By John Farnam
Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- As I write this, I’m at DEN (Denver) waiting to fly out for a weekend course.
SW, at least, never wants to see the guns themselves. They tape the declaration card to the outside, and I'm on my way.
For my M4, I have four 30-round Magpul Magazines, fully-charged, with the Magpul Dust Covers “cap” in place, all within a gun-rug. TSA thinks that is all just fine! For my pistols, I have a total of five fully-charged magazines, all in “magazine socks” by Hi-Viz, also within a gun-rug, which TSA also thinks is all just fine.
On my person, I have two tactical flashlights (Firstlight T-Max/LE and EAGTAC T25C2) and a DTI Trauma Kit. Flashlights are no problem, and the Trauma Kit is in my briefcase (along with my portable computer) and receives scant notice.
This is pretty standard commercial air kit for me, and I’ve been doing it this way for at least a decade. I don’t fly for my health, so I need a system that generates minimum delay and works every time. And, I need to be heavily armed, no matter where I go.
In most western and midwestern airports, this system works adequately. Would likely be a no-go in NYC and a few other airports in the northeast, but I don’t fly to any of those.
TSA/PRE status is a definite time-saver, and I recommend it. TSA/PRE passengers usually go through pretty fast and are asked far fewer questions than is the case for “general” travelers. Application process is easy, and it is definitely worth the effort, in my opinion.
Domestic commercial air travel is still fraught with stress, and sometimes surprises, no doubt. However, in my experience airline employees, even TSA folks, almost always try to be helpful. The key to minimizing delay and anxiety is to take a breath, don’t get excited, and don’t fail the attitude test. Just smile at everyone, be polite, and go through the process as best you can.
If I could afford my own jet (and crew), I would surely do it that way. On the other hand, if I could afford my own jet, I probably wouldn’t be working for a living and wouldn’t have to travel!
I friend who flies more than I do advised:
“If you’ve never missed a flight, you’re spending too much time in airports!”
UPDATE: Additional information about flying domestically.
I apparently confused some readers with my Quip of this morning.
Each airline has its own version of a “declaration tag.” It is supposed to go on, or in, the hard case containing your gun(s).
SW likes to tape it to the outside of the hard container, and then the container itself goes inside the suitcase or duffel.
I may have mistakenly given the impression that the declaration tag goes on the outside of the suitcase and is thus in plain view.
I don’t fly with visible “gun cases.” I fly with plain-vanilla luggage, with gun cases inside!
Always be polite, as I advised, but don’t be talkative, and don’t answer questions that weren’t asked. SW, for example, never asks about ammunition, and I never volunteer information.
There is no requirement that ammunition be “declared.”
The subject never comes up!
About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.
It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com