Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How To Pack For The Gun Blogger Rendezvous

 This is a re-post from two years ago for folks who are thinking of going to the Rendezvous.  It's still timely.  Sign up and go to Reno! You will have the time of your life!

It's time to make plans for the guns you are taking with you to Reno, and if you don't have experience traveling by air with firearms, you need to do your research.  Firearms can travel with you in your checked baggage, and they will be inspected by both the airline personnel and the TSA.  Your guns must be packed in a hard sided case that locks, and only you can have the combination or keys to the locks.  Your carry on bags cannot have any firearms, parts (such as magazines), or ammo.  Ammunition has to go in your checked bags, and it must be in suitable packaging.  You must declare your firearms when you arrive at the baggage check in counter, and please practice ahead of time saying that you "Have firearms to declare in your checked bags."  Do not be cavalier or try to be funny by being less than businesslike.  The person checking you in may not be familiar with the process, so study the TSA rules and the airline rules before you go.  You probably will find that  the person(s) checking you in are friendly, interested in your guns, and want to converse about them.  If you have to take your guns out of the case for the checkers, be extra careful about muzzle control.  Be obsessive about checking and rechecking that your guns and magazines are unloaded before you go to the airport with your bags.  Ammunition can be packed in the same container with firearms according the the TSA website, but my preference is to have more separation, and to pack ammo in the suitcase.  Suitcases without firearms may be locked only with the TSA locks, and you should expect to have your suitcase inspected by TSA after it leaves your side.  The airlines have a weight limit on the amount of ammo you can carry, so use a good scale and consider carefully how much of each caliber you will need at the range.

The Ruger hard sided cases you see above needed only to have two holes drilled in them so they could be padlocked.  These are a good option if you are bringing only one or two handguns, and they will fit into your suitcase.

 Pelican advertises this as a two pistol  case, but we have found that it can easily transport four.  Each pistol goes into its own homemade denim gun rug, then they are packed into the Pelican, which is secured with two padlocks.  This rig has to go as a separate checked bag, and it will survive all manner of traveling mishaps in baggage handling.  Powder, percussion caps, and primers cannot be taken with you, so if you plan to bring a muzzleloader to the Rendezvous, you will have to pick up your supplies at Reno.

Study these links for more instructions: TSA; Traveling With Special ItemsTSA; Prohibited Items Airline Transportation; NRA.

Call the airline you are traveling on if you have any questions, or aren't 100% sure that you are doing everything correctly.  The check in counter is not the place to discover problems, but the entire process is not difficult if you do your research and pack properly.

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