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Loaded shotgun at TSA check in
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I returned yesterday from a pheasant hunt near Pierre, South Dakota, having flown into Pierrw from Denver and returning home the same route. TSA at Pierre is incredibly thorough, they went thru or emptied every checked bag, swabbing each bag a number of times (totally emptied my wife's bag but only opened and swabbed my bag, took nothing out). One of the guys that had hunted with me was going on a mule deer hunt so had rifle ammo in his suitcase. The rifle ammo was in an MTM type case placed inside a larger, locking case. He had cloth and foam padding around the ammo and a female TSA officer pulled the padding out, saying only ammo could be in the box, wrong, but what can you do?
They also inspected every checked firearm, as well; they took the firearm out of the case and removed the foam padding from the cas, then swabbed the inside and outside of the case...no matter if the foam was glued in, they removed it.
A guy two places in front of me had some sort of semi auto shot gun with an aftermarket cylindrical magazine mounted under the barrel, it looked like it might hold 12 rounds or so, but I know for a fact it held 7 because that is the number the TSA guy removed from the gun. He wasn't very happy and summoned the local police and called his superiors. After much fast talking by the traveler (he really had unloaded the magazine, it must have malfunctioned)and several phone calls between TSA officer and local cop to someone who must've had more athourity, they took photos of the guy and his gun, then replaced the 7 shells in the magazine, closed and locked the guncase and let him go! Just illustrates how there is no consistency from airport to airport.


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1644 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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Sounds like the TSA folks there are all anti hunting, anti gun, in spite of working in a state that should welcome hunters, as that is one of the biggest source of their revenues/ incomes. I would be pissed if they ripped the glued foam padding out of my gun case without any justification for doing so!
 
Posts: 14926 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Technically, the gun is not loaded unless there is a shell in the chamber. If they didn't like the arrangement, why did they reload the magazine? Bizzare. But that's TSA for you.

I once had to go back and check a set of reloading dies that were in my carry on.

They confiscated my wife's tomato paste on another occasion. And a bottle of latex paint.

Don't even think of traveling with a ring wrench or a grout trowel. That will end up in their bag of confiscated stuff.

As for their destroying your luggage, that's routine. They will cut or destroy your locks, even though they instruct you not to use TSA locks on firearms.

Here's the problem: they employ people who would otherwise be unemployable.


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Posts: 2547 | Location: Texas | Registered: 07 June 2003Reply With Quote
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It has probably been 10 years ago, but I picked up a couple of my business partners at the Sioux Falls airport the Friday night before the opener. It was an eye opener in the post 9/11 world. Gun cases were pouring off the conveyor and TSA seemed to have a pretty orderly process - show your DL and claim your gun. There was even a booth outside security where you could buy a hunting license and shotgun shells. At the time I was impressed by the gun friendly atmosphere. Of course, the economic impact of the pheasant season to the state is huge.


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Posts: 234 | Location: Springfield, MO | Registered: 09 September 2015Reply With Quote
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St. Louis International the ladies at Delta check in wanted to see my double rifle and bolt gun then told me how "neat" they looked and wanted to know all about my trip. My flight to JFK was canceled and they worked 20 minutes urgently trying to get me on another airline and finally succeeded. I tipped her $20 for being so helpful. Walked across the aisle and United ladies were keenly interested in the trip and my rifles.

Gave them to Dumb and dumber at TSA to inspect and they took the locking rod out of the four locking holes and opened the case. After fumbling around for 10 minutes and tried to put the rod backwards through the wrong hole. This went on for 1 or 2 minutes till I told them to put it in the right hole, like on their wedding night. They didn't laugh and I actually had to walk over to show them.
 
Posts: 2652 | Registered: 10 March 2006Reply With Quote
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Karl,

That’s insane. Luckily, I’ve never had too many issues with transport of firearms. However, I did get caught with a single rifle round in my carry on backpack. I was headed skiing, but had used the same backpack deer hunting the prior weekend.

This was maybe 2013. They took all of my information down, then let me go. Since then, I have traveled extensively, but have been detained twice upon re-entry to the US without explanation. I did apply, and receive Global Entry. One of the detentions, although brief, was after GE. The first was nearly 2.5 hours, but was still able to make my connection.


Dutch,

Cool story by both sets of ticket agents. I’ve found them to typically be very helpful. It drives me nuts to see the tick and booth agents get harassed by prick passengers. I always hate being the next in line, but always try to brighten their mood. Often times, it can be very beneficial.


I meant to be DSC Member...bad typing skills.

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Posts: 2724 | Location: Dallas | Registered: 19 March 2008Reply With Quote
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Once you get in a fed travelers database, you ain’t gettin out!
 
Posts: 8562 | Location: Georgia | Registered: 28 October 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Dutch44:
St. Louis International the ladies at Delta check in wanted to see my double rifle and bolt gun then told me how "neat" they looked and wanted to know all about my trip. My flight to JFK was canceled and they worked 20 minutes urgently trying to get me on another airline and finally succeeded. I tipped her $20 for being so helpful. Walked across the aisle and United ladies were keenly interested in the trip and my rifles.

Gave them to Dumb and dumber at TSA to inspect and they took the locking rod out of the four locking holes and opened the case. After fumbling around for 10 minutes and tried to put the rod backwards through the wrong hole. This went on for 1 or 2 minutes till I told them to put it in the right hole, like on their wedding night. They didn't laugh and I actually had to walk over to show them.


On one of my first TSA inspections, back when you had to hand them the key and not watch, they left the rod completely out. Now I use four locks, one on each hasp.


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Posts: 7252 | Location: Arizona | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With Quote
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I think it is very unwise to have a gun loaded with ammo while shipping.

Regardless if it is in the magazine.

This is the sort of thing that causes all of us to endure additional inspections while travelling with guns.

Years ago, travelling through Tanzania, one only needed to have his guns checked by the customs officers.

Then comes a utterly stupid idiot with a round in the chamber!

ow we all have to have our rifles physically inspected by the police - they look through the barrel, to see there is nothing there!!

As well as having to the customs inspection.

Stupidity has it is price, and we all have to pay for it.

There are many people who have no business going hunting, or even handling a gun.


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Posts: 51635 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
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This is the exact reason I don't travel with snap caps. Try explaining what a snap cap is to the average airport security worker.
Cal


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Posts: 6235 | Location: Willow, Alaska | Registered: 29 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Agreed that no gun should be loaded at all for any transportation (excluding self defense firearms kept in a personal vehicle). To me, a loaded magazine is a loaded gun.

Most shotguns with a loaded magazine will load a round when checking the chamber. Some semis do have magazine cutoffs, but it is stupid to even have rounds in the firearm while checking for a flight.

My loose round in the bottom of my backpack was a stupid over sight.

I also had another one. I had an early morning flight out of Córdoba and got dressed in my normal routine: wallet in my pocket, watch on my wrist, knife clipped in my pocket. I reached security and started emptying my pockets and damn, there’s my knife. I presented it to security prior to screening and I’m sure it’s now or was the officer’s property after. I do have a long standing policy of buying any EDC knife over $50. Not just because of the above scenario, but something always happens to them. I lose them, give them away, or whatever.


I meant to be DSC Member...bad typing skills.

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Posts: 2724 | Location: Dallas | Registered: 19 March 2008Reply With Quote
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What's the deal on swabbing such
things? They looking for drugs?

George


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Posts: 4648 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by georgeld:
What's the deal on swabbing such
things? They looking for drugs?

George


The swabs, I believe, are intended to detect explosive substances. A special cloth is placed on a toothbrush sized wand and wiped directly on the items. I suppose they turn a certain color if positive. It is concerning if you use a carry on that double as a field bag, especially if any high volume bird hunting.


I meant to be DSC Member...bad typing skills.

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Posts: 2724 | Location: Dallas | Registered: 19 March 2008Reply With Quote
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Don't ever arrive in NZ with a loaded magazine even a detached one, any loaded magazine is classed as a loaded firearm. Your journey, if you are still allowed in, will most surely be sans firearms and anything remotely to do with firearms.

Why would anyone travel with a loaded magazine, that is dumb, dumber and a complete idiot, Saeed's last sentence in his post above is absolutely spot on.
 
Posts: 2834 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by DCS Member:
quote:
Originally posted by georgeld:
What's the deal on swabbing such
things? They looking for drugs?

George


The swabs, I believe, are intended to detect explosive substances. A special cloth is placed on a toothbrush sized wand and wiped directly on the items. I suppose they turn a certain color if positive. It is concerning if you use a carry on that double as a field bag, especially if any high volume bird hunting.


True story: I went though dulles once with a bag I had used the previous day while shooting clays. Gunshot residue all over it. Lady swabbed it and came up positive. Told my wife not to say anything while the lady swabbed it again and again got a positive. The lady shook her head and told me, “Thus thing always acting up.” And waved me through. Chew on that a sec. Dulles - 2003. Unreal.
 
Posts: 6422 | Registered: 31 January 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by K Evans:
I returned yesterday from a pheasant hunt near Pierre, South Dakota, having flown into Pierrw from Denver and returning home the same route. TSA at Pierre is incredibly thorough, they went thru or emptied every checked bag, swabbing each bag a number of times (totally emptied my wife's bag but only opened and swabbed my bag, took nothing out). One of the guys that had hunted with me was going on a mule deer hunt so had rifle ammo in his suitcase. The rifle ammo was in an MTM type case placed inside a larger, locking case. He had cloth and foam padding around the ammo and a female TSA officer pulled the padding out, saying only ammo could be in the box, wrong, but what can you do?
They also inspected every checked firearm, as well; they took the firearm out of the case and removed the foam padding from the cas, then swabbed the inside and outside of the case...no matter if the foam was glued in, they removed it.
A guy two places in front of me had some sort of semi auto shot gun with an aftermarket cylindrical magazine mounted under the barrel, it looked like it might hold 12 rounds or so, but I know for a fact it held 7 because that is the number the TSA guy removed from the gun. He wasn't very happy and summoned the local police and called his superiors. After much fast talking by the traveler (he really had unloaded the magazine, it must have malfunctioned)and several phone calls between TSA officer and local cop to someone who must've had more athourity, they took photos of the guy and his gun, then replaced the 7 shells in the magazine, closed and locked the guncase and let him go! Just illustrates how there is no consistency from airport to airport.


Your experience reminds me of my trip to Zambia in 2011. Guess what happened between the time I left Atlanta and arrived in Lusaka? Osama bin Laden was taken out. While the color coded security levels are not publicly issued any more, I have to believe they still exist for airport management and security. The extra level of "red tape" was still prevalent 10 days later coming home.

I would imagine Pierre is accustomed to firearms. I just wonder if the thoroughness was due to a heightened security level surrounding the taking out of Baghdadi? Of course, I have no clue as to putting rounds back into a magazine.


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Posts: 839 | Location: Cumming, Georgia USA | Registered: 17 July 2004Reply With Quote
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As far as locks on firearm cases, I believe the latest TSA regulations state TSA locks are okay and might speed up the check in process.

I used TSA locks exclusively on my last trip (in September) without any issues.

BH63

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Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by eagle27:
Don't ever arrive in NZ with a loaded magazine even a detached one, any loaded magazine is classed as a loaded firearm.

Each country (as well as each airline) has its own rules. TSA specifically says that ammunition may be carried in a magazine -- however, the assumption is that it is a detachable magazine and not inserted in the gun. Other countries and some airlines may have a different take on loaded magazines.

As for me, I would take no chances and keep all magazines completely empty of ammunition.
 
Posts: 12550 | Location: Henly, TX, USA | Registered: 04 April 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by georgeld:
What's the deal on swabbing such
things? They looking for drugs?

George



Explosives residue.
 
Posts: 3007 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With Quote
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It also picks up cow manure, fertilizer, and probably some other things. Anything with nitrates i believe.


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Posts: 2547 | Location: Texas | Registered: 07 June 2003Reply With Quote
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quote:
Stupidity has it is price, and we all have to pay for it.


I like this and it is so true.


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1644 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ Gould:
It also picks up cow manure, fertilizer, and probably some other things. Anything with nitrates i believe.


Correct, I asked the lady swabbing and she told me that some gun cleaning products will cause an alarm as well.
I forgot to mention that the guy that checked the gun with the loaded magazine was, surprisingly, "randomly" chosen for enhanced screening at security.


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1644 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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Leaving amo in the magazine of any firearm that you are traveling by aircraft is is criminally stupid. That guy is lucky that they did not arrest him. Actions like this often result in the authorities making it even more difficult to travel with fire arms . When I travel I remove bolt from my rifle and place a bore flag in the bore. or in a shotgun leave action open with bore flag Go the extra mile it helps us all .
 
Posts: 890 | Location: Chico California | Registered: 02 May 2010Reply With Quote
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When we lived in Tanzania we usually flew KLM through Schipol. Going back to Scotland for Christmas I got to to Holland and put on the Barbour jacket I hadn't worn for months to find two Eley 12 gauge (live) shells in the pocket.

Mea culpa - shooting ducks at Chimala - just chucked the jacket in my carry on.

What to do? Just quietly stash them in a bin - or fess up?

I went to the security office and handed them over - "yeh fine" they said - matter ended.
 
Posts: 131 | Location: The frozen north of Scotland | Registered: 01 July 2015Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Kuwinda:
When we lived in Tanzania we usually flew KLM through Schipol. Going back to Scotland for Christmas I got to to Holland and put on the Barbour jacket I hadn't worn for months to find two Eley 12 gauge (live) shells in the pocket.

Mea culpa - shooting ducks at Chimala - just chucked the jacket in my carry on.

What to do? Just quietly stash them in a bin - or fess up?

I went to the security office and handed them over - "yeh fine" they said - matter ended.


I bet you anything you won't get away with it now.

I went through security at Munich airport, and behind me was a Spanish gentleman who forget a tiny pocket knife in his carry on.

It is barely an inch a half in length.

But within seconds he was surrounded by several officers with MP5s.

I stood there wondering what all the fuss was about, as they lectured him and his family, his young daughters were crying, which seemed to make the stupid officer in charge even more aggressive.

I have no idea what happened to him, as my flight was called, and I left.


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Posts: 51635 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
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Having a shotgun with a shell in the magazine reminds me of an incident that happened while I was on guard duty during basic training.

An inner city black guy was given a pump shotgun and was supposed to guard a sensitive area.

The chamber was empty, but the magazine was full.

While walking around he got bored and decided to make sure the shotgun didn’t have a shell in the chamber.

So he racked the pump and sure enough no shell popped out. Then to make doubly sure, he pulled the trigger. BOOM!!

True story.

BH63


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Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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I flew into Anchorage on Ravn Oct. 16th on the way back from a hunt and was told to claim my gun and recheck it with Alaska Airlines (even though my other luggage was checked through). The TSA agent who examined my gun looked under every piece of foam and swabbed every nook and crannie of the Pelican long gun case. While he was courteous and knowledgeable about the regs, this business of pulling out all the foam is a new phenomenon. I've travelled quite a bit shooting sporting clays tournaments and haven't seen that level of scrutiny before. Considering that the OP got the same treatment in Pierre around the same time makes me think this is a new directive from TSA due to a real or perceived threat.
Might not be the best time to have glued in foam.
As stated before, putting a loaded weapon or a full attached magazine up for inspection is extreme stupidity that confirms the worst stereotypes held by non-shooters about those of us who bear arms.


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Posts: 23 | Registered: 10 September 2018Reply With Quote
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From the TSA Website on firearms:

"Firearms
When traveling, comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international governments.
If you are traveling internationally with a firearm in checked baggage, please check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information and requirements prior to travel.
Declare each firearm each time you present it for transport as checked baggage. Ask your airline about limitations or fees that may apply.
Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations. You may use any brand or type of lock to secure your firearm case, including TSA-recognized locks.
Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, are prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.
Replica firearms, including firearm replicas that are toys, may be transported in checked baggage only.
Rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.
United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44, firearm definitions includes: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm."

According to this, a firearm is loaded if a loaded magazine is inserted into the firearm, even if there is not a bullet in the chamber. Also, there appears to be contradiction by the TSA on locks. They state that you can now use TSA approved locks, but they also state that only the firearms owner can retain the key or the combination to the lock. TSA approved locks allow the TSA to open your rifle case without your knowledge, your key or your combination. Best to stick with non TSA locks and make them come for the key or the combination, no matter how inconvenient that may seem to you.

It would also be interesting to have some TSA agent explain the logical reason for tearing out glued-in foam in gun cases. There has to be a reason for them to now be doing this and we ought to be provided with the reasoning. Should be no secret that the public should not be aware of in this regard.
 
Posts: 14926 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by BuffHunter63:
Having a shotgun with a shell in the magazine reminds me of an incident that happened while I was on guard duty during basic training.

An inner city black guy was given a pump shotgun and was supposed to guard a sensitive area.

The chamber was empty, but the magazine was full.

While walking around he got bored and decided to make sure the shotgun didn’t have a shell in the chamber.

So he racked the pump and sure enough no shell popped out. Then to make doubly sure, he pulled the trigger. BOOM!!

True story.

BH63


I was a child, maybe 10, when I was in a store with my mother and sister during an armed robbery. One of the robbers had a pump shotgun. He put the shotgun to the clerk’s face and said “Give me the Fing money” and pumped the gun. He the repeated his demand and pumped the gun again. No shells ejected. He may have repeated the same commands and pumping of the gun a few times.

Had I been older, I likely would’ve intervened. I told my mother and sister, as we were huddled behind shoe racks, that the gun wasn’t loaded. I knew this because I hunted with an Ithaca M37 20 pump at the time. Luckily, no one was hurt and the robbers only got away with whatever was in the register.


I meant to be DSC Member...bad typing skills.

Marcus Cady

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Posts: 2724 | Location: Dallas | Registered: 19 March 2008Reply With Quote
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In 1991, I was on my way to Zim for my second safari . I noticed this obese gentleman who had this incredible smoking hot much younger woman with him. On the return trip, they were on the same flight to London.

When it came time to inspect the guns, he was just ahead of me. He opened his case and pulled out an expensive looking double which he promptly pointed at me. Then he broke the rifle open. It was loaded !

Can you imagine what that gun could have done to me or to the plane?
 
Posts: 10396 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: 26 January 2006Reply With Quote
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Folks,

I don't believe there are any new universal regs in place for the TSA inspections of gun cases based on my trip last week Las Vegas to Roswell, NM and return.

On the out going from Vegas I was directed to the front of the AA first class line and treated with respect. TSA took the rifles and combination to the gun case and I was on my way in about 15 minutes total. On my return from Roswell I opened the gun case just slightly to insert the declaration that the guns were unloaded and that was that. Nobody asked for the combination or inspected the case to my knowledge.

Interestingly BOS SECURITY inspected my duffel on the the way home. I don't know if they didn't replace my TSA lock or cut it off but it was gone when I arrived Vegas. Also I know people seem to have problems with AA but my experience was without incident and my guns where brought to me less than five minutes after I collected my duffel from the luggage carousel. No complaints here at all.

Mark


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Posts: 11633 | Location: LAS VEGAS, NV USA | Registered: 04 August 2002Reply With Quote
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If you travel enough, I suspect you will see everything.

Detachable magazines with a cover (like AR magpul mags) are legal per TSA if not in the gun.

Still not worth the aggravation. Seen a debate on that in line. Delayed all the rest of us for over an hour.
 
Posts: 5610 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by DLS:
quote:
Originally posted by georgeld:
What's the deal on swabbing such
things? They looking for drugs?

George



Explosives residue.


So, I bet if I repacked my CAS Range bag as a carry on after shooting black powder cowboy loads I would get the airport locked down? I can only Imagine the residue after a shoot, epecially from the 10 ga. Black powder loads hold 135 grains of FFG.
 
Posts: 5251 | Location: Ohio | Registered: 02 April 2003Reply With Quote
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I worked both oilfield and industrial for a previous employer. Went and did a frac job, where I helped reload an oilfield perforation (plastic explosives) gun. Flew home in the evening, and was awakened in the wee hours to go work in a nuclear power plant. They used "sniffer" machines to look for explosive residue. Lots of soap, hot water and a nail brush later, I was as max pucker factor as I went through the sniffer. Not a peep, but it did snag another guy that had used aftershave. Not as good as a dog. Dogs are smart.
 
Posts: 270 | Registered: 11 March 2006Reply With Quote
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Had a set of shotgun chokes in my checked bag on an outbound from Buenos Aires. They showed on the xray, causing quite the ruckus. Security thought they were live shotgun shells. Had to take the bag back to the police station where it was favorably resolved, fortunately.

Also had the rod on an older aluminum gun case left behind by TSA after they inspected my gun, outside my presence.


114-R10David
 
Posts: 1626 | Location: Prescott, Az | Registered: 30 January 2007Reply With Quote
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