31 Mar 17

New TSA Baggage Regulation?

I’m flying out of DEN this morning on SW. In my checked baggage, I have my usual complement of my M4 and two pistols, with fully-charged magazines for all.

I have been hearing from students that, upon checking baggage, airlines now wrap all checked luggage containing guns with plastic tape, which must be cut off when baggage is reclaimed.

However, this morning SW was doing nothing like that, and I checked my bags through as I always do.

Of course, I asked no questions!

So, this “taping” policy is obviously nothing dictated by TSA. Some airlines are apparently doing it voluntarily, namely American and Delta, and I’m not sure even they do it at all airports.

Once again, guns in checked baggage must be “declared” to the airline upon check-in and, of course, unloaded. They also must be within hard, locked containers. Ammunition, within magazines or in factory boxes, does not need to be declared, nor even mentioned.

I fly with my M4 broken-down and within a hard case, and the hard case within a roller-duffel. Pistols are likewise within a hard case (SIG shipping containers are best) and inside a plain-looking AWOL bag.

So, no “gun cases” are visible when I fly.

I am courteous and polite, but neutral and boring. No loud colors. No flashy jewelry. No sunglasses. No smart-ass remarks. No “messages” on t-shirts. Pretty unremarkable. Few airline employees remember me!

I’m pleasant, but not chatty. I don’t volunteer information, and I don’t answer questions that weren’t asked!

That MO has worked for me for the past several decades, and it worked as usual this morning.

Flying commercially still makes many anxious, and that is understandable. I can’t say that I find flying “enjoyable,” but it gets me where I need to be quickly, so I do my part in making it as painless as possible.

“Ahead of you in your immediate future lurks a ‘surprise,’ something you haven’t foreseen, nor planned for, that will significantly affect your day. From an infuriatingly slow freight-train blocking the road ahead, to runny egg yokes at breakfast, it will represent an unanticipated, unpleasant, unwelcome frustration. Will you take a breath, roll with the punch, and use your flexibility, consciousness, and awareness to keep from making a bad situation worse? Or, will you lose it, yank out a metaphorical pistol and, in your ill-humor, promptly shoot yourself in the knee?”

John Vorhaus