Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Flying out of state with my revolver....

    I was wondering if the factory Ruger plastic case my 4 inch Redhawk came in would meet the requirements for airline travel.

    The only stipulations documented are it must be a hard side case that is lockable and ammunition must be in its own box in your suitcase.

    My reasoning is it is thin and compact to put in my suit case. I thought about going with a Pelican case but the smallest one that the gun fits in is 14"x12"x6" and is $75.00. I figured the Pelican might be more secure if I have to lock the gun in my truck while in any federal buildings while visiting national parks but it would be huge in my suitcase.

    Does anyone have any personal experience in flying with their firearms and do you think the factory case would meet the requirement?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Flying out of state with my revolver....

    Having traveled a number of times, here's how I go at it:

    1. Review http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1666.shtm to understand TSA policies and procedures. Have a copy with you when you reach the airport.
    2. Put the unloaded weapon(s) in a lockable hard-sided case with locks only you have the keys/combination to open. TSA locks are not allowed.
    3. Steps that will make it easier to show that the weapon is unloaded - especially when x-rayed.
      • If the weapon is a:
        • semi-automatic
          • lock the slide open
          • put a cable tie through the barrel and out the breach to show that the chamber is empty
        • revolver, flip the cylinder out
      • Do not put the magazines in this locked case with the gun(s):
        • it invites questions about them being loaded
        • if the gun case is "liberated" from the checked bag by a Criminal Entrepreneur, the lack of magazines frustrates the "Liberator", since the weapon is now initially a single shot one
    4. Check the airline(s) you are flying on:
      • To determine if the ammo
        • MUST be in boxes (plastic reload boxes work)
        • can fly in loaded magazines
      • If loaded magazines are permitted, make sure the pouches fully cover the magazine top where the cartridges are visible.
      • The round(s) from the chamber(s)/cylinder(s) must be in a box, not loose
    5. Secure and protect magazines (separately from the weapon) and ammunition boxes from possible damage.
    6. Put the lockable hard-sided case with the weapon and the ammo/magazines into a cheap, non-descript bag - with clear labeling outside and inside - for checking in.
      • If possible, develop a way to attach - in a lockable way - the hard-sided case to the piece of luggage it has been placed into.
      • The labeling should be limited to:
        • Your Name
        • Your Cell Phone - if you have one, or your home phone if you do not
        • Your personal email address - if you have one
        • NO ADDRESSES, JOB TITLES, ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD BE INDICATED
    7. Other stuff - like shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, etc, could be in this checked bag also.
    8. Have the rules for the airline in hand when you check this non-descript bag at the airport.
    9. Make sure you have the keys/combinations to the lockable hard-sided case with you and you alone (Per Federal Regulations 49CFR 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals - http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...2.10.6&idno=49) at all times. You will have to open the lockable hard-side case:
      • to demonstrate to the airline that the weapon(s) are not loaded at check in (a signed form/tag indicating that will go in with the weapon(s))
      • if the TSA wants to see
    10. Have the serial number(s) and descriptions of your weapons on you, so if they "disappear" you can report the loss/theft immediately to the:
      • airline
      • FAA Regional Office
      • ATF Regional Office

    Other things to consider:

    1. Check www.handgunlaw.us and/or http://www.usacarry.com/concealed_ca...city_maps.html to determine:
      • If you can possess the weapon at all your stops
      • Where and how you can carry at all your stops
      • What are the deadly force rules in each state you are visiting
    2. Have a copy of the Don Young Transportation Letter on hand - http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/doj_doc_nyc_air.pdf. This covers changing modes of travel - car to plane to car - in a single journey.
    George H. Foster - Orlando, Florida (Formerly Allegheny County)

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Flying out of state with my revolver....

    I have familiarized myself with the regulations and I appreciate the letter from the AG, I will make sure I have the items listed with me when I arrive at the airport.

    So would you agree that the factory case from Ruger would suffice since it is designed to have a padlock installed. I am not sure if it would be sturdy enough even though it is fairly rigid plastic. I was also considering these:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...with_Foam.html

    or these

    http://www.botachtactical.com/frariipica.html

  4. #4
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    State College, Pennsylvania
    (Centre County)
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    Default Re: Flying out of state with my revolver....

    I've traveled using a Ruger plastic box and my own lock and had no problems at all (other than one time having to teach the TSA folks their own regulations - they insisted that it had to be a TSA lock - finally just told them to get their supervisor - he knew the regs and told me later that they would be doing some more intensive training with these employees). Had no problems with the airline, they knew what to do.

    Now, this was my experience, yours may vary.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Erie, Pa., Pennsylvania
    (Erie County)
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    Default Re: Flying out of state with my revolver....

    Man wouldn't it be easier to ship it ups to an ffl close to your destination and just meet it there? My biggest concern flying would be the lost luggage deal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Northampton County, Pennsylvania
    (Northampton County)
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    Default Re: Flying out of state with my revolver....

    Check the current regs. Every time I go, it says that if the case is locked and cannot be pried open by hand then it is good.

    I always have my mags in the case and I usually have my ammo in the case. I know US AIR (puke) does not allow ammo in the case so I put it outside the case in the same bag when I fly US AIR.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2011
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    Primos, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
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    Default Re: Flying out of state with my revolver....

    Quote Originally Posted by RC55 View Post
    Man wouldn't it be easier to ship it ups to an ffl close to your destination and just meet it there? My biggest concern flying would be the lost luggage deal.
    This would add a significant cost and the parcell could still get lost or stolen.
    Some people just plain suck.
    If you're gonna be dumb ya gotta be tough.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Flying out of state with my revolver....

    Quote Originally Posted by RC55 View Post
    Man wouldn't it be easier to ship it ups to an ffl close to your destination and just meet it there? My biggest concern flying would be the lost luggage deal.
    This would be a big cost for insurance and it might still get lost. Plus when in Montana, Idaho or Wyoming there is no such thing as nearby.

    Last time I went, unarmed of course, my wife cut her leg open on a fallen tree and due to an unmanned station being low on supplies I drove just over 90 miles for first aid supplies and bandages.

    I don't want to be chasing down my firearm and paying fees galore if I can just put it in my suitcase.

    I may consider taking the Ruger case since my next alternative is a Pelican 1400 case at $75. Plus the Ruger case is much smaller in my bag.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Flying out of state with my revolver....

    You are going to be fine. I do it several times a year. If something is wrong they are not going to arrest you or make you surrender your firearm. They will open the bag and tell you to open the gun case and fix it. Happened to me once with a loaded mag and no mag cover they saw on the X-ray. There were a few return trips they wanted me to open it up for no particular reason.

    They are far more interested in my soup and bean cans than my firearms. Trust me on that. They think my food is bombs.
    Last edited by ungawa; June 4th, 2012 at 07:04 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Somewhere, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: Flying out of state with my revolver....

    Quote Originally Posted by ungawa View Post
    You are going to be fine. I do it several times a year. If something is wrong they are not going to arrest you or make you surrender your firearm. They will open the bag and tell you to open the gun case and fix it. Happened to me once with a loaded mag and no mag cover they saw on the X-ray. There were a few return trips they wanted me to open it up for no particular reason.

    They are far more interested in my soup and bean cans than my firearms. Trust me on that. They think my food is bombs.
    Do you think I could get by with the Ruger factory case or should I invest in a pelican case or something similar?

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