From Chris in Fairbanks I received this email with a pertinent question:
Thanks for the blog! Lot's of good stuff!
Got a question for ya that might be helpful for your readers to.
I have to travel to mult. states via airlines for medical reasons. I'll be treated as an outpatient and will be staying in hotels and renting cars. Fly, rent, drive, stay, fly and so on. Sounds like a traveling salesman. I'm sure others besides me have to do this too.
So, what do you pack for your "out of town bag" when your traveling by common carrier and have to deal with TVSA/Federal law/state law/airlines/hotels? (I've had hotels ask me to leave or lock my gun in my car trunk, I left)
My wife will be joining me this trip. Besides regular luggage we have our personal protection picks, her glock19 and krink, my glock23 and SBS 870. With 3a vests, extra mags, flashlights, holsters and ammo it should prove fun with TVSA and Alaska airlines. Now I would rather have it than need it but there is a weight limit.
Most states hold that a hotel room is your residence - e.g. all rights you'd have in a home you bought or were renting extend to a hotel room you have bought for the night.
So long as you're not going to a state to stay overnight where you can not legally have a handgun/rifle, take your weapons. Stay quiet about them while checking in and keep them in your room.
Alaska is a very gun friendly airline. My father and I travel them frequently with handguns in checked luggage - they never even bat an eye.
Follow TSA regs on their site for checking firearms, declare to the ticketing agent you have unloaded firearms (if you and your wife both have pistols, and a rifle is involved, you may need separate cases) and you'll be fine. I've never run into a hostile TSA agent while traveling with firearms in checked baggage - most are very relaxed and cool about it (I do not travel with protective vests however, but it shouldn't be a problem).
Best of luck on your trip and procedures.
I am not a lawyer. While I travel armed very frequently, none of this advice is to be construed as legal advice and I have no liability or responsibility for any misfortunes that may befall you for following my advice. Please check the laws of the State(s) you are traveling to to verify any and all advice.
Can Mike even answer this question? I thought he was on a 'no-fly' list or something.
As I work for one of the big hotel brands(*couch*, begins with a "M") in security department, I will tell you to refuse. That room is yours until you check out. If they ask you to put in the car, ask why and for the General Manager and the corperate number of both Loss Prevention (aka security) and Cutomer Relations. Then ask for their stance and producurs on guest with weapons.
I would get the names of any person who tells you to do this and report them. If that brand stands firm, then write them a very nice and civil letter informing them they have lost your business. No gun = No $ from me.
If your travel plans frequently require you to carry body armor, a Krinkov and an SBS 870, you must either:
1. Have a much more interesting job than I do
2. Need to re-think where you travel
Dunno... last time I flew was coming back from hot and dusty courtesy of Sam, and he didn't give us a whole lot of static about weapons....
I refuse to fly anymore because of all the Geheimestaatspolizei in the airports :p
Hmm, why discuss your personal security arrangements in the first place? I have travelled with my weapons in the past and the question never came up. If it had, I would have lied. My security and that of my family is none of anyone's business.
I was visiting LA during The Rodney King riots. I was unarmed and staying in a hotel. It was fun. I opted for the drive to orange county, that was fun too.
Now I go armed.
This trips list of fun spots are Seattle, St Louis and Baltimore. I would pick other places to visit but don't have that choice.
I've got an old samsonite hard side that all the guns and stuff fit in nicely and it doesn't look like a gun case. Why draw attention.
I was staying in a Silver Cloud in Seattle and while in the pool the cleaning lady found my glock on the night stand and told the manager. When I returned to my room the message light was flashing and the manager asked if I would place my gun in the trunk of my car or leave. I did ask for his name, his manager's name, I did talk to them, I did write a letter and I won't be going back. My room rate was refunded.
Chris in Fairbanks
"Not being able to govern events, I govern myself."
Respectabiggle: If you know you need a gun, get a rifle or shotgun. A pistol is an emergency device. Bringing a compact longarm on a trip makes sense to me.
I would suggest that you stop asking hotel managers for permission to be armed ... get less obvious bags/cases for the longarms.
"Bringing a compact longarm on a trip makes sense to me."
But a Krink and a SBS 870, both NFA regulated firearms? Multiple states, some with differing attitudes towards firearms?
A discreet, but hardened case holding a 16" broken-down AR and a few loaded mags, along with a broken-down 18" 870 would be as effective, and attract far less regulatory attention.
Plus, you're advertising to everyone with the slightest criminal intent that your bags are carrying some "serious firepower."
All it would take is one TSA buffoon (or airline employee) waving around that Krink in front of all the passengers waiting in line for checked baggage.
An even better option would be a 870 and a basic collapsible Kel-Tec carbine.
Neither gun would cause financial hardship if they were stolen, and if they had to be used in a self-defense situation, the police can (and WILL) keep them in evidence for years.
Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
Oh, and with regards to hotels, they don't need to know a damned thing about what piece(s) you have with you in your bag.
Kinda like that time in Vegas when I went to the hotel, and had a Glock 17 and a Browning Hi-Power in my bag.
Thinking back, I also probably violated Clark County law since the guns weren't "registered" at the police station, either...
Good thing they stayed hidden in my bag, out of the sight of any maids.
Baltimore... Are you sure you can "leagally" take your toys to Baltimore??? I understand they aren't exactly gun friendly.
I've traveled Alaska, USAir, United and Delta, all with a firearm. Go to the TSA website for exact instructions on how to pack various guns, and check with your carrier for any additional requirements.
The worst you will likely face is extra baggage/weight charges for gun cases and that can get expensive.
Does anyone know, as part of the "inspection" process, whether TSA will record serial numbers, etc? Or do they just check that the pieces are unloaded, bolt, back, etc? If someone wanted to take their own pistols to an out-of-state defensive handgun course and fly there, what are the pros and cons of doing so, for arms that were not purchased through an FFL/no NICS check done, ect.? For those responding, can you please mention how recently you've tested out your response?
Also, I thought TSA "reserved the right" to break open your lock to do their inspection behind the scenes if they see something "suspicious". Is it possible/plausible to ask them to inspect in your sight, and then lock it?
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm not opposed to this being turned into a new/separate post, if the blog-owner sees fit.
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