Rob Pincus

Traveling with Firearms on Airplanes

Rob Pincus
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Duration:   10  mins

Rob Pincus reviews the procedures for checking a firearm in with your luggage at the airport and how to go about traveling with firearms. These procedures are not consistent from airport to airport and have changed with time – check the latest regulations online with TSA and your airline before flying. Three key points are that you must follow all steps to be legal, conform to airline regulations, and secure your checked firearm. Rob passes along some valuable tips for making this process easier, based on his years of flying with checked firearms. Feel better about traveling with firearms with these helpful tips.

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18 Responses to “Traveling with Firearms on Airplanes”

  1. Aldo

    You didn't cover the fact that you must be the only person with a key to the firearm and also the bag you put it in. TSA is lock cut happy in many airports so get ready for the low IQ to cause problems.

  2. Geoff B

    Back in the mid-90s, my wife flew from NC to TX with a firearm in checked luggage. She made it to TX with no issues...but the firearm never arrived. This was the period when the locked firearm case was not allowed to be inside another piece of luggage, and the airline clearly marked the case on the outside as containing firearms. So, this served as a great advertisement for any unscrupulous baggage handler. I still receive an annual phone call from the RDU police asking if I have located the firearm, and the agent and I get a good laugh about that silly question every time. I was reimbursed by the airline for my loss, but that did not assuage my concern over one of my firearms in the hands of a criminal.

  3. Herbert Strandberg

    Good video, but here is a suggestion for one additional thing to do. There have been several instances where the baggage handlers stole the gun case with gun from the luggage. "Hey Bud, there is a gun showing on the xray.for this next bag". He opens the TSA lock, grabs the case with gun and locks it back up. So,get a strong steel cable. Pass it through the gun case handle and then, if necessary out the luggage bag through a small hole, and around the luggage handle or part of the bag's frame, then back to the lock. This is certainly slow down or prevent the baggage inspections from successfully taking the gun.

  4. Frank Stabler

    Do you recommend using a chamber flag?

  5. David Smith

    I'm a reloader. I have no "commercial" ammo boxes. What do I do now, go out and buy a box?

  6. Hugh

    Very informative.

  7. James

    Because there are baggage handlers who have been caught and prosecuted for taking things out of checked suitcases, I also put a cable lock through the handle of the locked gun case and lock it through the metal frame inside of my suitcase. That way someone can't just open my suitcase and grab my gun case, which they surely know contains a firearm. Also, don't use a backpack or any other case that you have taken to the range, as an airline carry on bag; it can come up positive on the explosive wipes testing.

  8. Wade

    Great Video with all good advice. I have also learned that when I approach the ticket counter I clearly state "I have a firearm to check in my checked baggage. It is unloaded and in a locked hard sided cased designed for firearms and I have the ammunition in a the factory box stored separately" I times out of ten they look at me and say "Its clear you have done this before" It makes them more comfortable. I also highly agree that each airport is different and can even be different on any given day!

  9. Mark

    Great video as always! I learnt a lot, still looks like a pain to travel with a firearm!

  10. Gary Jensen

    Rob - Excellent Video! Just yesterday a co-worker asked me about this, and I'll be pointing him to your video. A few other hints that I've picked up over the years: 1) At the counter I always say the same thing. "I need to declare and check an unloaded handgun" 2) In addition to leaving the slide locked open, I put a cable-lock on the handgun. Makes it more obvious. 3) I always carry a copy of the TSA and airline regulations (off of their websites). That way I can say, "Can you show me where it says that? I don't want to make this mistake again." An example of carrying the regulations - I was flying with enough ammo to shoot a couple of USPSA matches. I had 10 pounds of ammo. The gate agent told me that I had too much ammo, I could only have 5 pounds. I used the line above, and he pointed out where the regs said 5 kg of ammo. Whoops. No harm - no foul!

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