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We’ve had a few requests for information on flying with a firearm since our article a few days ago on Breaking Into a Suitcase with a Ballpoint Pen and What You Can Do About It. We couldn’t think of a better source than someone who’s already put together some very extensive and fantastic information on this topic.
Deviant Ollam is known well in Locksport circles and frequently gives talks at conferences like DEFCON and Black Hat. In the video embedded below he goes into physical security and applying it to flying with a firearm. The information he presents is how to work the law in your favor and always fly with a firearm in every checked bag you have.
This will require you to provide your own locks that only you have the key to. There also won’t be any visual indicator of any kind applied to your hard case that contains your firearms and they can’t be opened by TSA or airport personnel without you being present.
One thing to keep in mind is that even when you’re flying into a non gun-friendly state, you can use this method if you’ll be renting a vehicle and driving to another state that is friendly. The safe passage provision of the Firearms Owners Protection Act states that it’s legal to travel through these states with firearms, provided they’re properly cased and unloaded. Certain states have ignored this though and the NRA currently has details on a H.R. 4269, a bill that would put a stop to this. The only exception to this is NFA weapons (short barreled rifles, etc.) which requires you to file Form 5320.20 with the ATF.
Here’s a few pointers from the video above:
- How do different airlines rate? Deviant goes into this on his Website with a fantastic Airline Report Card based on his experiences. He even has accounts of both his and other travelers accounts of flying with firearms and encourages everyone to submit their experiences with a questionnaire.
- Ammo is legal to fly with by policies can vary between airlines. Check here for ammo information on each airline.
- Use hard cases that can be locked with good padlocks or puck locks. Some recommended padlocks are the Abus Diskus 20/70 ($33), Abloy 341 ($50), Abloy Puck ($110), Abus Granit 37/60 ($100) and the Abloy Protec 362 ($265).
- A locked case inside of a standard suitcase is not a good idea. The airline could tell you that since the “locked” case is the interior small case, the larger suitcase must be locked with TSA compliant locks. If you do use this method, ensure that the inner case is unlocked so that you can use your own locks.
- Keep a self-addressed stamped USPS Flat Rate Envelope with your travel belongings. If you encounter a banned item you forgot was with you it’s better to mail it back to yourself than surrender it to TSA.
- You don’t have to use lethal firearms to use this method.
- Here’s a downloadable legal sheet with the TSA rules that you can print out, laminate and keep with you when you fly.
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