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quote:
Originally posted by V-Tail:
quote:
Originally posted by h2oys:

The TSA has changed this rule. They now can ask you for the key/combination to access your firearm in their secure area without you being present.

I did not know about the change when I flew two months ago when flying from St Louis to Detroit. I filed a formal complaint with TSA and they supplied me with a copy of the new rule.
If you still have the reply from TSA, would you be good enough to forward a copy to me? My email address is in my profile.

Or maybe put a copy in this thread, for the benefit of our members who fly with firearms?


You have mail.
 
Posts: 2007 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: November 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here is a copy of the final reply from TSA:

Good Afternoon Mr. Waterwiese,

Thank you for supplementing the needed information, and for reaching out to TSA at the St. Louis Lambert Airport with your concerns. We have reviewed the details provided and determined that in this instance, TSA correctly executed current procedures of firearm screening and request for entry into your locked case. In accordance with the firearm guidelines on TSA.gov, only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock, unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations.

Once a firearm produces an alarm during baggage screening, it has to go to the Checked Baggage Resolution Area (CBRA) to resolve the alarm. At this airport, the CBRA is located in the Secure Identification Display Area: Only airport personnel with valid credentials are allowed in this area. TSA in St. Louis is not able to have passengers present during the inspection, because of where the CBRA is located.

Review of the CCTV footage showed the gun case was opened by the baggage Officer, and everything but the firearm was handled. The 3-4 items removed were carefully replaced in the firearm case, as witnessed by the on-duty Supervisory Officer. There was an honest attempt to put the items back in the same configuration as received. Once the alarm was resolved, the Notice of Baggage Inspection was placed inside the case. The case was returned to a medium sized, soft-sided, black bag, and placed under the same clothing items. The contents of the bag appeared to be in good order when it left the TSA screening area at 0715.

During the alarm resolution process, it is normal for the Officer(s) conducting the screening to move or handle items within the bag/case in order to find the alarm. Our procedures instruct officers to replace all items back in the original configuration as they found them, to the best of their ability. Once the bag is cleared and returned to the conveyor belt, TSA does not see or handle the bag further.

The airlines are informed to instruct the passenger to wait approximately 20 minutes before going through passenger screening, as that is the average amount of time it takes for the checked luggage to reach TSA screening equipment. I am unsure why you were asked to wait only 10 minutes. If you wish to follow up with your airline regarding this event and their firearm procedures, you can do so at: https://www.southwest.com/contact-us/contact-us.html.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns. Thank you for your attention.

Respectfully,

Karla Keller Avelar
Administrative Assistant
Customer Service- STL
 
Posts: 2007 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: November 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jack of All Trades,
Master of Nothing
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Never had an issue at Phoenix or Anchorage on Alaska Airlines. But then again, I think they're kind of used to it.




My daughter can deflate your daughter's soccer ball.
 
Posts: 10743 | Location: Anchorage, AK | Registered: September 12, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ah, so that is unique to that airport, you should still use a non-TSA lock on the case, and you have be asked to hand over the key for an inspection by TSA in a secured area under CCTV with a Supervisor present.
Still not ideal, but far from using TSA locks or having to hand over your keys for an unsupervised inspection with unprovable consequences.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3356 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RNshooter:
Ah, so that is unique to that airport, you should still use a non-TSA lock on the case, and you have be asked to hand over the key for an inspection by TSA in a secured area under CCTV with a Supervisor present.
Still not ideal, but far from using TSA locks or having to hand over your keys for an unsupervised inspection with unprovable consequences.

Bruce


What they used to do, that is if they wanted to visually inspect the handgun, is call you on the PA, they would bring the luggage to the ticket agent area, I would open the suitcase and then the cable tethered gun safe, he/she would look at the weapon, and all was done.

In other words I did not have to provide the key/combo to anyone. Now TSA can ask for the key/combo.

The crazy thing is the ammo box, the empty magazine, and my knife had all been handled/moved. Now why they had to handle those items is still unclear to me. They could have also handled the handgun, but, it was in the same position as I had packed it unlike all the other items.
 
Posts: 2007 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: November 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you think about it, the issue of whether it's a TSA lock or non-TSA lock is at best a joke, used to placate.

If someone is going to steal the firearm, they'll just take the case it's in and open it later, or pop the lock, whatever lock it is, on the spot. Easy. The locks can be quickly cut, but there's no need, as the case or even luggage can be taken. Dirt simple. Putting a "non-TSA" lock on it doesn't make anyone more honest or your firearm one iota more safe. It meets the minimum regulatory requirement, and makes people feel better, as window dressing often does.

I airline frequently, and unless I have a firearm when traveling, never put locks on my bags, as there's really no point.

quote:
Originally posted by h2oys:

The crazy thing is the ammo box, the empty magazine, and my knife had all been handled/moved. Now why they had to handle those items is still unclear to me. They could have also handled the handgun, but, it was in the same position as I had packed it unlike all the other items.


Everything in your bag is subject to search, as are you, as a condition of intending to enter or entering the secure area (checked bags, for example, or you, as a ticketed passenger).

My bags are marked as crew. I have identification. I very often open my bag to find that it has a TSA note showing that it was searched. Everyone is subject to search.
 
Posts: 3757 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Last time I read the TSA procedures I distinctly remember reading that only the passenger was to have access to the key or combination.

Does anyone know when they changed the wording to allow a TSA agent to request the key?

Edit: 49 CFR § 1540.111 hasn't changed and nowhere in it does it say TSA can request the key... How can they ask for the key without you breaking the law?




 
Posts: 9960 | Location: Magnolia, Texas | Registered: January 29, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by tigereye313:
Last time I read the TSA procedures I distinctly remember reading that only the passenger was to have access to the key or combination.

Does anyone know when they changed the wording to allow a TSA agent to request the key?

Edit: 49 CFR § 1540.111 hasn't changed and nowhere in it does it say TSA can request the key... How can they ask for the key without you breaking the law?


Here is the "latest" from TSA's website. What is new, meaning I did not know they added, is the part where they can ask for the key/combo as that never used to be there:

"...Firearms
When traveling, comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international governments.
If you are traveling internationally with a firearm in checked baggage, please check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information and requirements prior to travel.
Declare each firearm each time you present it for transport as checked baggage. Ask your airline about limitations or fees that may apply.
Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations. You may use any brand or type of lock to secure your firearm case, including TSA-recognized locks.
Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, are prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.
Replica firearms, including firearm replicas that are toys, may be transported in checked baggage only.
Rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage...."
 
Posts: 2007 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: November 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sns3guppy:
If you think about it, the issue of whether it's a TSA lock or non-TSA lock is at best a joke, used to placate.

If someone is going to steal the firearm, they'll just take the case it's in and open it later, or pop the lock, whatever lock it is, on the spot. Easy. The locks can be quickly cut, but there's no need, as the case or even luggage can be taken. Dirt simple. Putting a "non-TSA" lock on it doesn't make anyone more honest or your firearm one iota more safe. It meets the minimum regulatory requirement, and makes people feel better, as window dressing often does.

I airline frequently, and unless I have a firearm when traveling, never put locks on my bags, as there's really no point.

quote:
Originally posted by h2oys:

The crazy thing is the ammo box, the empty magazine, and my knife had all been handled/moved. Now why they had to handle those items is still unclear to me. They could have also handled the handgun, but, it was in the same position as I had packed it unlike all the other items.


Everything in your bag is subject to search, as are you, as a condition of intending to enter or entering the secure area (checked bags, for example, or you, as a ticketed passenger).

My bags are marked as crew. I have identification. I very often open my bag to find that it has a TSA note showing that it was searched. Everyone is subject to search.


This is a pic of how I had packed the firearm case. Still don't understand why they had to remove the items to inspect them. Naturally I understand if they have to inspect if it was a mess and things were on top of one another and they could not see what was inside:

 
Posts: 2007 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: November 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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They can request the key but they will give it back after I watch them lock my case with everything still in it.
There may be airports wherein they won't allow me to stand over them while they open my case but I won't be flying out of them, if I find out which ones have that policy.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3356 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by h2oys:
Still don't understand why they had to remove the items to inspect them.


I wasn't there, and can't speak for their decision process, but they can inspect anything, including you or your baggage, and by checking it, you've granted that permission (it's a condition of checking the bag and of entering the secure area).

They may have wanted to ensure the ammunition was properly secured, or there may have been other reasons, such as ensuring that there were no rounds in the magazine in the weapon, or in the chamber. They may have looked for contraband or items under the foam, or may have had other reasons.

I keep CR123 batteries in a surfire carrier; on an x-ray some say it looks like the cylinder of a revolver. I've lost count of the number of times they've wanted to see that.

I had a guy tear my bag apart for 45 minutes once, in full view of everyone, as I stood there in uniform, with credentials, watching as my crew bag got tossed. When the TSA agent found a leatherman micra in a shaving kit, engraved with "happy anniversary," that I'd been carrying for years, he held it up triumphantly and marched back and forth up and down the line for probably close to a minute, as though he'd just taken a trophy animal. Then he made a big, loud show of confiscating that item. Was he an asshole? Yes. Was he legally entitled to look, find, and take? Yes.

I once had a customs agent have a melt down over a slim jim beef stick that was apparently stuck in the seam of my bag. It was a US product that came out of a US DFAC (dining hall) on a base in Iraq, and it had been in my mag so long it was hard a rock and practically petrified. He tossed the bag, pulled everything out, found it in a seam where it had ended up god-knows-how and god-knows-when, then ordered me to place my hands behind my back as he prepared to cuff me.

A supervisor popped out of an office and wanted to know what in god's name the agent was doing, and the agent correctly said he was within his rights, and he was arresting me (a uniformed crewmember on a military base...exiting the base from an international military flight) for a false statement on a customs form and for contraband. A fucking beefstick.

He let me go after I dared him, begged him, for-the-love-of-god PLEASE do it, as I think he had no doubt of the press that would be on his door step within 24 hours. The point remains, however, that TSA, customs, and others can and will search your bag, and they're within their legal right to do it. It's usually best to let them do their job, and move on, and 99.9% of the time it's just not a big deal, or a problem.

If you do happen to come across that .1%, the best thing to do is to let them do their job, and handle it after the fact.

Tossing printouts of TSA regulation and airline policy in the case or the bag in the hopes of educating them (telling them how to do their job) may seem like a good idea, but it's not going to get you any traction, and in the case of the concealed weapon permit in the gun box...when the bad guy steals your pistol, he just got away with your ID, too. And conveniently, ammunition in the same box.

I don't put ammunition in the same case as the pistol, though you can.

The final authority on the flight is the captain, and I can guarantee that unless it's a safety hazard, no crew member cares if you have a firearm in your bag or not, and will likely never know or see it.

A much bigger concern is getting diverted to somewhere like NYC, held overnight, and then trying to check that firearm again...that could turn into a nightmare.
 
Posts: 3757 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yikes, it sounds like you've been put through the ringer a few times. Thanks for the advice. My fault I know, as I did not check TSA's website prior to this flight, but it really threw me for a loop when they insisted I supply the key/combo which "used to be" against both TSA and Southwest Airlines policy.
 
Posts: 2007 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: November 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I fly with guns 4-5x a year. It is relatively painless, as long as you stay out of certain airports & not fly certain airlines. Recently I was flying out of SanDiego & they came looking for me to provide the key to open my locked handgun case. I suspect the way I had placed the guns & two loaded mags, it might have appeared that one gun was loaded. The airline official & I argued the point of me handing my key over to a non TSA person but it was that or my bag missed the flight. I go her name, told her she would be held liable if anything went missing. First time that has happened in dozens of flights.
Good case with god locks, I put the guns in actions open. Ammo in the same checked bag in sturdy, taped boxes. I resist flying into antigun cities, they have a habit of misplacing a bag with guns. I try to avoid certain airlines like Delta & AA for the way they treat me as a passenger flying with guns in checked bags. I don't care if it costs me a bit more or if I have to drive a bit further to get to my final destination, always fly direct with guns. Baggage transfer is where things get "lost".


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7782 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Traveled with guns many times with no real issues. I did almost always have to open the case to show the ticket agent it was unloaded (no idea if they knew what they were looking at). Only weird encounter was at Salt Lake City I had done the paperwork and brought it to the TSA guys who manned the X-Ray machine right in the ticketing area. I told the agent at the entry that I had a declared firearm like the airline rep said to do. He just said "cool" and leans around the machine and yells to his colleague at the outlet of the machine "Hey Tom this guys got a gun.". My heart stopped for a moment. haha
 
Posts: 2004 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: February 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by MikeNH:
He just said "cool" and leans around the machine and yells to his colleague at the outlet of the machine "Hey Tom this guys got a gun.". My heart stopped for a moment. haha


Wow.

TSA doesn't hire based on an IQ test.

A TSA contingent at a northern airport damaged nearly 30 airline aircraft a few years ago, when they bent the pitot tubes and angle of attack indicators trying to use them as hand and foot holds, to see into cockpits. They claimed it was part of their job, for safety reasons.

The AoA indicator, incidentally, is one of the items blamed in two recent airline crashes...but the TSA clowns did it to over a couple dozen airplanes, and didn't tell anyone. Rocket scientists.
 
Posts: 3757 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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