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Discussion Starter #1
Is it possible(legal) to check a pistol(unloaded) into your bagage when flying?

I will be Flying to FLA in the Spring and then driving a car back to PA. I have a carry permit and would like to take my pistol with me.

Just trying to find out if this is legal, and if so, is it much of a hassle? Paperwork? Extra fees? etc.........
 

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yup, don't drive thru south carolina and you are golden
 

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Not a big deal. Same regs as a rifle/shotgun.

Here's the TSA regs.
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

You also want to check the specific airline regs as they are allowed to be more restrictive but I don’t know of any major carriers that exercise that right. Just one example of airline regs:
http://www.delta.com/traveling_checkin/baggage/special_baggage/sports_equipment/index.jsp

Good idea to printout and carry a copy of the TSA and specific airline rules for reference, quite often the counter agent doesn't know the federal or their own firearm rules. Politely present the copies and ask to speak to a supervisor, always works out in the end. TSA agent can also be a resource as they seem to always be aware of the policies. Write the SN on one of the copies for the report in case it goes missing.

You have to comply with 3 levels of enforcement, Federal (TSA), airline, and most difficult is local jurisdiction. Local is most difficult as you need to be aware of transport requirements for the local airport jurisdiction. Some airports in very restrictive areas have the local authorities inspect the firearm. For example: by federal and airline standards it is legal to place the ammo in the case with the gun, but in the JFK jurisdiction ammo in the case with the gun is considered a loaded firearm in the airport. If you fly out of Pa you won't have any problem.

Basic requirements are a locked hard sided case. I put the locked case inside my larger luggage, don’t need to do this but then it will be an extra piece of luggage. I have placed it in a rifle case (no rifle) and packed the rifle case full with other stuff. Declare the firearm, sign a card stating it is not loaded, and place the card in the gun case. TSA likely will just xray it but they may ask for the key to physically inspect, maybe 20% of the time. Inform them the gun is in the luggage and stick around until TSA clears it through the xray just in case there are any questions or if they want the key. Usually they will just wave to you when it clears.

In theory, if the very simple rules are followed it is very easy. The fly in the ointment is when you get a misinformed counter agent. Stick to your guns (pun intended) and get a supervisor involved.

In theory you are also protected by the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) safe passage clause. HOWEVER, in ridiculous jurisdictions this may be a legitimate defense AFTER arrest.
http://www.nraila.org/gunlaws/federal/read.aspx?id=59
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys!

Griz, thanks for the info on the TSA and airline regs. Will have paperwork with me, in case I get an ill-informed agent.

OK- now I just have to figure out how to get back w/out going thru S.C.!
 

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You better check into Virginia.If they catch an out of stater with a handgun in their car it is automatic 3 year prison sentence..They had large signs on the interstates letting drivers know this...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey wait.............Virginia honors our carry permit! how can they say we can;t bring a pistol across the border, but have the right to conceal it?! Doesn;t make any sense!


Maybe they mean people without a carry permit?!
 

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A lot of those "automatic sentence" signs in a number of states, if you actually research it you will find that the automatic part only applies if you are already a felon or have a history that does not allow you to purchase a gun, in other words if you can't pass the instant check and you're carrying a gun then the automatic sentence kicks in. They omit the fine print in hope of intimidating.

And we are also protected to transfer a gun from point a to point b for lawful purposes by the federal Firearm Owners Protection Act, an interpretation link given in my original post and another from the USCode:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000926---A000-.html
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Griz! They probably hope you don't know any better and hope you don;t research it!

I knew something wasn;t right..............we (PA) have a reciprocal agreement with them.(on concealed carry)
 

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Take your Federal Firearm Owners Protection Act into New Jersey once and find yourself looking out of the jail bars.Cali is the same way.
 

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