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Transporting Nfa Firearms


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#1 Roland, Headless Thompson Gunner

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 06:53 PM

I'm looking for some guidance on traveling with the little guy. I know that there is form 5320.20 for the temporary relocation of NFA firearms but can you fill me in on other do's and don'ts of taking our toys out for weekend visits. How do you guys who have traveled to the TCA show and shoots handle it? Has anyone taken their TSMG on the airlines since 9/11? I know it should be possible but has it worked out that way?.

I guess specifically I'm looking at flying to Ohio for the the August show and shoot. Do I file a form 5320.20 with Tracie's address on it? Where do you store your weapon once there/
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#2 full auto 45

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 08:34 PM

Well I'll try to help a little.
Yes file the 5320.20 with the BATFE.
Yes use Tracie's address as your place on the record. Mark that it is a show and shoot, or a display. Either one works fine.
As far as storage, it stays with you at the hotel. We get up early on Saturday and go to the shoot. We then come back to Tracie's after words and have dinner and a show in his basement. He does want you to take everything out, unless you get permission to do so later, on Saturday night. We keep the guns in the hotel room. Sure feel the eyes on you when you walk into a hotel with 2 Thompson machine guns in your hands!
As far as flying, I haven't done that with my guns at all. I know several here have done the fly thing. And they can help with that.
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#3 Sig

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 09:12 PM

Flying means you need to go to the TSA website and get all the regulations on transporting firearms, study them and abide by them and you should be fine. You need a good sturdy lockable travel case. I have done this and had no issues even during inspections to ensure they are unloaded by airline agents, who more than likely had no clue what they were looking at loaded or not. ABSOLUTELY do NOT confuse the issue and tell anyone you are traveling with machineguns, they won't understand, it doesn't matter (as long as you have an approved 5320.20 form) and more than likely will only lead to delay, you are traveling with firearms, that is all they need to know at the airport. Also be sure to check that your airline has no restrictions. See you there.
michael

A couple Q&A from the TSA website.
Q: Can I transport guns or firearms?

A: Guns and Firearms are NOT permitted in your carry-on baggage, but depending on the policy of your airline, they may be included with your checked baggage. Check with your airline or travel agent to see if firearms are permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. Firearms carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided gun case, and declared to the airline at check-in. Only you, the passenger, may have the key or combination.

Q: What about ammunition?

A: Ammunition is NOT permitted in your carry-on baggage, but depending on the policy of your airline, may be included with your checked baggage. Check with your airline or travel agent to see if ammunition is permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. If ammunition is permitted, it must be declared to the airline at check-in. Small arms ammunitions for personal use must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes, or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply.

TSA firearm link
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#4 LIONHART

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 09:33 PM

The TSA does NOT require proof of ownership of ANY Class Three devices long as it's declared, unloaded, and preferably locked with a TSA Approved Lock you should be fine.
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#5 michael

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 10:37 PM

I rencently flew with 3 pistols. A buddy and myself went out to one of the Frontsite pistol courses. Everything went very smoothly with no problems. Opening the case to show the ticket agent that they were unloaded was very funny. In both airports the ticket agents peered into the gun case like they were about to see a severed body part. One agent didn't even give me a chance to open the lid all the way. They certainly had no clue.

The ticket agent on the way out scribbled on my boarding pass and that got me quite the treatment at the metal detectors. I walked through didn't even set the thing off but still got a full pat down and bag search.

I recommend something like a pelican case. Once locked after inspection they are nearly indestructible. If some baggage handling guy drops your weapon 20 feet to the ground from the cargop hold of an aircraft it won't matter.


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#6 Roland, Headless Thompson Gunner

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 09:46 AM

Thanks for the info guys, its a big help.

What is the turnaround like from the ATF on the 5320?

How many thousand rounds of that .48 ACP will we need? Has been hassled by the airlines for having a large quantity of ammo?

The Granville Inn has to be the best armed country inn that weekend since Dillinger stayed at Little Bohemia.


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#7 full auto 45

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 10:50 AM

The turn around time on the 5320.20 is about 2-3 weeks. At least it was last year. Mine is going off this week. You will not need any of the .48ACP ammo. biggrin.gif But I usually take 1000 rounds of 45 ACP to play with. First target shoot is 100 rounds and then you could burn up to 720 rounds of it in the pepper poppers.
And yes the old Granville is well armed. And it still smells like......old people! laugh.gif
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#8 Roland, Headless Thompson Gunner

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 01:00 PM

Thanks Mike. I'll be sure and pack two of my 70 round clips as well.

According to Southwest you can check 11 pounds of ammo per person.
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#9 Gloftoe

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 01:57 PM

Hi! New here but I fly with firearms whenever I fly. The information provided here is all good, but I will take issue with one point.

To the poster that said to use a TSA approved lock, I hope you meant just a secure lock, and not one of the ones with the "master key" that TSA empolyees can open. The TSA website only mentions these "TSA locks" in reference to regular baggage. Their "Transporting Firearms and Ammunition" page only mentions that the case must be LOCKED, and that "The passenger must provide the key or combination to the screener if it is necessary to open the container, and then remain present during screening to take back possession of the key after the container is cleared."

My advice (and what I do) is use a GOOD STURDY case (I use Kalispel cases) and GOOD keyed padlocks. If they need to open the firearms case, they will find you and you will be present during any inspection.

Normally, you demonstrate that your weapon is unloaded at the ticket counter, you fill out your little orange tag, place it in the case, and lock the case. Then you are escorted to the TSA screening area (with the new x-ray machines), the agent tells the TSA guy that this case has a firearm(s) in it, and you remain there while they run it thru the x-ray machine. They give you a thumbs-up, or some other "okay" sign when they're done x-raying, and you are then on your way to your gate.

Again, please do NOT USE "TSA Accepted and Recognized" locks to lock up your firearms.
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#10 LIONHART

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 02:11 PM

TSA sells a lock that can be opened by any TSA Personal using a Master Key. This is advisable, as in some situations, a passenger could be pulled off the Airline to provide a Key, should the TSA Personal decide to inspect the Contents without destroying the Customers Lock. However, it should be noted that the TSA doesn't need authorization once the Case is accepted into Baggage. Most often, the Locks will be destroyed, and the Case will be Taped Up. It's advisable to just obtain a Lock from the TSA to prevent being pulled from the Airplane, thus causing the Passenger to loose their flight, or having their Lock destroyed.
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#11 Gloftoe

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 03:34 PM

QUOTE (LIONHART @ Mar 14 2005, 02:11 PM)
TSA sells a lock that can be opened by any TSA Personal using a Master Key. This is advisable, as in some situations, a passenger could be pulled off the Airline to provide a Key, should the TSA Personal decide to inspect the Contents without destroying the Customers Lock. However, it should be noted that the TSA doesn't need authorization once the Case is accepted into Baggage. Most often, the Locks will be destroyed, and the Case will be Taped Up. It's advisable to just obtain a Lock from the TSA to prevent being pulled from the Airplane, thus causing the Passenger to loose their flight, or having their Lock destroyed.

My understanding from the TSA website, as well as from other sources is that TSA approved locks are "recommended by the TSA" ONLY for standard baggage. The TSA won't break locks on firearms cases (again, from what I've read). Do bags get inspected multiple times during a flight (say with connecting flights)? It seems to me they are inspected when you bring them to your originating airport, and that's it. TSA would not need to open the cases once YOU and the ticket agent escort them to the TSA screening area. After the TSA puts your firearms case thru its x-ray machine, it's on its way to the cargo area, and inspections are done.

Why on earth would you want to put readily openable locks on your high-dollar NFA firearms (hell, on your regular firearms)? Easy access for TSA goons?

Firearms cases aren't treated the same as regular baggage until they have been screened, inspected and secured. Once that is done, the TSA has no reason to open the cases. Again, if the TSA needs to re-inspect your firearms case, they will FIND YOU, then you must provide the key, remain present during inspection, and re-take possession of the key when inspection is complete. TSA locks with a master key are NOT required (since they won't break these locks) and IMO not recommended.
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#12 LIONHART

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 03:47 PM

NOPE! Look, the TSA Personal DON'T CARE on how they treat your baggage, or anything else for that matter. It's much easier for you to have a TSA Lock in which they can open, rather than being possibly delayed or having your Existing Lock broken. The TSA can inspect at any time, without permission from the Owner, once the items are checked. Having a Lock that can be opened by the TSA without damaging it, is far better than having a different Lock being destroyed. Which is better? If ANY TSA Personal want to go through your belongings for whatever reason they can, so why would it bother you having a TSA Lock? If a TSA Baggage Handler want's to look at a Firearm for kicks, he can do so, WITHOUT YOU BEING THERE. You have NO control at that point. Sorry...

You are incorrect. The TSA has NO obligation to find you asking to open your Firearms Case. You are also incorrect to suggest that the TSA handles Firearms Cases differently than standard baggage. You are also incorrect to recommend regular Locks for the reasons specified above.

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#13 Gloftoe

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 03:57 PM

QUOTE (LIONHART @ Mar 14 2005, 03:47 PM)
NOPE! Look, the TSA Personal DON'T CARE on how they treat your baggage, or anything else for that matter. It's much easier for you to have a TSA Lock in which they can open, rather than being possibly delayed or having your Existing Lock broken. The TSA can inspect at any time, without permission from the Owner, once the items are checked. Having a Lock that can be opened by the TSA without damaging it, is far better than having a different Lock being destroyed. Which is better? If ANY TSA Personal want to go through your belongings for whatever reason they can, so why would it bother you having a TSA Lock? If a TSA Baggage Handler want's to look at a Firearm for kicks, he can do so, WITHOUT YOU BEING THERE. You have NO control at that point. Sorry...

You are incorrect. The TSA has NO obligation to find you asking to open your Firearms Case. You are also incorrect to suggest that the TSA handles Firearms Cases differently than standard baggage. You are also incorrect to recommend regular Locks for the reasons specified above.

I just got off the phone with the TSA. Their recommendation? Regular locks, as there is no need to re-inspect the firearms case once it has been inspected by the counter agent, as well as run thru the TSA x-ray machine and given an "okay" by them.

I specifically asked about having to "re-inspect" after the TSA runs it thru the x-ray machine, and was told that this should not be necessary. If it WERE necessary, their regulation is to locate the passenger, and have him/her present during inspection, having provided the key to open the firearms container.

While this has been my feeling all along (I researched this issue before I started flying with my CCW), it's good to hear it from the horse's mouth.

In summary: Use TSA "approved" locks if you'd like, but I'm sticking with my FAR more secure padlocks, as per TSA regulations. smile.gif

Edit: The TSA can NOT look at my firearms just for kicks, if I'm not there. It's on their website, under the regulations that I quoted 4 posts previous. It seems YOU are incorrect, as I have received the information from the source (TSA telephone call)

Edited by Gloftoe, 14 March 2005 - 03:59 PM.

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#14 LIONHART

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 04:31 PM

NO, your still wrong. Once the Firearm or whatever is checked through, it will pass through the C.T.X. IF a TSA Employee needs or wants to check your Firearm, he or she can do so, without your presents being there. I do not care what's listed on their Site. 99.9% of their Regulations are outdated, don't get updated, and in most circumstances are general guidelines ONLY! It appears the TSA Employee that you talked with can't seem to understand the S.O.P. much like the majority of those within the TSA. Information from the source? You have been getting it from the SOURCE all along!
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#15 Gloftoe

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 04:33 PM

Let me get this straight. I just called the TSA directly, got confirmation of my information DIRECTLY from the agency that makes the policy, and *I* am STILL wrong?! rolleyes.gif

I tell you what. YOU provide me with proof (as I just did, via talking to the TSA DIRECTLY on the telephone). I can re-call, ask for supervisors, etc. if needed. rolleyes.gif
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#16 LIONHART

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 04:52 PM

I find it difficult that you had been able to reach anyone within the TSA when you specified, as the Post's above show, within a ten minute time frame. Not including the time you took reading my post, and replying to said Post. And seeing that anyone within the TSA is difficult to get a hold of. Also, IF you had spoken with someone, He or She IS NOT a TSA Employee, only a Contractor to handle the Publics Questions, and their usually wrong anyway. Nor do they make ANY policy whatsoever..


You can contact as many folks as you wish with the TSA, and each one of them will give you a different answer. Nor will they give you, Johnny Public the complete Facts. Moreover, their Website is just feel good info, thus is usually different that what occurs on the ground.

I have already stated the above. I do not need to give any contact numbers. Also the TSA generally has new numbers every 30-60 days. Nor would I since you claimed you already received your answers, which I'm sure you probably did not, other than the ones I provided.

This pretty much started by recommending TSA Locks, which I still recommend fully.

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#17 Gloftoe

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 08:23 PM

So now you're going to call me a liar, stating that you're sure I "probably did not" receive any answers from the TSA, "other than the ones I provided."?!

Here's the link to the TSA "Contact Us" page:

Contact Us

I called the number listed for the TSA Contact Center Travel Assistance (1-866-289-9673) for concerns with Travel Tips, Permitted and Prohibited Items, etc. You want to call me a liar on that too? They told me exactly what I told YOU in my post above. I contacted them immediately after I made my claims, and was on hold waiting for an agent for 9 minutes (not long at all). They answered my questions with no reservations or hesitation, and were very polite and courteous.

So you're going to call me a liar, and say that I DIDN'T do the things I said I did? I guess you can do that, sitting behind a keyboard, spouting off whatever you feel like spouting. My proof is right there, posted a few posts up. Direct from the telephone number listed on the TSA.GOV website. Liar? Have some class. I posted in this thread because I believe (and BTW, so does the "ficticious" TSA agent that I didn't get ahold of, according to you) that the use of TSA approved locks isn't needed when dealing with firearms cases, due to the fact that they're inspected right there in front of you, run thru the TSA's big x-ray machine, and given an "okay" right then and there.

I have done the leg-work necessary to provide proof for my statements. All you have done is call me a liar, and I take offense to that. I could care less what a keyboard commando such as yourself thinks of me, but I DO feel warranted to defend my position, as I've done. I never claimed the person I spoke to on the telephone made policy. I only claim that they told me what they told me.

Calling me a liar. What is this, grade school? rolleyes.gif
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#18 kyle

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 08:42 PM

There is NO requirement to use a TSA-approved lock to secure a firearms case. Once you declare that the locked case contains a firearm, TSA is not allowed to open it without your consent or prescence. If necessary, the airline is required to hunt you down. That's why you should remain at the TSA inspection site until you have been instructed that you are cleared to leave. See attached link.

http://www.tsa.gov/p...torial_1666.xml

I just flew roundtrip Dallas to Vegas with 3 class 3 firearms and the procedure as outlined above was followed precisely. The inspection procedure took about 10 minutes in Dallas and less than 3 in Las Vegas. Everything was handled very professionally and discretely.

Hope this helps.

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#19 nobra81

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 08:46 PM

The times i've flown with firearms was no trouble. You have to have a lockable case. And i might say not a very good one at that. When you check in you have to show that the firearm is unloaded and i think no ammo in the case. Then they put a tag inside and watch you lock it. I cannot imagine that they would break your locks on the case and leave the weapon unlocked.


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#20 kyle

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 08:51 PM

One last thing...

Turn around time on 5320.20s is "iffy" at best. I fax'd mine in Jan 24. It went pending Feb 10. I had to call my examiner and respectfully request that they bump me up the priority list since my trip (Mar 10) was imminent. I received it Mar 5. Based on what my buddies told me in Vegas, 6 to 8 week is very common.

If possible, you should allow at least 2 months.
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