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What do I need to know about the TSA?

This is a discussion on What do I need to know about the TSA? within the Before & After the Hunt forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; I tend to drive everywhere and this will be my first international flight (with or without a gun). Having no ...

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    VanderLaan is offline AH Senior Member
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    Default What do I need to know about the TSA?

    I tend to drive everywhere and this will be my first international flight (with or without a gun). Having no experience with the TSA, I would be interested in any tips or "must know" information that you might have for me. Last thing I want to do is get in a bind in the airport.

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    Have your import/export info in order and know the rules well enough to be confident with your answers to any Qs they may have and just do as they say without causing a fuss and you should have no problems. In random searches they seem to target camo hats. Still you are only delayed for a minute or so. No big deal.
    The journey is the reward.

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    I always go an hour earlier when traveling with a firearm. For instance, here at Washington Dulles, I would show up at 3:00 pm for a 6:00 pm takeoff. You will go to the airline counter first where the ticket agent will give you a card to sign and to slip into your gun case which declares the weapon unloaded. You need to tell the agent which bag also contains your ammunition. An agent will then escort you to a TSA manned x-ray machine where your bags will be x-rayed, stamped, and sent on to the aircraft. This can be five minutes or twenty-five depending upon the line and whether or not TSA looks at the weapon or the ammo. In probably a dozen flights over the last several years, I have always found the TSA folks to be couteous and reasonable. I should note, I go to every effort to be polite to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Leg View Post
    I always go an hour earlier when traveling with a firearm. For instance, here at Washington Dulles, I would show up at 3:00 pm for a 6:00 pm takeoff. You will go to the airline counter first where the ticket agent will give you a card to sign and to slip into your gun case which declares the weapon unloaded. You need to tell the agent which bag also contains your ammunition. An agent will then escort you to a TSA manned x-ray machine where your bags will be x-rayed, stamped, and sent on to the aircraft. This can be five minutes or twenty-five depending upon the line and whether or not TSA looks at the weapon or the ammo. In probably a dozen flights over the last several years, I have always found the TSA folks to be couteous and reasonable. I should note, I go to every effort to be polite to them.
    Could not agree more.
    Every year, every flight I follow this advice.
    Smile be polite with them and 90 percent of the time you are sent on your way without issue. "Every effort to be polite" is key in every US airport I have gone through with a firearm.
    Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
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    You did not say what airport you will be leaving from as all are different...

    Depending on your airport you will usually start at a Kiosks to check in. from there you are directed to a ticket agent for paperwork and forms. Like your passport and red card for your gun to be signed and placed in your case. if flying through any country that requires a permit you will h ave to produce it at this time.

    Now some airports they take your checked bags and gun case and put on conveyor and you will have to wait for yea or nay before leaving. Other you will be given directions on where to take your bags and rifle case for scanning. And at others you will have your bags searched and a nice card inserted saying your bag was inspected.

    Pay careful attention to items checked and carried on. Batteries are a good one to have your bag searched. medicines are another have the supporting paperwork from your pharmacist or doctor along with you for show and tell.

    I have flown out of 4 different airport and they are all different...
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    My only advice is keep the weight down under 50 lbs. for checked luggage, you don't want to be over!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRICKBURN View Post
    Could not agree more.
    Every year, every flight I follow this advice.
    Smile be polite with them and 90 percent of the time you are sent on your way without issue. "Every effort to be polite" is key in every US airport I have gone through with a firearm.
    Spot on - Every effort to be polite is the key anywhere in the world in every situation. Polite and respectful will win may friends.
    When I am not hunting, I am thinking about hunting....I think I'll go hunting.

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