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My gun experience at PDX, Southwest, and the TSA

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by CHLChris, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. CHLChris

    CHLChris Portland Metro East Love me some guns! Bronze Supporter

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    I recently flew Southwest out of PDX to Spokane GEG. I decided to take my carry gun with me since my OR-CHL is good in Idaho, where we were headed.

    I packed my gun, unloaded and action open, in a locked metal case that I usually use as my car safe. I stored 3 empty magazines and a full box of 50 JHP rounds in a separate locked metal case.

    I put them in my checked luggage along with my holster and such. When I went to the Southwest counter I said, "I have an unloaded gun to declare." Her eyes lit up, as I had read they might, since this is presumably the most interesting type of event during a shift. She didn't even have me open the cases.

    I took the bag over to a special TSA desk at PDX. This woman swabbed my bag for explosives, but never even opened the cases. When she asked about the ammo, I just said, "It is properly stored in the locked case." She was fine with that.

    When I arrived at GEG, the bag just came out on the normal belt. It did have a notice inside that the TSA had searched the bag again.

    At Spokane when I returned, the process was almost exactly the same. AT GEG, the TSA agent did ask for me to open the locked case with the gun, but other than that, the experience was the same. In Portland, my bag also had a notice that they had searched it.

    I was quite pleased with how easy the process was!! On your next trip, consider taking your gun.
     
  2. CHLChris

    CHLChris Portland Metro East Love me some guns! Bronze Supporter

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    I want to add one detail. At GEG, the counter agent made a comment about ammo. TSA limits a traveler to 11 pounds of ammo. She stated that she had no idea why someone would ever need 11 pounds. I thought it was my opportunity to support the shooting sports...

    I told her that some people compete and bring their own rounds for the competition. She didn't seem quite convinced so I brought up how people in competition often choose to make their own ammunition. It seemed that she understood.

    Score one for the team!
     
  3. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Some years ago (probably 8) I flew to Duluth MN. out of Portland. No problems, my bag was searched in Portland. I did miss my flight out of Denver but they got me on the next flight after I told them it was a family dispute and I was moving the family out ASAP. But when I reached Duluth they couldn't find one bag and naturally it was the one with the handgun in it. The airline called and said it would be on a later flight. It did arrive fine and was delivered to my step daughters house by a delivery service. I asked the person to stay and witness opening the bag till I could determine if the pistol made it OK. The woman riding with the delivery person yelled from the car "Whats the matter" I told her and she demanded that the other person leave immediately and got verbally abusive. There was an LDS minister there and witnessed the scene that she caused. He complained to the airline about the treatment I got. I drove a loaded U-Haul with a car and dolly on the back. I knew my permit wasn't good in a few states but at that time I didn't care, I was more concerned with safety of the family.
     
  4. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    you should have been able to lock the suitcase that the safe was in and since your bag was already checked by TSA it should not have had to be opened again... usually the person that swabs your gun case marks the tags indicating it was inspected by them and it had gone through xray... at least thats how it is in SEATAC. may be different in PDX.

    just an option you can exercise in the future.
     
  5. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    I've flown alaskan,hawaiian and united with firearms never had a problem but they usually bring out a tsa agent from somewhere in the back to inspect the luggage with the firearms