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I have an invite to do some hunting on a substantial ranch in Texas and would be flying via commercial airline. I understand shipping an M14 should be fairly easy and will fly with me in the hold.

1. Can someone point me to a website that explains the requirements/procedures for flying with a rifle.

2. I figure Texas is about as liberal with firearms as anyone, but I am paranoid that someone at the airport confiscates the rifle because mine has a left-handed widget which are against the law there. Hence, looking for a website, phone number, etc., that would set forth what restrictions are so I know mine is legal. Mine is USGI, including bayonet lug, with a scope.

Thanks in advance.
 

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You can ship it to yourself where you're staying. No inspections that route and you have a tracking number, insurance, etc... That's a much safer route in my mind, but then I've seen too many horrors at airports to trust them with high dollar items anymore.
 

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Here is the TSA language on special items.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

Every arilines have their drama as well as every airport. I travel with firearms quite a bit, it seems like they all have different SOP. One ariport will require you to lock the case after you filled out and insert a declaration form and others want you to keep it unlock till you get to the TSA line right next to the check in counter.

Some airports (Austin) even from the same airlines, the person across the counter points you to the TSA baggage check for inspection (not the regular security check) and others want to escort you to the TSA (DC Reagan)

There is ammo restriction - usually 11 pounds. Some airlines require that the ammo must be in original factory box, though TSA may accept MTM boxes. To be hassle free at the airport check with your airlines for their own regs.

Welcome to Texas!
 

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Different airlines have their own rules and restrictions. Check the airline website, some have their restrictions and requirements spelled out there which is good because you can print it out to have if they give you any static at check-in. Otherwise, call the airline customer service to confirm.

Some restrctions are national i.e. FAA and TSA regs. The airline will include those when they give you their policy.

At a minimum it will have to be unloaded, in a hard case, with a TSA approved lock (they have the master key and can open the case to fondle your rifle when you're not around.) (This may now be outdated wrong info... see post below. MCORPS1) Most airlines will want you to open the case at check-in the show that it's unloaded, and they will probably hang a big bright orange "UNLOADED FIREARM" tag on it, either inside the case or some airlines will hang the tag on the outside of the case where everyone can see it. There is a limit on how much ammo you can fly.

Last time I flew with a rifle I think I flew Southwest Airlines and they were about as firearm-friendly as they could be. IIRC. Some airlines don't like them at all.

Do your research early... GI7
 

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I have an invite to do some hunting on a substantial ranch in Texas and would be flying via commercial airline. I understand shipping an M14 should be fairly easy and will fly with me in the hold.

1. Can someone point me to a website that explains the requirements/procedures for flying with a rifle.

2. I figure Texas is about as liberal with firearms as anyone, but I am paranoid that someone at the airport confiscates the rifle because mine has a left-handed widget which are against the law there. Hence, looking for a website, phone number, etc., that would set forth what restrictions are so I know mine is legal. Mine is USGI, including bayonet lug, with a scope.

Thanks in advance.
Two ways to do it. (1) ship it to yourself by common carrier. (2) checked luggage with the airline you fly.

You need to contact or google the airline you plan to fly and look up their requirements. Usually they have the same requirement, but it's wise to check the airline you will fly.

Below is the requirement for Delta Airlines:

Shooting equipment
Shooting equipment is accepted as checked baggage only. It must fit within the very specific criteria that we outline below.

Declare to the Delta representative that you are checking a firearm.
Declare the existence of a firearm to security personnel if a security checkpoint is prior to the Delta counter.
All firearms must be declared by the passenger to a Delta representative at the main ticket counter .
Present firearm(s) unloaded and sign a "Firearms Unloaded" declaration.
Firearms must be packed in a locked manufacturer's hard–sided container specifically designed for the firearm, a locked hard–sided gun case, or a locked hard–sided piece of luggage. Handguns may be packed in a locked hard–sided gun case, and then packed inside an unlocked soft–sided piece of luggage. However, a Conditional Acceptance Tag must be used in this case.
Maintain entry permits in your possession for the country or countries of destination or transit.
Ensure small arms ammunition is packed in the manufacturer's original package or securely packed in fiber, wood, plastic or metal boxes and provide separation for cartridges.
If you need to travel with a weapon as checked baggage, you are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with all Federal, State, or Local laws regarding the possession and transportation of firearms. TSA locks are not approved for securing firearms. For more information about this regulation you can visit the TSA site.

If you are transporting a firearm to the United Kingdom as checked baggage, a permit from the United Kingdom is specifically required. You must contact the United Kingdom for more information about securing this permit.

Ammunition in excess of 11 lbs. per passenger or that contains potential projectiles is not allowed
 

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Regarding Texas laws once you get here, have no worries. As long as your gun is legal with the Feds, it's legal here.

You can look online at the Texas firearm laws in Chapter 46 of the Texas Penal Code. Sec. 46.05 says what is prohibited and 46.01 has definitions. 46.03 makes certain places off-limits - churches, schools, bars, etc.

Link: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/docs/PE/htm/PE.46.htm
 

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...or that contains potential projectiles is not allowed
Um, doesn't all gun ammo have potential projectiles? Kind of the point of a gun isn't it (launching a projectile at high speed towards a target)? I guess slingshot ammo would be okay...
 

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That's new... GI8
It's true though.

Federal law requires the firearm to be locked in a case that nobody but the owner has access to.

During the entire transit!

The airlines do not give a fart about State or local gun laws, registration, or anything other than searching the case in your presence, to ensure it does not contain explosives, or improperly packaged ammunition.

You can place ammo in the case with the firearm, but it must be in it's factory packaging. You can't simply fill a few mags and stick them in the case.

Since the TSA personnel are not allowed to open your case after it has been inspected in your presence, it is an excellent way to transport valuable items, that you fear may be stolen during transit.

You can put camera equipment, jewelry, etc, in the same case, and rest assured it will not be "confiscated" by a sticky fingered TSA employee.
 

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You can put camera equipment, jewelry, etc, in the same case, and rest assured it will not be "confiscated" by a sticky fingered TSA employee.
Yes, then it can only be "confiscated" by a sticky fingered baggage handler. GI1 It's happened before. GI9
 

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Yes, then it can only be "confiscated" by a sticky fingered baggage handler. GI1 It's happened before. GI9
They aren't allowed to open the case either.

They would have to steal the entire case, and get it out of the airport.
 
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