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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Traveling With Guns Comment
    Gregory Morris, 9/9/09 9:38:58 pm
    As I mentioned before, I traveled to Morgantown, WV this past weekend for my high school reunion. I have never flown with a firearm before because I've always figured it'd be a pain in the ass.

    But this time, I sorta figured I oughta try it at least once. My schedule dictated that I had to fly on this trip, although I normally drive to avoid the airport bullshit.

    So I packed my snubbie, unloaded, in a hard case with a non-TSA lock. I grabbed a full original package of .38spl, and tossed them both in my suitcase. I checked the TSA "special items" page, as well as the airline's website, just to make sure I hadn't forgotten something.

    I also figured I should get to the ticket counter early just in case. Turns out that wasn't necessary. That doesn't mean it went smoothly... surprisingly, United Airlines doesn't require that ticket counter people be trained in how to handle baggage with firearms. I stepped up to the counter, scanned my passport (I always travel with my passport regardless of whether or not I'm flying international.) I then told the ticket counter lady that I had a firearm to declare.

    What a look! If I were a betting man, I'd wager she wasn't expecting that. After freezing for a second, she regained her composure and asked what agency I was with. Oh boy, here we go. I explained quite plainly that I am not with an agency, but that I am merely a citizen traveling legally with a firearm in his suitcase. Of course, that didn't compute. She kept insisting I needed to give her my intelligence ID number or some such nonsense. Then she demanded identification above and beyond my passport, despite my assurance that nothing else was needed.

    After a few minutes of me politely explaining that citizens are, indeed, allowed to travel across the many states of this nation while in possession of a firearm, the manager stepped in. I got the feeling she had been through this rigmarole a dozen times. "No, he can check that bag, just have him sign the little orange card and stick it in his bag, and take it over to TSA." Simple. After signing the little orange card and putting it in my bag, I was escorted to TSA by a kid who apparently heard the ordeal and kept asking me about guns and said he wanted to get a Beretta.

    I handed the TSA guy my bag, said "firearm", he nodded, tossed my bag on the X-ray machine, stared at the screen for a second, and said "good to go." I was most surprised that the smoothest airport interaction during my trip was dealing with TSA! Imagine!

    On my way back to Tampa, there was a little hiccup... the guy at the counter couldn't find the little orange cards. Of course, the Morgantown airport is tiny. There's only one flight at 6:30am, right after the airport opened, and only one ticket counter. The guy hadn't had his coffee yet, so I don't blame him. At least he knew I only had to fill out the little orange card.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

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