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TSA: Flying with Handloads

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Spitpatch, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    This experience happened to me twice, and the sequence of events was almost identical each time. Heads up for hunters who fly to a hunt with handloaded ammo.

    Fly out of PDX with my guns properly hardcased, ammo seperate, pass all inspections with flying colors.

    Arrive in Billings MT without a hitch. All is hunkey-dory. Complete my hunt and go to the Billings airport to fly home.

    Big controversy erupts when the TSA guys at Billings see my handloaded ammo in the hard-plastic, latch-top MTM (or RCBS) cartrige boxes. They recite their regs that say "ammunition shall be in its original container." I explain to them there never was an original box, that the new brass came in a plastic ziploc, and I know that would be unnacceptable, as a proper container. I also make great note that PDX had no problem with my containers.

    One bright boy makes the suggestion that I "just get some factory boxes, and put my handloads in there." This, I know would be a direct violation of the TSA reg.

    Then I'm referred to the "supervisor", (who in his infinite intelligence recites again chapter and verse from the regs), and I go thru the entire presentation again. He acknowledges that "bright boy's" solution is a violation, and plastic bags would not be good.

    In both instances, the half-hour of debate (I am polite and respectful throughout) ends with them saying, "OK, we'll let you go this time, but next time you need to conform to the regulations, here's a printed copy."

    I actually e-mailed TSA with the quandary in detail prior to the second trip. Their reply? They e-mailed back the reg. I'm sure I now have a "red check-mark" next to my name with them. I'm tempted to go with bright-boy's suggestion, and put my handloads in factory boxes, but I know this is a direct violation, and if asked, I'd have to admit these are not the "original containers", and that I deliberately violated their reg. This also presents a problem, in that I have very few factory boxes around, since I handload for everything. Winchester brass in a Remington box would be a definite "red flag" to them.

    Still don't know what to do the next time. Classic example of bureaucracy ignorance endangering a law-abiding citizen.

    What really floors me, is that this happened in Billings, Montana of all places, as if they'd never seen handloads before! I've flown to Alaska multiple times, and no problems there or back.

    Anybody else with this experience? Just thought I'd share, in case one of you guys is planning a trip.

    P.S.: If one of you comedians post the TSA reg, I'll scream and there'll be a hole in the wall here of my body shape, with arms extended over my head.
     
  2. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    Funny thing is, according to both the TSA website and the CFR (scroll down to "8"), your boxes are fine - both simply say that ammo has to be transported in "packages designed to carry small amounts of ammunition". Where, if you don't mind my asking, did they come up with this "original box" idea? Do you have some kind of citation?


    I'd bring a current printout of the CFR and the TSA website with you next time...
     
  3. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Hey! Perhaps my "dust-up" got results! (And, reluctant to take credit, maybe multiple others had the same experience and "dusted it up" a bit more than myself with TSA).

    These experiences were most recently 3 years ago. Revisions may well be in effect now. I'll review it, and thanks!
     
  4. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    Sweet! Always nice to hear about an idiotic regulation getting changed... :thumbup:
     
  5. Redrum

    Redrum Portlandia Active Member

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    The TSA does not know their *** from a hole in the ground..Ive lost 2 high end lighters to those turds over the same kinda crap they pulled with your ammo regulations. one airport says its fine, no prob and doesnt even bat an eye..the next airport says its a flame thrower and I cant have it even after its visibly empty.
    I just quit flying. And when I do have to fly I try to fly into the smaller airports.
     
  6. PDXGS

    PDXGS Aloha... yes, Aloha, Oregon Member

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    1.Get yourself some of these in the right caliber:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=613404
    2. Go to any "girls" toy store in any mall and get your favorite one of these:
    http://http://cgi.ebay.com/new-fantasy-unicorn-rainbow-star-horse-rubber-stamp_W0QQitemZ320493685329QQcmdZViewItemQQssPageNameZRSS:B:SRCH:US:101
    3. Label the box with load label that comes with Sierra bullets or similar-extra points for typing:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=798107

    then you can have an even more informed talk with the TSA zombies...
     
  7. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    And why is that? Just to make things harder on yourself? TSA is full of idiots that likely can't even spell Winchester or Remington. ****, most of them read at an 8th grade level.

    Seems like you are going about this the wrong way.