This is why I don’t like checking guns

TSA enabling a new breed of theft.

They both say there are organized rings of thieves, who identify valuables in your checked luggage by looking at the TSA x-ray screens, then communicate with baggage handlers by text or cell phone, telling them exactly what to look for.

Every single time I travel with a firearm, I worry about this happening.  It’s actually part of the reason that if I’m traveling with firearms, I prefer to drive if it’s at all within a reasonable driving distance…and my definition of a reasonable driving distance gets further and further every time I hear about something like this.


  1. I think checked guns are safe. The last thing TSA wants is a lost firearm. You’re also putting them in a secure locked container with a non-tsa lock.

  2. Actually, a dirty little secret is that TSA will allow you to put a non-TSA lock on your suitcase if you check a gun – not just on the case.

    Basically, after you show them everything at the counter, they will let you wait with the lock while they run it through the big scanner. Then they will let you put the non-TSA lock on before they send it down to the baggage handlers.

    I’ve done this in and out of Reagan to multiple places, and the only time I ran into even a minor problem was when one staffer asked me to put the lock on before it went into the machine and just wait (knowing I could open it if they did see something) and the other staffer preferred to have it go through unlocked and then have me put it on afterwards.

  3. I don’t worry about my checked guns. I use a metal lock box inside my luggage. The box is cabled through a steel ring riveted through the suitcase. Someone would need to take the whole bag (with the TSA tags on it) or have a handy set of bolt cutters to clip the cable.

    The airlines and TSA would not want any firearm to go missing – I’d make sure it made the news if it happened to me.

    At the same time, I don’t fly with anything that I’m not willing to loose – so I leave my most sentimental, expensive, and favorite guns at home. I normally carry a SA TRP, but I fly with a Para LTC.

  4. I just don’t fly.

    Wanna talk about “voting with your dollar?” This is a prime example. If the airlines and the gummint want to make flying as horrific an experience as they can muster, fine.

    I don’t intend to *pay* for it.

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