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DFW gun check in process
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We flew United out of DFW this morning bound for a South Dakota pheasant hunt. Checking a case with two shotguns was easier than ever, the ticket agent had me sign the firearms declaration and had me open my case, place the declaration inside, and had me relive the case while she watched. She then said we were done, that TSA would X-ray the case to verify the declaration was present. No trip to TSA to let them check the firearms, couldn’t have been easier. I’m not sure if all airlines and all airports are handling firearms this way but I really liked it.
We had TSA officers from hell leaving Pierre, SD last year (emptied my wife’s bag and searched everything, took my firearm out of the case and pulled the glued in foam from the case and swabbed the case, we weren’t singled out as they did several others the same way). We’ll see how it goes this year in a few days.


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1719 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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Good luck with your pheasant hunt Karl. Flying out of Las Vegas is the same drill. Declare firearms at check-in, request the declaration form and sign it. Open the firearms case and place it inside. Lock the case and then the firearms are placed on the conveyor belt and sent off. You are, however, required to wait near check-in for 15-20 minutes just in case TSA wants to inspect the gun case. If so, you then hand the keys to the ticket agent and wait for them to be returned to you and then off to the gate. Sounds like a real mess in Pierre. I would have thought that they would be one of the most gun friendly places in the U.S., especially at this time of the year. Someone should complain about that treatment-pulling out the glued-in foam is pure harassment.
 
Posts: 15676 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Thanks for wishing us luck, looks like we need it. We’re stuck in Denver, been delayed 4.5 hours so far. First plane had a warning light malfunction, second plane finally arrived and they loaded the luggage, then unloaded the luggage and sent us to the fifth different gate to wait on another plane (that hasn’t arrived) because they did not have a pilot for the plane, but they’re hopeful they’ll have a pilot for the third plane in about an hour. United Airlines sucks.


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1719 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by K Evans:
We flew United out of DFW this morning bound for a South Dakota pheasant hunt. Checking a case with two shotguns was easier than ever, the ticket agent had me sign the firearms declaration and had me open my case, place the declaration inside, and had me relive the case while she watched. She then said we were done, that TSA would X-ray the case to verify the


declaration was present. No trip to TSA to let them check the firearms, couldn’t have been easier. I’m not sure if all airlines and all airports are handling firearms this way but I really liked it.
We had TSA officers from hell leaving Pierre, SD last year (emptied my wife’s bag and searched everything, took my firearm out of the case and pulled the glued in foam from the case and swabbed the case, we weren’t singled out as they did several others the same way). We’ll see how it goes this year in a few days.


What was the point in swabbing a gun case?
 
Posts: 385 | Registered: 12 November 2013Reply With Quote
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Good news!


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Posts: 27266 | Location: Gainesville, TX | Registered: 24 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Karl: Please give us a report when you return, both on the firearms checking procedures going and coming, and also on the pheasant hunt! Pics please! (Of the hunt) Big Grin
 
Posts: 15676 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Johnny reb:
quote:
Originally posted by K Evans:
We flew United out of DFW this morning bound for a South Dakota pheasant hunt. Checking a case with two shotguns was easier than ever, the ticket agent had me sign the firearms declaration and had me open my case, place the declaration inside, and had me relive the case while she watched. She then said we were done, that TSA would X-ray the case to verify the


declaration was present. No trip to TSA to let them check the firearms, couldn’t have been easier. I’m not sure if all airlines and all airports are handling firearms this way but I really liked it.
We had TSA officers from hell leaving Pierre, SD last year (emptied my wife’s bag and searched everything, took my firearm out of the case and pulled the glued in foam from the case and swabbed the case, we weren’t singled out as they did several others the same way). We’ll see how it goes this year in a few days.


What was the point in swabbing a gun case?



TSA swabs the gun case to test for explosives residue.
 
Posts: 3106 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With Quote
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So if you have been to a gun range it fails the test??

Testing a GUN case for explosive residue does not make sense??!!


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Posts: 53309 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Saeed:
So if you have been to a gun range it fails the test??
Testing a GUN case for explosive residue does not make sense??!!


I asked that very question at DFW a couple of years ago and the officer told me that the test looked for very specific chemicals but that didn’t really answer the question.


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1719 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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My carry bag got swapped in Munich, and then they started asking me questions.

I knew exactly what was happening, I showed them videos of our shooting range of people shooting the 577 T. Rex on my IPhone.

There was some discussion in German which I could not understand, but they all laughed and let me go.


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Posts: 53309 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by K Evans:
quote:
Originally posted by Saeed:
So if you have been to a gun range it fails the test??
Testing a GUN case for explosive residue does not make sense??!!


I asked that very question at DFW a couple of years ago and the officer told me that the test looked for very specific chemicals but that didn’t really answer the question.


Correct. As I understand it, their analysis won’t test positive on gun powder but will on other explosive compounds. I asked when my gun case was swabbed at Dulles last December and the TSA guys were pretty candid. They told me all gun cases coming into the country are supposed to be checked, but I’m not sure why. Probably because some bureaucrat thinks guns and explosives are related somehow.

As to why the Germans flagged Saeed, well... rotflmo
 
Posts: 3106 | Location: California | Registered: 01 January 2009Reply With Quote
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Well...came a bit of a snow storm in South Dakota today, had to quit hunting and...United cancelled our flight home from Denver has been cancelled. I hate United. I’ll update this post regarding TSA and firearm check in at Pierre, SD sometime in the morning, hopefully they have a new crew.


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1719 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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I worked for an oilfield/industrial service company way back in the 1980's. Worked a frac job where I helped unload a perforation gun. Then, after I spent a night in a hotel I flew to work in a nuclear power plant where they used "sniffer" machines to look for explosives. You can bet your last dollar that I took two long hot showers and about wore out a nail brush. Not a twitch from the sniffer when I went in that night.

What would happen at an airport, if a worker that handles explosives, sets off a machine or dog? You get stuff on your hands and it transfers to your briefcase, laptop, whatever.
 
Posts: 278 | Registered: 11 March 2006Reply With Quote
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Most of our group avoided firearms check in at Pierre when one of the group who had driven in from Houston partly to avoid a repeat of the fiasco from last year volunteered to carry our firearms back to Texas, we quickly agreed. However, one of our group lives in Florida and had to go thru the firearms check in. It took only about 10 minutes, they did open his case and swab, but not his luggage. United cancelled our flight from Denver to DFW and booked my wife and son and I on different flights, 5 hours apart. If I want to go somewhere and United is the only air carrier option, I’ll either not go or drive. My wife was on hold with their customer service department for one hour and 38 minutes and when she started to inquire about our booking predicament, the customer service agent hung up on her. I’m done with United.


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1719 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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So if you have been to a gun range it fails the test??

Testing a GUN case for explosive residue does not make sense??!!

I have had my gun cases and even some of my bags swabbed so many times that it is just another part of traveling with firearms. To me, it's just another form of harassment that we, as firearms owners, have to put up with. You have already declared that you are traveling with firearms, filled out and signed the declaration of firearms form, declared your ammo in your other checked case, etc. etc. etc. They know all of this, and if you are carrying explosive materials why would anyone go through such a declaration process? I don't believe their statement that they are looking for specific chemicals, and the chemicals in gunpowder won't test positive. Then why the friggin hassle with firearms owners so often? Pure B.S. And, tearing apart a gun case's foam is another issue! Karl: How did the pheasant hunt go? One of my favorite things to do is hunt pheasants, especially over my own dogs.
 
Posts: 15676 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by K Evans:
We flew United out of DFW this morning bound for a South Dakota pheasant hunt. Checking a case with two shotguns was easier than ever, the ticket agent had me sign the firearms declaration and had me open my case, place the declaration inside, and had me relive the case while she watched. She then said we were done, that TSA would X-ray the case to verify the declaration was present. No trip to TSA to let them check the firearms, couldn’t have been easier. I’m not sure if all airlines and all airports are handling firearms this way but I really liked it.
We had TSA officers from hell leaving Pierre, SD last year (emptied my wife’s bag and searched everything, took my firearm out of the case and pulled the glued in foam from the case and swabbed the case, we weren’t singled out as they did several others the same way). We’ll see how it goes this year in a few days.


Pretty much echos my experience at DFW with delta. Very friendly, super easy process.

I’ve flown out of SFO some years ago with rifles, very different process to achieve the same end result.


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Posts: 2789 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: 27 January 2004Reply With Quote
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Karl: How did the pheasant hunt go? One of my favorite things to do is hunt pheasants, especially over my own dogs.


Keeping in mind it was very cold (7 F when we left to hunt and that is COLD to me), there was snow on the ground the first day, but sunny, and the second day even colder with 5-7 nches of new snow, 25-30 mph wind and snowing so hard we could only hunt half a day...it was great!
There were several old friends from across the country and it was good to hunt and catch up and it was fun to shoot quite a few pheasants.
The couple that volunteered to bring our gun cases back to Texas (mine, my son's and Dr Scott on AR)is a prime example of how gracious hunters can be. Our friends Steve Skold, immediate past president from SCI, was there with his wife, I met Steve 3 or 4 years ago in Washington D C and we sort of hit it off. He had driven in from Iowa and when he found out our flights from Denver had been cancelled volunteered to take us to another airport on their way home, in either Nebraska or Iowa. Hard to beat folks that will offer to do that sort of thing for you...unasked.
We made it home after a minor set to with a surprisingly helpful United customer service agent in Denver. 3 of us left on one flight and the other 2 left on a flight 4 hours later so I guess it worked out OK. But I haven't changed my mind about the carrier.


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1719 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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Sounds like you had a great hunt with good friends! tu2 Thanks for the report! Big Grin
 
Posts: 15676 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Where did you go?

I am headed to Paul Nelson Farm in November. I won't be flying to Pierre though as connecting flights have only 45 minutes in between flights and do not trust them to transfer my guns in that time. Instead will fly to Rapid City with a much longer connection time in Denver.
 
Posts: 853 | Location: Southern CA | Registered: 01 January 2014Reply With Quote
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We hunted at Cheyenne Ridge, lots of birds and the lodge/staff/food is great. If/when we go back we will fly into another location served by airlines other than United. I think it’s a 2 1/2 or 3 hour drive from Rapid City. There was another group hunting that did just that. I hope you have a good hunt, I bet it’ll be cold!


Karl Evans

 
Posts: 1719 | Location: Waxahachie, Tx | Registered: 03 February 2010Reply With Quote
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Thanks.

That time of the year (week before Thanksgiving) it is supposed to average between 23F low and 45F high. Though it was 9F at Pierre yesterday.

I am OK down to 10F or so with my layered gear. Gets colder might need an extra layer of socks and another base layer which I will bring. I do have warm gloves with trigger finger that peels back.

I will need to check on the silicone grease I use for the action of my SxS shotguns though. Not sure what the freezing point of that is.

Clothing is a lot less complicated for Africa. rotflmo

PS. Checked out Cheyenne Ridge on the web seems like a very nice place. I like the 20 bird/day limit.
 
Posts: 853 | Location: Southern CA | Registered: 01 January 2014Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Saeed:
So if you have been to a gun range it fails the test??
Testing a GUN case for explosive residue does not make sense??!!

I've failed that test innumerable times with a wide variety of cases. All they do is get a supervisor to come check it by hand. One pelican case that always fails housed a British rifle often shot with black powder loads. Another was fitted for a tommy gun often put away dirty at then end of a range trip. I've given up trying to clean them because they appear spotless and yet still fail, so I assume it is some trace of combustion products in the lining, etc. Another delay, but I've got a bunch of cases fitted to protect a particular gun and want to use the best tool for the job, bureaucrats not withstanding. If they were actually concerned I assume they would, you know, test the other 10 million pieces of luggage going on planes every day.

Bob


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