Who here has flown with a gun?
I moved from Michigan to Oregon a couple years back and my brother has been keeping my AR-15 company ever since. I'm heading back to Michigan for the holidays and I'm think of bringing my AR home with me. I've checked Delta's website and I just need to declare it, have it in a hard case with a TSA approved lock, and just check it like any other piece of baggage.
Just wondering if anyone has done it before and has any useful tips. Thanks!
That procedure works. I used to see them in the cargo all the time when I worked for a regional airline. Just make sure you have it marked all over with your name and contact info in case it gets lost. Especially if you are going to or thru Detroit. The baggage handlers that delta hires there dont give a damn about your bags. Also make sure it is in a padded soft sided case for when they are "gently" handling your stuff.
You also have to do some declaration that it is unloaded. I think I had to do a special stop at the airport to do so. Good thing mine was locked. One of the three latches was busted off.
Who says I'm giving it back T-Rev? It has made friends...
I have flown numerous times with very expensive trap shotguns and an enitre Scholastic Trap Team. Here is my experience & recomendations:
Ship it yourself via private carrier like Fed X or UPS signature required and insure it. Some airlines only let you carry one checked bag meaning you have to pay extra $$ anyways...
Entering an airport like say Sacramento Metro, you will first be watched closely by sheriff officers who may escort you to a secure waiting area where only "trained" TSA agents are authorized to inspect your weapon to determine if it is unloaded & the amount of ammunition is under specified allotment per weapon and each airline has it's own rules... Have you airline specific paperwork completed and in hand when you arrive with multiple copies.
Then you must secure(lock) the gun case, only once inspected and TSA agent places a seal or hanging tag on it verifying it has cleared TSA security. .
Now turn your gun over to the airline. and let the fun begin. The airline has the "option" to examine them outside of your presence to verify amount of ammunition meets thier rules...I reccomend taking duct tape to wrap around case once it is locked. It makes it easier to identify and keys you in if it has been opend and you must file a claim with an airline for missing or damaged parts.... I suggest taking pictures of it prior to handing it to the TSA or airline baggage person... The airline can xray it to inspect if required without opening the case...
No onto the case. Get a cheap ass plastic case and here is why:
First time, I bought really expensive Winchester aluminum case. Lasted literally one flight... Arrived wadded up like an aluminum can and I had to toss it in trash because once pried open it would not close properly.... Then I went to BIg 5 and got cheap ass plastic case which are actually tougher, more flexible & can bounce and not break when luggage handlers (monkeys) toss them like the old American Tourister commercail LOL... Duct tape makes identification easier when you have like 20-30 shooters like I took to Sparta IL for "The Grand" National Trap Shooting events....
The guns had tons of condensation moisture on them from being in the luggage hold of the plane,so open and wipe them done ASAP...
When we got to Chicago and got off the plane and down to the luggage concourse, I was amazed to see 20-30 guns on the luggage turnstyle just circling around.. NOT GOOD!!! anyone could have walked away with any or all of them... We were told by AA we would have to go claim them sepreatley with identification at a designated office and this did NOT happen at either airport...
Entering airport in IL to return was a joke, the TSA agent when I presented the guns could have cared less and did NOT verify if they were loaded or not. She only wanted to look that the case it was in "approved"and the lock put on it , then a sticker on it and sent it to luggage handling....
Arriving in Sacramento we sprinted to the luggage concourse and again there they were...
I am NOT comfortable with weapons regestered to me out of my care, custody & control. It was not an enjoyable travel experience and I have done it three times now. I am told that when you hand them over voluntarily, if they "mysteriously diapppear" they are NOt considered "stolen" by an insurance company and therefore may not be covered. The value of your gun likely exceeds the airlines "limit of liability" so you are kidding yourself if you think they will pay you replacement value of your gun.. Hope this helps and best wishes:
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