Buck Yeager On Flying With Firearms

Good advice if you want to take your gun somewhere you’re flying:

Say “I need to declare a firearm”.   Saying “I have a gun” will not get you the response that you’re looking for from the TSA agents.

LOL yea no kidding.

Make sure you take a look at the official The TSA Traveling With Special Items – Firearms And Ammunition page for the official rules and to keep up on any changes.



HSR47 November 18, 2012 at 05:27 am

There is certainly some good advice above, but I take issue with his recommendation to use TSA-approved locks: For me, a LARGE bonus of flying with a firearm is that they MUST search your bag IMMEDIATELY, which means that it has ALREADY been searched, and thus they have absolutely no reason to need to get into it again. Thus, the use of a lock to which ONLY YOU have a key is indicated.

Also, TSA regs allow ammunition (so long as it is packaged in a sturdy container) to be packaged in the same case as the firearm(s).


Brannon LeBouef November 18, 2012 at 05:43 am

My experience has been the same on both your points.


dagamore November 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I agree.

NEVER NEVER NEVER use a TSA approved lock, if you fly often enough something will go missing. The TSA asks you to unlock the case and open it(at least the latches) and then they make sure its in compliance with their rules. then they ask you to lock it back up. With non TSA approved locks, i use 4 on a pelican rifle case all with different keys yeah its a pain in the ass, but it works and its safe.

I often fly for work, about every two or three months, and have never had a hard time. The biggest problem i get is that over sized/over weight charge i get on my rifle case that i get hit with every time.


Dan November 18, 2012 at 07:16 am

Quit stroking your beard, dude.


Kevin November 18, 2012 at 08:01 am

I like THIS Yeager side.


dave w November 18, 2012 at 08:48 am

I’m not gonna watch it,but i assume he just watched and added shoulder rolls to Deviant Ollams video which obviously will be 1000 times better to view.


d0zer November 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm

awww…. lol.. I didn’t see this post until after I posted mine–though for some reason it hasn’t shown up yet. But we are on the same page. DeviantOllam’s video is much better–both information-wise and entertainment-wise. Yeager just plain gave wrong information.

Anyone dumb enough send firearms through an airport with the flimsy locks that he shows in the vid deserves whatever happens to them. “TSA approved” locks are for your normal, everyday, travel/vacation baggage. They are NOT meant for firearm transport.


Dan G November 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

+1 to Kevin. One man’s non-egotistical opinion of how he transports firearms successfully, with a disclaimer at the front and good advice sprinkled throughout? Are we seeing a change in his video style?


Wolf November 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I travel with a pistol a lot. Gunvault FTW. I always say
“Excuse me, I have a sidearm I wish to declare.”


dave w November 18, 2012 at 01:00 pm

as long as its not the microvault,


Dville Rocks November 18, 2012 at 03:41 pm

Or, just fedex your shit overnight to your destination. It really is that easy and you eliminate the TSA BS.


ENDO-Mike November 18, 2012 at 05:14 pm

Yea he mentions that in the video. I guess if you don’t want to pay that extra cash then bringing them with you is your only option.


HSR47 November 18, 2012 at 08:31 pm

Bringing them in checked baggage is cheaper, introduces less hassle, and means that you are likely to be able to arm up almost immedately upon departure from the secure area.

Also, there’s the issue of cost. If you’re lucky, shipping a small box with a pistol in it will run you at least 60 bucks. If you aren’t, it can easily eclipse 100 bucks. Last I checked, the most airlines charged for a checked bag was 25 bucks for the first. If you’re already going to check a bag, you might as well fly with a gun in it. If you are’t, then it’s still cheaper and less hassle to just check a second piece of luggage.


Crunkleross November 20, 2012 at 07:18 am

It is more expensive but having arived at least twice without my guns is no fun. The last time was on the flight home, a pick up truck with my luggage including gun case uncovered in the back delivered it to my house two days later. I’ll fly with a gun if it’s something off the shelf and easily replaced but not ten grand worth of customs again.


J- November 19, 2012 at 07:15 pm

Be careful, I’ve had probelms with that. It depends on the FedEx location and how well they know the law. Out of South Dakota, they were used to it and shipped the gun from me to me no problem, overnight, insured for $50. Out of Miami, the idea of shipping a gun make the woman behind the counter very nervous. She called over her manager and they went through the rule book and said without an FFL they wouldn’t ship a firearm anywhere. I can only imagine it being worse other places. It’s a good idea, but have a backup.


Church November 18, 2012 at 05:39 pm

I was detained at PHL a couple of years ago because I had a Grenade backpack as my carry-on. As in; http://www.grenadegloves.com the snowboarding glove company. Yeah, I was hand cuffed and searched. After like an hour I was let go, they informed me to “be smart” and “to not contribute to people’s fears”…. Assholes.


D Larsen November 18, 2012 at 06:24 pm

Minimal Derp from Buck? Who woulda thunk it?


J- November 18, 2012 at 08:07 pm

Another piece of advice. Take pictures. If you have a smart phone, take pictures of the orange tag that they sign an put in the case. Take pictures of the gun. Take pictures of the serial number. Photo document the whole thing, paperwork and all. If it does go missing, you will have proof the gun was handed over and the paperwork was signed. You can then turn the paperwork over to the local police and ATF if the gun goes missing. Remember, a stolen firearm is a federal offense.


Brannon LeBouef November 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Great advice. I do that as well for each trip– for all my luggage. Especially the serial numbers should they get “lost”. Makes the LEO’s job a lot easier when you can produce an actual pic of the rifle with all the accouterments attached to it. Also easier for insurance purposes.

A stolen firearm is a fede4ral offense for the thief, not for the original owner, which I am sure is what you meant.


J- November 19, 2012 at 07:10 pm

Yes, that’s what I was getting at. I have heard more than once about how luggage handlers stealing things out of people’s bags is a open secret in the airline industry. If something disapears from your bag the airline claims no responsability. That is one thing when it’s jewelry or some such, becuse it’s a local police matter, and who knows where the item was taken from – i.e. the departing airport, arival airport, or layover airport. It’s something that gets kicked under the rug. But if a gun goes missing, the Feds make a very big deal out of that. It is not something the airline can make go away by putting you on hold until you get frustrated.


dave w November 19, 2012 at 07:23 pm

Having worked at smaller airports i can honestly say we dont have the time or space to do that. Bigger airports i am sure are different.
One thing that i did learn working in the bag room is how badly designed or packed baggage can get hung up and potentially destroyed going through the backstage maze of conveyors. The amount of broken locks, name tags, destination tags in the machines was an eyeopener.


DaveP. November 19, 2012 at 08:01 am

The “fedex the gun to yourself” idea is very interesting to me, because I don’t fly all that frequently and it’d be worth the expense to me to reduce the odds of some TSA clown deciding to apply his own interpretation of the law instead of what the regs say (or simply growing light fingers). But I’ve never heard that it was legal to ship a handgun any way except to a FFL, so if anyone knows more about this I’d love to hear it…


Brannon LeBouef November 19, 2012 at 11:51 am

Federal law allows you to ship a firearm from yourself to yourself.

We use it for all our students to ship gear without having to go through and FFL.


Brannon LeBouef November 19, 2012 at 11:54 am

SOrry, link got jack.

Here is the link to the FAQ:

Here is the question:

Q: May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity?
Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.


MrMaigo November 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

I had to look up what a ‘TSA Lock’ is. How long till people are forced to wear paper jumpsuits?


k.rollin November 20, 2012 at 12:52 am

It was my understanding that there were regulations in place prohibiting the use of TSA locks to secure luggage containing firearms. I’ve found this video to be very helpful regarding flying with guns.


Lance November 20, 2012 at 09:52 am

I’ve checked firearms before and never had TSA search them. It all depends on the airline the airport and the policy of the TSA at that time.



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