TSA Airport Frivolities Over Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 4 days ago

Reddit/Firearms.

I took 2 trips where I traveled with a firearm. 1 from Philadelphia to Wisconsin. The other from Philadelphia to Arizona. My trip to Wisconsin was smooth no issues. On the way back from Arizona. They ripped my bag apart, because they “didn’t” have a X-ray scanner. Then as I arrive in Philadelphia. I go to the area where they’re supposed to bring me my bag. My friend looks over at the baggage claim where the bags fall for.people to grab their luggage. There’s my bag clearly labeled that there’s a firearm in it just spinning around freely. The airport got mad at me because I was trying to report the incident and refused to talk to me on the premise. They even went as far as having me escorted out by the police when I wasn’t even raising my voice or causing a scene.

Reddit/Firearms.

I just flew with my concealed carry (packed correctly, ammo in a box, blablabla) in it’s own hard case and checked under my boarding pass. It should be noted that my wife and I shared a large check luggage for our clothes, checked in under HER boarding pass. That bag is what got searched, I know this because they placed a placard inside our bag saying they opened and searched it, this happened twice, flying to destination as well as flying home. If it only happened once I wouldn’t be nearly as creeped out, possibly just a random search, but both flights?? Feels more like I’ve just volunteered my name onto a special list for being treated like a problem. Even though my ccw means I am “background checked” literally everyday, I should be the least profiled type of person ever. Anyone share my experience? This was the first time flying with my firearm, so I’m wondering if this is the perverbial “new normal” I’ve heard so much about.

I don’t know anything about a “new normal.” But the old normal is bad enough, and I’ve experienced the stupidity for years now.

There are those who say to avoid flying by air. It’s true enough that this is good advice, but it cannot always be followed. Some of us still have to travel by air for business purposes.

I have flown out of Charlotte many times before, and almost always have a good experience there. They seem knowledgeable and quite accustomed to dealing with firearms.

The same can’t be said at many other places. Denver is a bad place. They take luggage to a separate room and x-ray the entire piece of luggage, as if that’s going to prove anything.

Phoenix is even worse. A woman once took my luggage to a room, with me watching, and unpacked the entire contents of the luggage, clothes and all, looking for God only knows what, completely ignoring the firearm while showing no interest in whether it was truly unloaded (as if that makes thing safer anyway), then threw everything back into the luggage unfolded, gave it back to me, and walked away.

It’s the zaniest thing I’ve ever witnessed. It varies by airport, and while the TSA may tell you that the rules are understood and followed everywhere, they are lying to you. They are not, and they are not.

None of this adds to anyone’s safety. It’s all Kabuki security theater for the purpose of providing a jobs program to people too stupid or lazy to find good work doing anything else.

The only real advice I can give is to ensure that your firearm is inside a locked container where someone’s hands or a tool could be used to pry it open. Also, I like the boxes that have a cable that will attach to a structural member of the luggage. If you ever drop it off where it may be located outside (Denver is like that), watch it until it goes behind the wall.

Beyond that, it’s a crapshoot.

Quite obviously, the real reason for all of this is to prevent theft by airport employees and contractors, some of whom are being paid by your tax dollars.


Comments

  1. On May 30, 2024 at 4:54 am, Mark Matis said:

    It ain’t “ineptitude”.
    It IS, however, PLANNED!

  2. On May 30, 2024 at 11:10 am, Josey Wales said:

    How many terrorists have the TSA caught so far with all this intense screening?

    That’s right, boys and girls, NONE.

  3. On May 30, 2024 at 12:04 pm, Bill Buppert said:

    Some of my pro-tips:

    1. I use ABUS heavy locks on Pelicans and will sometime put the Pelican in a steel-webbed PacSafe. I also put drill bit stop collars on the shank to make it even more difficult to “cut” the lock. Never use TSA locks.

    2. If you travel with a scoped rifle, always make sure the scoped rifle is packed with the optic opposite the hinges.

    3. Bring a printed copy of the TSA and airline firearms regulations in case you have to remind the staff of their own rules.

    4. When they’re inspecting your unlocked gun case, NEVER let them do it without you being there to witness.

    5. Yes, you can fly with up to eleven pounds of ammunition. Yes, you can transport in magazines just put them in a pouch and make sure the rounds aren’t exposed by securing vertically in the pouch.

    6. I don’t have a real solution yet to keep folks from driving the pins out of the hinge on the Pelicans hence my occasional use of the PacSafe but a good quality chain or bike lock perpendicular and locked is an expedited solution.

  4. On May 30, 2024 at 12:50 pm, LZ said:

    I’ve lived in the Phoenix area for 40 years. Sky Harbor Airport is touted as the friendliest airport in America. Since 911 I fly many once a year. The TSA people at PHX have an ability to make one’s flight miserable. If you can fly into or out of the airport in Tucson, AZ instead.

  5. On May 30, 2024 at 3:26 pm, ClaudeA said:

    I took the 250 class at Gunsite years ago, and on the return to Sky Harbor Airport, had to declare my pistol etc. An airline employee, gender/sex female, asked to see the pistol and ascertain if it was empty. It had no magazine. I locked back the slide and peered through the chamber to the end of the barrel. Daylight. The she asked me “well, how do I know it is safe?”. In a courteous manner I asked if any other of her associates were available to assist her. Some man appeared, quick look and told her it was ok while rolling his eyes at me. She was very flummoxed by it all.

  6. On May 30, 2024 at 3:57 pm, PGF said:

    I don’t fly anymore but when I did, Kansas City MO was far and away the very best airport. You’re not going to be happy about why. They use a private contractor for security screening and have zero TSA. That’s right boys and girls, all those other major airports in every state accepted TSA but didn’t actually have to. States rights is a cruel joke.

  7. On May 30, 2024 at 6:07 pm, Latigo Morgan said:

    Before I quit flying at all, I have no horror stories regarding travel with firearms. The Reddit story sounds kind of hokey with the tag on the luggage saying there is a firearm inside. I’m not sure airlines even have such a tag, except the one they put inside the case after inspecting the firearm.

    Airports included: Tucson, Phoenix, Seattle, LAX, Oakland, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno, and Las Vegas. No problems, ever.

  8. On June 1, 2024 at 4:36 pm, Steve Miller said:

    I have a few to share. Phoenix arrived with two empty magazines. TSA staff called local PD who showed up and laughed their you know what off. Seattle FBI office I had a work related meeting there and showed up with an empty holster. The guy at the front counter had me hand him the empty holster then he put it in a locker and locked it up. Gave it back to me as I was leaving the building.

  9. On June 2, 2024 at 10:03 am, Noway2 said:

    As Bill alluded to above, follow the regulations. Nothing says you need to put a gun (container) inside soft, unlocked, luggage. Your outer, locked with real locks, container can be your luggage. I use a pelican case for this purpose. I was once asked why I didn’t just put a lockbox in regular baggage. I responded that I don’t consider that to be secure.

  10. On June 3, 2024 at 8:44 am, Ned said:

    Travelled through Phoenix with a 445 Supermag to an IHMSA shoot in the late 80s. The female at the counter (who inspected it) asked me if I was dangerous. I said “it depends upon what happens.”

    Travelled to Idaho via Alaskan airlines for a bear hunt around the same time and they were awesome. Asked if we got any trophies.

    I’ll go by ground now if I go – don’t trust DEI hires to properly maintain or fly the aircraft.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment


You are currently reading "TSA Airport Frivolities Over Firearms", entry #36684 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) TSA,TSA Ineptitude and was published May 29th, 2024 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (40)
Air Power (10)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (22)
Ammunition (278)
Animals (292)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (373)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (87)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (29)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (3)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (223)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (24)
Body Armor (23)
Books (3)
Border War (18)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (5)
Canada (17)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (16)
Christmas (16)
CIA (30)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (210)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (5)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (15)
Donald Trump (27)
Drone Campaign (4)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (39)
Featured (189)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,778)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,651)
Guns (2,318)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (5)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (3)
Horses (2)
Humor (72)
Hunting (34)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (108)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (4)
Infrastructure (4)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (171)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (98)
Israel (19)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
Jihadists (81)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (7)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (6)
Lawfare (14)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (280)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (68)
Medical (146)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (41)
Mexico (61)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (5)
Military Equipment (25)
Militia (9)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (25)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (95)
NATO (15)
Navy (30)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (3)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (62)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (73)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (4)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (653)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (973)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (493)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (37)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (674)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (57)
Survival (186)
SWAT Raids (57)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (38)
Tactical Gear (14)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (21)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (96)
Thanksgiving (13)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (25)
TSA Ineptitude (14)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (6)
U.S. Border Security (19)
U.S. Sovereignty (24)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (10)
Uncategorized (98)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (414)
War & Warfare (41)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (79)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2024 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.