Originally Posted by racer88
OK.... I've done this twice now. Two round trips = four experiences checking a firearm.
OK... It seems to me that there would logically be some CONSISTENCY to this process. So far, all four experiences were DIFFERENT.
I also believe it seems rather illogical to put the declaration tag INSIDE the locked gun case. Nobody will ever see it, except ME when I get to my destination. The one time the ticket agent taped it the outside of the gun case made the most sense to me. And, even at the same airport (Palm Beach), one time I was escorted to a TSA checkpoint. Another time the luggage went on the conveyor belt. So, what is the story here?
I will be heading to West Palm Beach on Southwest next week, and my previous experience there matches yours when they escorted you downstairs to the TSA area.
I think some of the inconsistency with handguns stems from the practice on long guns, where the gun case IS the luggage. The tag goes inside, because you don't want to advertise the contents, but...it's a gun case!!!
Hard to disguise that!
I agree that attaching the declaration to a handgun case inside the luggage makes the most sense. One TSA agent at SeaTac explained it to me: When the luggage goes through TSA screening and the x-rays reveal a firearm, they open the luggage to ensure you've declared it to the airline as being unloaded. The tag is evidence of that. If it's inside the gun case, they can't see it. If it's loose in your luggage and not near the gun case, they could miss it. If it's taped to the gun case, or attached via string (I've done that when the tag includes a string), there's no question.
I wish the TSA would clarify the requirements so the airlines would be consistent!