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Discussion Starter #1
OK here is another question:

I know when you travel with your firearm by air, you have to declare it with your checked baggage and lock it, ammo separately.

Then some airlines identify it as baggage carrying a firearm somehow, I've heard with dayglo orange outer bag or similar.

This to me invites theft.

SO what I'm wondering is would it be prudent to dissasemble the firearm somewhat.
Technically, the frame is the firearm since that is what is stamped with the serial number.
Then carry-on the slide with you.

I think this would make the firearm less inviting to theives.

Anyone want to offer an opinion or rip this one to shreds?
 

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I'm not aware of any airline that still marks luggage with firearms in it from the outside. All that I've seen place a placard inside it to warn anyone who may have a necessity to open it.

I wouldn't know what the reaction would be if the screener found the slide, but I expect you;d have some 'splaininn to do Lucy'.
 

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I'm pretty sure the FAA instructed airlines a couple years ago to NOT mark the outside of luggage containing firearms, because of the potential theft problem.
 

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18 USC Sec. 922(e)] It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped; except that any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm or ammunition being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce may deliver said firearm or ammunition into the custody of the pilot, captain, conductor or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip without violating any of the provisions of this chapter. No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.

Here is a great read on traveling with a firearm Phoenix Area Certified Trainers

Go down about half-way on the main page for the article. Good Luck.
 

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Contact the airline directly and ask them their policies. I flew from Orlando to Bismark, ND last summer and took two rifles and my kimber. I had to check the guns in and show the counter person that they were unloaded. I then had to sign an orange paper that stated they were unloaded. That paper was placed with the gun(s) INSIDE the cases. The cases had to lock. BTW, I was able to have boxes of ammo in the same cases right next to the firearms. The ammo just could not be IN the gun.

I believe it was NorthWest that I flew on.
 

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I have done it on Alaska, United, Delta, American, America West and maybe a few others.

None ever marked the outside of the bag - pre or post 9-11. Call the airline to be sure but you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
 

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Did it today

I flew Continental today. Like Gatorguy said, showed them the gun was unloaded, signed the orange card, and locked the case.

This is actually the only way you can check your bags with a lock. Otherwise, you are not supposed to lock your luggage so they can inspect it if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I thought I would update everyone on how it all worked out:

Bought a locking case with foam inserts and loaded three magazines inside foam cutouts and made a cutout for my 1911 to fit with the slide locked back. Packed this in my checked baggage with an additional lock.

Went to baggage checkin and declared to woman ticket agent. She didn't freak out but called over male ticket agent to verify firearm was unloaded. Hilarious conversation ensued as male ticket agent was a bit, ah, cultured? He gave the queer eye on the gun guy and suggested pearl handled grips.
:eek:

Got my tag from the ticket lady and was directed to TSA which was operating the baggage scanner right next door. They looked apprehensive when I said "I need to declare a firearm" so I quickly followed up with "I declared it to the Southwest agent and she said to notify you". They wanted me to lock it all at this point and stick around in case they needed to inspect it after it went through the machine.

Well, they did and I had to stand on my toes to tell the guy the combination so he could inspect the case because they wouldn't let me walk around. He said they couldn't get a good view of the inside. TSA guy asks if I carry for work, nope just for personal protection. He locks it back up (I hope, hard to see) and off it goes.

I was a bit worried as we made two stops so I made sure I waited right in front of the conveyer belt at the point where the baggage comes out when we finally arrived in Portland. My bag came off pretty quick and I discreetly inspected it right there and everything was kosher.
There was no identifying markings placed on my baggage that I could see.

So it looks like it's no problem to fly with your firearm. Just be sure to check the particular airlines rules right before you go. I printed them out from the internet and I was glad I did as the ticket agents didn't seem to sure of what to do.

Thanks for the advice everybody.
 

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Submarine said:
male ticket agent was a bit, ah, cultured? He gave the queer eye on the gun guy and suggested pearl handled grips.
ROTFLMAO.

That's hilarious!

I'm glad it all worked out for you. The strange part that I find of the whole episode is having to give the TSA the combination to the case. According to the S/W website, "Only the Customer checking the luggage should retain the key or combination to the lock. No exceptions will be made." And even the TSA website says, "Only you, the passenger, may have the key or combination."
 

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too bad it wasnt a browning semi-auto 1919!! That would be great checking that as luggage!! I would love to get one just to check it in. Pull that sucker out to check it in front of the chekcers!! Oh taht would be barrels of fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes I wasn't too happy about the combination thing either. When I first went up to the TSA people they just wanted me to put it through the machine and stick around if they needed to open it. I told them it wasn't yet locked so they had me lock it. Then of course they wanted to inspect, but wouldn't let me back where my luggage was, so I had to tell the guy the combination over the wall. Not quite right is it? Anyone could have been walking behind me and heard. Not that it was an unbreakable lock or anything but still.
 

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Glad your trip went well. I work for America West and I'm the guy throwing your luggage around in the plane:D Keeping the pistol case inside your checked luggage is the most covert way of flying with a handgun. None of the baggage handlers will be the wiser. I'd also suggest some sort of golf bag or snowboard bag that will hold a rifle case if flying with a rifle. The less conspicuous the better. Not that you have to worry about them getting stolen but I don't like to advertise. We were also told that we could not lock our rifle cases because TSA would have to look at them and they would just zip-tie them. I've never flown with a long gun since 9-11 so I don't know how true this is.
 
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