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Old 05-02-2016, 10:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Flying Alaska Air with checked handgun

I'll be traveling to Alaska this summer to visit my father in law. He moved there last year and drove from CA. As such he didn't take his handgun as he didn't have the paperwork to cross into Canada. He's asked if I could bring it with me when I fly.

Probably some easy questions for some of you but I've never checked a firearm, let alone one that wasn't mine. As far as I can see on Alaska's firearm page it seems pretty simple: https://www.alaskaair.com/content/tr...-firearms.aspx

Will Alaska Air want ownership information? As in, does the gun have to belong to me? I know there is a form I'll have to fill out but I haven't found a copy of it online so I don't know what it'll ask. I won't lie to travel with it but once I'm at the airport my options are limited.

Can I pack the gun in a checked bag, assuming I have the gun locked in a case per their instructions? I want to avoid checking another piece of luggage and would like to put in my luggage.

FWIW this is a new gun and two magazines, unfired and no ammunition.

-Mike
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It is really a simple process. They don't ask for any info. You just have to sign a card declaring its unloaded and that is all they check for.

You tell counter jockey you have a gun, they give you a card, take bag to TSA, they look at gun, you lock it all up, TSA will give you a tag / receipt, then it gets sent on its merry way. Just make sure to keep the tag / receipt handy, because your checked bag won't come out on the conveyor. Somebody will bring it out to you, and it usually takes forever; occasionally it will be brought out first, but that has been very rare in my experience.

As far as packing the pistol it must be in a locked gun case and if that case is inside of a checked bag that has to be locked too.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great, thank you!

I kind of assumed as much but it's just an assumption. I plan on bringing a couple of locks as I've read conflicting stories about what type of lock needs to be used on the luggage that contains the locked case. Some say TSA approved, others say pad lock. Easy enough to pack both.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great, thank you!

I kind of assumed as much but it's just an assumption. I plan on bringing a couple of locks as I've read conflicting stories about what type of lock needs to be used on the luggage that contains the locked case. Some say TSA approved, others say pad lock. Easy enough to pack both.
That's a good idea. I usually use a couple regular master locks, but I got flack in Chicago once because they were not TSA approved. Only place that was ever an issue.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Document what you're checking in case it goes "missing".

You'll probably pick it up at the Weird Baggage counter downstairs by the baggage conveyors.

Pm me if you need anything- I live 5 minutes from the airport.
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by eyehatetofu View Post
It is really a simple process. They don't ask for any info. You just have to sign a card declaring its unloaded and that is all they check for.

You tell counter jockey you have a gun, they give you a card, take bag to TSA, they look at gun, you lock it all up, TSA will give you a tag / receipt, then it gets sent on its merry way. Just make sure to keep the tag / receipt handy, because your checked bag won't come out on the conveyor. Somebody will bring it out to you, and it usually takes forever; occasionally it will be brought out first, but that has been very rare in my experience.

As far as packing the pistol it must be in a locked gun case and if that case is inside of a checked bag that has to be locked too.

This^.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The airport in Anchorage has a window counter in baggage claim for gun pickup. You don't need TSA locks, just regular locks. No ammo in case, unloaded weapon, locks, and your good to go.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It's pretty simple. I don't remember locking the outer bag, but it's been three or four years since I've done it. I can't remember anything special about getting the bag at the other end either. I always remember it coming out on the conveyor. Could be different now, and I rarely collected bags in Anchorage, I usually just flew through.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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from the tsa website

Quote:
Firearms
When traveling, comply with the laws concerning posession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international governments.
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. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock.
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.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The airport in Anchorage has a window counter in baggage claim for gun pickup. You don't need TSA locks, just regular locks. No ammo in case, unloaded weapon, locks, and your good to go.
DO NOT use TSA locks. Use locks that only you have the key for. If your bag needs to be opened (after the initial check at the counter by TSA), you will have to be present.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I wouldn't even mess with it personally. Mail it to yourself in a medium flat rate box and be done.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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ive flown with alaska a ton with a handgun and its no big deal. Walk up to the counter say "id like to declare a firearm". They hand you a little piece of paper. Sign it. One part gets stapled to your ticket. The other part put in your gun case, lock it. In phx they make me hang out by the counter for 15min to make sure they dont need to open it an inspect it. In seattle, they make me take it over to the TSA screening area to get it checked out. After that board your plane and on the other side they will be at the bagage claim counter (have to check your id to release it). Easy peezy.
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Document what you're checking in case it goes "missing".

You'll probably pick it up at the Weird Baggage counter downstairs by the baggage conveyors.

Pm me if you need anything- I live 5 minutes from the airport.
Great. Thank you.
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the advice, it's been quite helpful.

I assume the medium flat rate box thing was a joke?
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the advice, it's been quite helpful.

I assume the medium flat rate box thing was a joke?
Nope. Legal and convenient.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Care to explain? I'll Google the usps website but I've never heard of mailing the gun legally.

This is from the ATF website: A nonlicensee may not transfer a firearm to a non-licensed resident of another State. A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. The Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.

[18 U.S.C. 1715, 922(a)(5) and 922 (a)(2)(A); 27 CFR 478.31]
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Flying Alaska Air with checked handgun

You mail it to yourself.
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:43 AM   #18 (permalink)
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You are not transferring it to anyone. You are sending and receiving it.
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Old 05-06-2016, 06:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I thought USPS rules were that you couldn't mail a handgun unless you have an FFL.
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Old 05-06-2016, 06:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I thought USPS rules were that you couldn't mail a handgun unless you have an FFL.
USPS its a no go with handguns. Fedex and UPS you can.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:04 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Correct, no handguns with USPS.

I'll look into the third party carriers.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:47 AM   #22 (permalink)
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USPS its a no go with handguns. Fedex and UPS you can.
Considering the OP was asking about a handgun, he should probably not try that then

OP, just fly with the gun. It's no big deal at all to fly with a handgun.

GunVault NanoVault 200 Key Handgun Safe | DICK'S Sporting Goods

Buy one of those, loop the safety cable through the frame of your suitcase (inside the lining) and then just lock your gun into the case when you get to the airline. It's scary at first when you haven't done it before, but in actuality, it's absolutely no big deal.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:57 AM   #23 (permalink)
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It's scary at first when you haven't done it before, but in actuality, it's absolutely no big deal.
Also depends a lot on the airport and how used to it they are. DFW, charlotte, charleston SC, bozeman MT were all phenomenal when I went through. Philadelphia, not so much.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:14 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Also depends a lot on the airport and how used to it they are. DFW, charlotte, charleston SC, bozeman MT were all phenomenal when I went through. Philadelphia, not so much.
I had no problems going through Baltimore. And Maryland is certainly not known for it's gun friendliness LOL.

The key is read the regulations yourself (both FAA and the airline) and have them printed out. Be friendly and polite. The only real issue you can run into is an asshole counter lady, which is why it's important to have everything right, so they can't get a foothold to start an argument.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:27 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I'll be flying into Anchorage and by the sound of it I'll be fine.
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