Delta Airlines: New Requirements for Carrying Firearms in Checked Luggage

Delta Airlines: New Requirements for Carrying Firearms in Checked Luggage

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SCI has just learned that Delta Airlines recently adopted some new procedures for passengers who carry firearms in their checked luggage.  Checked bags containing firearms will receive special tags.  These tags are intended to alert baggage handlers not to put the bags carrying firearms on carousels with other types of luggage.  Instead the checked bags containing the firearms will go directly to a baggage service agent.  According to news articles on the changes, (1) owners will be required to show proof of identification to pick up their luggage; (2) the baggage service agent will use zip ties to secure the bag before releasing the bag to its owner; and (3) at least at some airports, a police officer will be at the location when the passenger picks up the baggage.

The full text of Delta’s procedure for traveling with firearms in checked luggage is below:

Shooting Equipment

Shooting equipment is allowed 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 there’s a security checkpoint before 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.
  • You are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with all Federal, State or local laws regarding the possession and transportation of firearms. For more information about this regulation you can visit the TSA website.
  • If you are transporting a firearm to the United Kingdom, a permit from the United Kingdom is specifically required. You must contact the United Kingdom for more information about securing this permit.
  • Until further advised, passengers departing Brussels, Belgium are not allowed to check weapons including, antique, sporting, hunting or toy rifles in their checked baggage.
  • All firearms checked as baggage must be picked up at the Baggage Service Office upon arrival.

The following types of ammunition are not accepted:

  • Gun powder; such as Pyrodex or Black Powder
  • Ammunition with explosive or incendiary projectiles
  • Ammunition, including case, exceeding 11 pounds (5 kg) gross weight per passenger

Pistols and accessories must be included in one case and contain:

  • Pistol telescopes
  • Noise suppressors
  • A small pistol tool case
  • No more than 11 lbs. (5 kg) of ammunition, including case

Rifles and shotguns must be packaged as follows:

  • One hard sided case containing up to four rifles, shotguns, shooting materials, tools
  • The case must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. All areas designed to be locked must be locked.
  • Locked cases that can be easily opened are not permitted. Be aware that the container the firearm was in when purchased may not adequately secure the firearm when it is transported in checked baggage.
  • One hard sided case containing up to five handguns, one scope, tools
  • One bow and quiver of arrows and maintenance kit enclosed in a case or container strong enough to protect the bow and quiver from accidental damage
  • No more than 11 lbs. (5 kg) of ammunition, including case

An excess baggage fee will apply if checking more than one gun case.

These instructions can he found on Delta’s website, found under “Sports Equipment,” then “Shooting Equipment,” here:  http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/baggage/before-your-trip/special-items.html (emphasis highlighted).

To SCI’s knowledge, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has not issued any requirement for any airline to adopt all of these same procedures, although TSA does impose some similar requirements, https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition.  While all airlines regulate the carriage of firearms in checked bags, SCI is not aware of any other airline requiring customers to pick up luggage containing firearms at a special location, using zip ties to secure such luggage, or having law enforcement at the special baggage office.

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