is a serious offense as well as being dangerous.

I'm pretty sure you can ship by a common-carrier, as suggested above, but am not positive. Tell the clerk what is in the box and they will probably be able to look up the rules for you. This might also be on thier website.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

Luckily Florida has CWP reciprocity with all the state's I'll be in except one. FEDEX'ing or shipping dealer to dealer it isn't an option due to my arrival time. Basically getting off the plane and driving back to FL.

Good info provided by was mostly looking for the procedures for checking it and retreiving it upon arrival.
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

Good data on the subject at:

http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/Federal/Read.aspx?id=70
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

I'd call the airline twice to make sure you get the same answer.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

From reading the airline website it looks like it just comes out with the rest of the baggage which makes me kind of nervous.

http://www.frontierairlines.com/fron...nt-firearms.do
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

You CAN take a firearm with you anytime you want. The "airline" will NOT ask any questions other than how is it packed and how much ammo do you have. It is "YOUR" responsibility to know the state laws as they don't pertain to the airline. You would be surprised to know how many people take guns with them. When you "checked" bag goes through the security, it may be opened by the TSA and they have the right to call you to the bag to ask questions.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?


Different states/airlines have different rules and laws. As suggested, learn about both. I have traveled with guns several times, between states, and the treatment from the airline can vary by airport. I have had gun cases pulled off before the carousel, without my prior knowledge (Atlanta), and I have had them come out on the carousel. Really kind of a crap shoot on that part, no matter what they tell you, or you read.This is based on actual experiences, not something in a book, or "they said so and so".

Good luck, and don't make any silly jokes at check-in...they don't laugh anymore.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

Since most of the replys seem to relay anecdotal info I will tell you what happened when I flew August 23rd from Los Angeles to Spokane WA on Alaska/Horizon with a 12 gauge Remington 1100 shotgun, a 9 millimeter Stainless Ruger and a 38 Special Colt. I had all of the guns in a locked hard plastic case with no ammo and the ticket counter after examining the weapons had no problem at all and just made me sign a receipt. When I was 2 minutes from boarding I got paged and was told TSA wanted to see me. When I got there 2 fat ladies from TSA took my key opened the case and inspected the contents again taking their sweet azz time eventually putting it back and relocking it all. It was a miracle I made the flight I believe they reopened the door and I know they had to put the boarding plank back. I was the model of coolness and grace through the whole ordeal and the manager who helped me should be given a fat raise and promotion. The manager told me what triggered the secondary inspection is that I had placed the 38 in the shotgun sock therefore the TSA fatties thought I was trying to hide something. What freaking b*llshit they Xrayed it and knew exactly what was in there. Also miraculosly they got the guns on my plane and I picked them up in Spokane. The moral is rifles/shotguns much less trouble than handguns which are really much more hassle. I left the ammo just to remove that from the equation and hell in Idaho ammo costs zilch. Had lot's of fun target shooting and trap shooting but drove home with the guns fortunately as I wasn't looking forward to another corn holing by the TSA who of course were just doing their job albeit slow as mollasses in Alaska. Bob
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

Tunas - 9/17/2008 1:17 PM

Since most of the replys seem to relay anecdotal info I will tell you what happened when I flew August 23rd from Los Angeles to Spokane WA on Alaska/Horizon with a 12 gauge Remington 1100 shotgun, a 9 millimeter Stainless Ruger and a 38 Special Colt. I had all of the guns in a locked hard plastic case with no ammo and the ticket counter after examining the weapons had no problem at all and just made me sign a receipt. When I was 2 minutes from boarding I got paged and was told TSA wanted to see me. When I got there 2 fat ladies from TSA took my key opened the case and inspected the contents again taking their sweet azz time eventually putting it back and relocking it all. It was a miracle I made the flight I believe they reopened the door and I know they had to put the boarding plank back. I was the model of coolness and grace through the whole ordeal and the manager who helped me should be given a fat raise and promotion. The manager told me what triggered the secondary inspection is that I had placed the 38 in the shotgun sock therefore the TSA fatties thought I was trying to hide something. What freaking b*llshit they Xrayed it and knew exactly what was in there. Also miraculosly they got the guns on my plane and I picked them up in Spokane. The moral is rifles/shotguns much less trouble than handguns which are really much more hassle. I left the ammo just to remove that from the equation and hell in Idaho ammo costs zilch. Had lot's of fun target shooting and trap shooting but drove home with the guns fortunately as I wasn't looking forward to another corn holing by the TSA who of course were just doing their job albeit slow as mollasses in Alaska. Bob
Tunas experience is about normal these days. Airlines all pretty much have the same policies and they go by FEDERAL laws NOT State laws. Unless you get a new kid at the Airline, most don't care unless you go over the amount of guns or ammo you carry. The airline could careless as long as it's packed correctly and you sign the release. Hand guns are no issue at all unless it's loaded or packed in the wrong bag. I have carried mine all over the states and always have it in a locked hard sided pistal carring case and have the ammo (up to 11lbs) in the orginal packaging and have never had a problem other the TSA pricks being the TSA!!! I have worked for 11 Airlines in the last 20 years and currently Manage 5 here in Fort Myers.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

SSheila - 9/17/2008 4:12 AM

If this is your concealed carry pistol, I believe your permit is only good in the issuing state (the carry permit--separate matter from whether the weapon is legal, as mentioned above).
A CCP is valid and recognized in any state that offers reciprocity to the issuing state. Reciprocity changes yearly. For example, VA has recently revoked reciprocity for SC. WV recently added reciprocity for NC. Here is a link, Click on your state on the map to determine reciprocity: http://www.handgunlaw.us/
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:19 PM
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23Dorado - 9/17/2008 5:26 AM

Luckily Florida has CWP reciprocity with all the state's I'll be in except one. FEDEX'ing or shipping dealer to dealer it isn't an option due to my arrival time. Basically getting off the plane and driving back to FL.

Good info provided by was mostly looking for the procedures for checking it and retreiving it upon arrival.
it's no big deal, I have done it numerous times on various airlines. It adds maybe 10 minutes to your check in time, TSA will open the case inspect it, then put a seal sticker on it to indicate they checked it. Easy Stuff.

In reply to whoever said you can only carry in your state, you are an example of why internet forums are such bad places to get advice. SO many people jjust want to tell you how they think things ought to be, Check out this website to see where you can and cannot carry conncealed with your permit

http://carryconcealed.net/packngo/in...Plan+Your+Trip

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Old 09-18-2008, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Pistol in checked baggage?

That's a great website. Thanks.

Confirmed what I already researched -

6. Illinois
This State DOES NOT Honor Your CCW Permit.
Illinois IS an Open Carry State. Rural Open Carry. Open Carry Generally Allowed in Non-Incorporated Areas.
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