Getting a gun from point A to B

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by The Dude, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. The Dude

    The Dude
    The 206, WA

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    So my old man is plannin' a trip to come hang out with me and wants to bring a handgun or two. We were discussing how he was gonna do it and neither of us were exactly sure.:huh:

    1. He said he can mail a gun or guns as long as he's mailing the package addressed to himself at my address; He said this is popular with hunters. Is this legal and if so are there certain rules?

    2. He mentioned possibly bringing them with him as some sort of airline baggage. What are the laws concerning this? A special case? A certain marking or tag? A particular lock or a particular amount of locks? Lock on case or gun or both? A blessing by a particular religious entity? One of the guns is a Taurus which as you might know has a built-in lock. If it needs a lock for travel, does this lock count or does it have to be some sort of visible cable lock?

    3. The last resort would be sending them through a FFL holder. If and when he does this, whats the procedure? And if using a FFL, do the guns change legal posession?

    Gah...after all that, I'm kinda suprised how little I know about this. So if there's something I've overlooked or something else I should know about, lay it on me. Thanx in advance for the feedback.:)
  2. Keane

    Gaston, OR
    Active Member

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    For #3, its such a pain, its not worth doing. 1 and 2 are both possible. For #1, most carriers will make you ship the handguns overnight. Only limitation is that it needs to be mailed to yourself.

    For #2, this appears accurate:

    basically, You just have to have it in a hard sided locked container, ammo separate in factory ammo boxes (not in mags), and declare it to the ticket counter and TSA when you give them your bags.

    Note that they will want to look into the luggage, which you must allow, HOWEVER, the law requires you have constant possession of the key. I think you are allowed to be in the room while they search your bag, and they aren't allowed in your bag without you.
  3. kirkcdl


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    #1-you may not use the US Postal Service to mail a "concealable" firearm unless you are an FFL.and there is a form you must have on file at the mailing office,long guns are okay...

    #2-This is actually the easiest of the three you mention.Print a copy of the specific airlines' rules.Then print this page and keep it also: Follow them TO THE LETTER,and keep copies with you,not all airline employees are aware of their own policies regarding firearms.

    Make sure you have a good quality gun case,preferably one that has lock holes on the sides,like a Doskicil.If the TSA officers determine that your case is too flimsy,they will not let you use it,and IF the airline has any available,it will be expensive...There are guidelines for this on the TSA website...

    TSA approved locks are available at WalMart for under $10,they should have a TSA symbol and number printed on the lock.If you use a TSA marked lock,there's no need to hand over your keys,they will have a key that works,and they will appreciate the fact you paid attention to the rules.

    When he arrives at the check-in counter,say "I'd like to declare a firearm",the airline will have a "Declaration of Unloaded Firearm" form.Fill it out,or let them fill it out,depending on their policy,and then you will give your bag to a TSA officer who will inspect it for compliance,(again,follow TSA guidelines TO THE LETTER),they will lock it back up,and you're on your way.Your luggage will come down the carousel with all the others at the baggage claim area when you arrive...

    TSA "should" take care of it for you,but DO NOT allow the airline employees to put an external tag on your luggage ID'ing it as having a fiream inside,this is illegal,the "firearm" tag goes inside.

    It's actually very easy to take a firearm in your checked luggage,but remind your old man to be patient,it will pay for itself in the long run.Have him practice smiling a lot,it works...

    #3-A lot of unnecessary expenses here,and who knows how your guns will be treated in transit,I would avoid this option completely...
  4. tuckerha

    Tucson, Arizona

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    I've taken them on an airplane many times in recent years. I unload the pistol, leave the ammo at home, and put them in a locked case in my checked luggage.

    Let the folks at the counter know you are transporting an unloaded handgun(s) in your checked bags. TSA has come and verified they are unloaded and unlocked before. (that was not comfortable in the airport, proving they were clear)

    If in doubt, call the TSA or airlines ahead of time. Normally, they are pretty helpful.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Trlsmn

    In Utero (Portland)
    Well-Known Member

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    Take them on the plane (checked of course) people do it everyday.
  6. doubleactiononly


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    Now that there are TSA "offices" in the airport, flying with firearms is way, way easier. I flew with some of mine during the holiday season. There was some confusion at the airline counter (the lady misunderstood and thought I was trying to carry onto the plane), but once that got cleared up it was smooth sailing.

    1) sign a form declaring all firearms are unloaded
    2) bring it over to the TSA office (where they also check oversize luggage), they'll take care of it from there. For some reason, they did a bomb screen on my bag with the guns :huh:

    Never did I or the TSA agent have to touch my guns, or show that they were unloaded.

    On the way back, the TSA guy didn't even care. The airline agent and I walked over to his little office, and he was like, "yeah, whatever. throw it on the belt". Didn't even look at it.

    If you want to ship it, basically your only choice is UPS overnight. From what I read, Fedex is iffy, and the USPS will not do it. Oh, you also have to bring it to a UPS Customer Center. This is different than a UPS Store! The Customer Centers are essentially where they have their local distribution hubs.

    One final thing - flying with guns is usually easier, but there is a lot more room for something to go wrong! Take my flight home to Boston for the holidays. I missed my connecting flight, so my bag with the guns was sitting in a baggage transfer in New York overnight. Next day, it gets sent to Atlanta!! :huh:
    Finally, it gets routed back to Boston, and is casually placed out on the floor of the baggage claim area (with hundreds of other late bags). The whole time, all I could do is sit, wait and wonder about what would happen if some unsavory baggage handler decided to rifle through my bag :paranoid:

    So yeah, UPS is expensive, but if you need to transfer some high-value guns, it can be worth the price in peace of mind
  7. tionico

    Thurston County
    Well-Known Member

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    I've been aware that one can transport unloaded concealable weapons in one's checked baggage when flying. BUT--- I've often wondered about the risk of being stolen whilst en route. Once, after the Twin Towers assault, I flew within the US, dutifully placed my 3 3/4 inch Buck knife into my checked suitcase, closed it, put it through the check in window.... and never saw the knife again. Some slimey wretch stole it. No recourse. No accountability. Since I had no proof of having placed it there, I had no grounds for a claim. It made me furious, too. Used to be able to LOCK my suitcase. No more, its not legal. The same morons who have to inspect it are the ones to make light with interesting items. I've known a number of people to have expensive cameras pinched, as well as other valuables. Can't take them in the carryones sometimes. Too much. Can't take certain "contraband" items in the carryon. Have to trust the government agents to "protect" everying... from everything except them. Perhaps declaring the firearms and going through the special proceedures circumbents the thieves' den inspection areas. I've never travelled with a firearm, but have read the rules. I've even thought of placing some sort of heavy metal ring welded to the suitcse frame, and using a chain/padlock to assure the weapon can't be separated from the suitcase. Also thought of travelling with two suitcases, partially dismantling the weapon and one section in each bag. The chances of anyone inspecting the pair, and realising he's got to steal TWO parts to have the whole, are rather slim, I should think.
  8. mxitman

    N. Seattle

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    Easy to take on the plane, do it all the time. Some Airline carriers don't do it anymore though, so check with the carriers website first.
  9. mike sr.

    mike sr.
    the great tax me state: Nebr

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    PM sent..
  10. m'kay13

    Boardman, OR

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    Yeah, putting guns into check baggage is pretty common. I put my shotgun and handguns into checked baggage for my annual trip up to AK every summer and never had a problem. Make sure you have a hard-sided, lockable case.

    The guns were never my fear, but the $2,000 worth of rods I had to check and the frozen fish I had to travel with on my return would keep me up at night.

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