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I used to enjoy flying into the USA back in the 80s when it took at least 45 minutes to get through the Customs area because the guys in there wanted to talk guns and hunting and tell you about the B & C buck they had missed the week before. Will we ever get those times back I wonder:(

Recent trip to Slovenia was much smoother. The girl knew what was required and dealt with the paperwork very quickly. The XRay area had been updated so you were out of public view whilst they checked your rifle numbers etc., and the guy in there knew exactly where to look. Check in took me all of 20 minutes against previous experiences of 1 3/4 hrs. Big improvement. Here, as long as rounds are well packed with anti rattle foam, the reloading ammo boxes are fine and common sense says they are far superior.
 

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Flying with firearms

I know that this thread has been kicked around for a while, but I had a new and potentially unpleasant experience Saturday Jan 17 when flying from New Orleans to Sacramento. I had packed 2 sets of custom revolver grips in my carry-on, after finding no prohibitions in my review of TSA regulations. The TSA agent pulled my carry-on from the belt, and searched it. Finding the grips, the agent was inclined to let them go through. However, his supervisor went over to a book and came back to inform me that replicas of firearms or replicas of parts of firearms were not allowed in carry-ons. He was courteous but firm. I had to scurry back to the check-in, where a courteous and very helpful Southwest agent retrieved and put the grips in my checked bag. I am not complaining about TSA, as they were just carrying out their duties, but I guess the moral of the story is that failing to find a specific prohibition is not the same as approval. I regularly fly with firearms and ammo and generally find it to be hassle-free, but learned a valuable new lesson in this case. I could have and should have just added the items to my checked bag in the first place instead of assuming all was well.
 

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Superdave, I'm sure glad you were allowed to put them in the cargo hold underneath..... in order to eliminate the danger those grips would have posed if you had carried them on the plane ...........

At least you were allowed that courtesy.
 

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Well before 9/11 and the present terrorist dangers, I was flying to Michigan to meet up with a gunsmith who had built a superb lightweight rifle for me with a delicate 'butter knife' bolt handle. Unfortunately the handle had been broken off ... my fault .. but I was taking it back to have it welded back on and re done. On checking in I approached the Security Supervisor and produced the item and explained it was only a part of a firearm. He was delighted and asked if he could use it to test the system. He then packed it inside my carry on bag and told me to put it through. They did not see it and when he produced it from the bag on the other end there were some red faces and a lesson learned. He thanked me for my help and I carried on my way. I did the same with the U.S., system on the way back. These days I clear everything out of my check in which could cause a hang up.
No system of security is ever going to be perfect, but as I say to them when I'm scanned, the more they check me out the safer I feel.
 

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JohnnyLoco -

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Discussion Starter #89
Scratchin' my bald head...

I flew home from Reno on January 23. I walked into the Reno airport with my rifle case in tow. I walked up to the ticket counter and asked "Where do I check in my empty rifle case with TSA?" The cute ticket agent asked "Is it empty?" "Yes," I replied. "Oh, we'll just take it right here." I laid it down on the floor, opened it (just like that Ciancia guy probably did), got out the TSA-approved locks and locked it up. Over the counter it went, out of my credit card flew $35 and I was off to Security. At Dulles I had to go to the Large and Oversize Baggage Office to get it. It did not show up on the carousel. Too big; would jam it up. I was not asked to identify myself; I just asked "Did a black rifle case show up here?" There it was on the floor; they gave it to me with no questions asked. And out the door to the parking lot I went...

I did not bring back my dad's M70 in .30-06 Springsteen, vintage 1952 or so, nor my M94 in .32 WinSpcl, vintage 1910 or so. I'll drive my car back in about four months, next time my brother comes home from overseas. I can submit for a longer period of unpaid leave; our part-time drivers would welcome the few extra trips I won't be making. I want those rifles in my custody at all times. They are priceless family heirlooms. Would you want a savage baggage-handler throwing your dad's rifle around, and having it be subject to theft along the way? Me, neither...
 

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To All,

3 comments about my many experiences with traveling with firearms during my military career:
1. I've had any number of "problems" with airline "counter" personnel, who often know ZILCH about firearms & often "tried to cause controversy" where no "problem" should have existed.
(In one case, a American Airlines "counter lady" at BWI, when she asked me if I had "anything to tell her about", I quietly said that I had an unloaded, cased, .38SPL Colt's revolver in my suitcase. - When the woman heard that, she SCREAMED, "HE'S GOT A GUN." & everyone "scattered". Then a Maryland Transportation Police agency SGT rushed over & wanted to know "What the H is going on?". When he learned that the "counter lady" was a VIOLENT opponent of anyone owning a gun, he told her to apologize to me & then walked over to TSA with me to assure that there would be no more "controversy". & sped me through getting my luggage checked in. = NICE/HELPFUL GENTLEMAN was the SGT!!)
2. TSA agents & the various "Airport Police agencies", in my experience are HELPFUL & POLITE in handling firearms on AP property & in checked luggage.
and
3. IF you travel with muzzle-loading and/or BP cartridge firearms internationally, be prepared to do "show & tell" for any number of airline employees, customs agents, police officers and (sometimes) "a cast of thousands". - ALLOW extra time at ANY foreign airport to "clear the airport", as you will suddenly be "THE EXPERT" on black powder firearms & the people that you contact will have a multitude of questions. - BE PATIENT, answer their questions politely & you'll be fine.
(The last time that I flew into a South American nation with 2 long-rifles, it took me more than 2.5 HOURS to "unpack, explain & demonstrate" the rifles to several groups of "government officials", including the airport's manager, the senior customs department supervisor & a LTC of The National Police, who were "fascinated with" the rifles & asked me if I would have time to take the LTC shooting while I was "in country".).

yours, satx
 

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Just to add t what satx said, make sure YOU know the rules of each jurisdiction in which yhou are taking firearms. I had mucho trouble when, on a multi-state hunting trip, I happened to lay over in New York. Don't take handguns to New York. I also had trouble with having taken a semi-auto shotgun to South Africa failing to learn that the country had just banned all semi-autos. In each case, I had relied on my hunting partner's knowledge of the law in those jurisdictions. Know them yourself and save time, money, and anxiety.
 

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BearBear,

WELL SAID. - Further, check again right before you depart CONUS. = Some time ago, a friend was going to go to Australia to hunt & had "cleared" with the consulate that his .30-06 Remington pump rifle was "- - - - -perfectly acceptable for hunting, just as shotguns are."

When he arrived with his rifle & a 12-gauge 870 Remington pump shotgun, in his "checked baggage", he found that the AUS government has banned PUMP & SEMI-AUTO shotguns.
(Having asked the consulate in the USA for "clearance" made ZERO difference & his Remington 870 was "taken into police custody".)

ONE thing is SURE about governments & firearms: "BRAINS" & "commonsense" seldom are deemed "important" in passing laws & regulations!!

just my OPINIONS, satx
 

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Avoid London Heathrow like the plague..... for more reasons than just firearms.

Birmingham BHX (UK) and London Stansted are pretty good
 

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Sus Scrofa,

THANKS. - I'm flying British Airways to the Ukraine to hunt big game, with a stopover in London this fall . - I'll check to see WHICH London AP that I'm being booked through.

yours, satx
 

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Well, in the U.S., it's required that you immediately volunteer to information that you're traveling with a firearm. Not sure where being "asked" comes in. I've traveled many times as a civilian and as military with a firearm and never had an issue. Canada was especially easy, knowing the requirements prior to entry.

Been places I never want to be/go again. But I appreciate the welcome I felt from every Canadian resident I encountered. Would love to live there, but for that handgun "thing". Wonderful folks!
 

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Well, I've also flown into NYC with handguns (from overseas) without issue. I checked laws and as a major POE, NYC has no choice but allow this. However, you cannot remain in NY with those handguns, but must depart the state and not remain even as a guest.
 

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Tnhunter,

You are legally correct BUT sometimes you are asked before you can say anything about having firearms. - Furthermore, some of the "counter attendants", who are AIRLINE employees don't listen and/or are talking non-stop about something else.
(Should we rudely interrupt & tell the counter agent to "HUSH", so that you can tell them IMMEDIATELY that you have an unloaded/cased firearm in your luggage??)

In point of fact, I'm not sure that you MUST tell the airline employees but you certainly MUST notify TSA. - Do you KNOW FOR SURE what the actual law requires??

yours, satx
 

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Yup.......
 

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Tnhunter,

"Yup." = Can you be a little more illuminating than 1 short word, IF you know for sure what the relevant laws require??
(I was a federal LEO & criminal investigator for DoD for nearly 3 decades, and I'm not sure.)

yours, satx
 

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There's no requirement for an individual to notify TSA about a firearm. That lies on the airline. You're requirement as someone flying with a firearm is to immediately inform the desk person.

In years past TSA would also inspect every firearm requiring added patience from the traveler. Now, TSA is way less(my mistake, more) lenient and does not inspect every firearm letting the airline's process be all that happens.

They, of course, retain the right to look at that firearm and the "proper" airline person will mention this. Meaning, you'll need to be accessible should TSA need you to unlock your case again. I've never been asked.
 
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