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How Packing a Gun Protects Valuables From Airline Theft 52

mobileworker writes "If you don't like your bags being out of your sight and it makes you uncomfortable to think that airline workers are rifling through your stuff, you should read this article by Jason Fitzpatrick of Lifehacker who explains how you can take advantage of the TSA's own security rules by — eek — packing a gun. You can alternatively decide to have your luggage shipped to your destination by FedEx, UPS or US Postal Service ground shipping. It's cheaper than having them checked with the airline, and you can be sure that you'll have them delivered, and on time!"


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How Packing a Gun Protects Valuables From Airline Theft

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  • That gun looks pretty badass. Is it real or a model from some game?
    • Looks pretty real to me. Why don't you just look down the end of the barrel and tell me if you can see a bullet in the chamber?
    • I'm pretty sure thats a mateba, an auto-revolver, like a revolver, only automatic.
      • It is a Mateba. I've always wanted to on one, just for the novelty. They're getting more and more expensive as collector pieces though, since the company went out of business. It's not "like a revolver". It is a revolver. It's just a revolver that automatically cocks and advances the cylinder with a blowback slide, instead of automatically cocking and pulling a round off the top of the magazine, like most automatics do.

    • by Phezult ( 729465 )
      From the original lifehacker article, I believe the author suggested using a starting pistol, which doesn't fire actual bullets, and is therefore cheaper and less regulated, but still classified as a firearm by the TSA.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JWSmythe ( 446288 )

      That photo is from the Wikipedia entry for Mateba Autorevolver []. It was uploaded by LoCo CNC on 02/06/2008

      It is a Mateba Model 6 Unica. My guess from the picture is that it's a 6" .357 Magnum. You could probably print the the picture, along with the Wikipedia page, and take it to a local gun shop. They may have have one, but they seem a bit pricey. has This one [] for $2,900 starting bid, $4,600 buy it now price.

      I already have a decent selection of pistols, so

      • It is interesting how some airports pay closer attention to luggage than others, isn't it? I've only been to one (PHX if I'm remembering right) that actually has someone verifying the bag you grab is actually your own. At the time I was much younger and thought it a huge waste of my time. Now that I'm older and have better toys (firearms, expensive cameras, computers, etc), I wish more airports would check.
        • I've flown all over the place. I'm pretty sure I've been to or through every major airport in the country. I've been to Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) many times, but that's never been a destination. Most of them are very lax about baggage claim. When it hits the news that someone is caught stealing luggage, and have hundreds of bags at home, I'm not surprised in the least.

          The only airport where they've been extremely strict about it, that I can recall, was the Las Vegas McCarra

          • The gun laws for Clark County are a bit odd, but they have provisions that we forced on them by Nevada that allow people to not register their firearms for 60 days IIRC. This keeps people who are visiting from having to jump through hoops.
            • That's good if they do.

              I know there is a federal law related to firearms transportation. If you are not residing in a location, but simply passing through, and the weapon is securely encased and unloaded, you are allowed by federal law to transport it. That would cover you, if you were driving through Las Vegas (or even New York City). Well, at least legally. You could still be arrested, and it would have to be argued by your lawyers. Then again, innocent people are arres

              • by joshki ( 152061 )

                Do NOT attempt to transport a gun through any NY airport. You WILL be arrested. NY and MA both ignore FOPA 86. They don't care a whit about the federal laws that govern transport of weapons, and unless you've got tons of money to fight it in federal court, you'll lose that battle.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by JWSmythe ( 446288 )

                  That's about the way I heard it.

                  For those unaware of what he said, FOPA 86 has a "Safe Passage" provision on it, basically stating that if you're traveling from Point A to Point B, and somewhere along that route has a stricter gun law than the federal laws, you're safe as long as the weapon is unloaded and properly secured. Or more specifically, this. [] I used to keep a copy of this printed and locked away with my weapon(s) when transporting them, along with a copy of the US Constitution an

      • It wasn't until I got to LAX that I worried. There was absolutely no special treatment there. I snagged by bag from baggage claim and left without anyone verifying that it was mine.

        LAX by name...

        •     They're lax about everything, except if you go to pick up someone from the curb. Stop for 2 seconds at the pickup curb, and they'll make you move, or ticket you.

          • It apples to everything from coding standards to zoning laws: what's easy to enforce gets enforced, and what matters is ignored.

  • Not sure why I did not think of this. I already have a starter pistol.
  • OMG it's 2006!!! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Expensive Cameras in Checked Luggage []

    Slashdot. Your source for news that is:
    a) 4 years old
    b) 4th hand (Bruce was 2nd hand, LifeHacker is 3rd hand)

  • by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @10:32PM (#31254552)
    Be aware that each airline has its own policies. This [] is the best guide I know of for this subject. You should of course be familiar with the baseline federal standard [].
    • Thanks for the links. I'd mod you up if I had not already posted. I rarely carry on my person, but my brother is fanatic about it and since we're flying together in a few weeks (he never flies) it's nice to have some info on how he should pack his pistol to avoid hassles. I think I'll leave mine at home because as much as the article implies the baggage will be handled with extra care, I don't trust the airlines not to lose or damage anything expensive, including my pistol.

    • Thanks for posting this. It's interesting to note that while some consider BB guns and air guns to be shooting equipment, others like American Airlines, says "Pellet and BB guns are not considered firearms, and therefore, do not require any special handling or documentation.", so if someone thought "hey I'll spend $15 at walmart and buy a airgun" you can forget it. Also some airlines won't allows weapons for international flights for whatever reason.

      While all this might sound simple and be great for pr
  • Not sure about pax regulations, but I'm pretty sure that speaking of freight, explosives are classified as dangerous goods which cannot be flown on board any flight under IATA regulations. I'm not a DG expert and don't have DG training, but I recall those are "ocean-only".

    So be aware of that. Better not pack ammo.

  • I'd rather take my chances with the TSA rifling through my bags than ship USPS parcel post. Hell, I'd have to ship my stuff a month in advance to make sure it got there, and there's no way to track it if it gets lost. USPS might even be worse than letting American Eagle check your bags to a Caribbean island.

  • If this actually ensures privacy like the author says, we have a serious ass security hole. You could get anything through an airport by telling them you have a gun.
    • by cmarkn ( 31706 )

      It does not insure privacy. Notice that the article says that you have to open the case and show the contents to the agent, and, not in the article, they have to verify that it is unloaded. You can't just say "there's a gun in that bag" and slide it past security.

  • The TSA also considers the following to be weapons:

    Box cutter.
    Nail trimmer.
    Shaving razor.
    Kitchen knives
    Dining utensils
    Laser pointers

    Yes, cameras.

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