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News & Editorials

Ammo on Airplanes

by Ernest Willyard
US Army, Retired


In your article, you stated that it was OK to carry Ammo in magazines. That may or may not be true, depending on which airline you fly.

Several years ago, I flew from El Paso Texas to New Orleans, LA to pick up my car at the port. I was in the Army (Military Police but am now retired) and was carrying a gun for protection during the long drive back to West Texas. I was flying American Airlines and declared my gun as required. I had a locking hard case for it with a space for ammo. I had called the airlines prior to booking my flight to insure that there would be no problems carrying my gun and ammo in my checked bags but when I got to the airport, the airline wouldn't let me on the plane with ammo in my baggage because it was not in the original box. I talked to the supervisor who printed out the airlines policy that stated all ammo must be in its original container or box. He allowed no exceptions. My only options were to dispose of the ammo or not get my baggage checked. I went to the airport police which was manned by El Paso Police Officers and explained my problem. When they found out that I was Law Enforcement, they apologized but said there was nothing they could do. I ended up 'donating' my ammo to them so I could check my one bag and make my trip.

I talked to the manager in New Orleans and showed him my hard case and Police ID. He stated that they had no problem with it because it was more secure than carrying ammo in its original cardboard box.

I wrote American Airlines who said it was their policy and basically told me that they didn't like people flying with guns or ammo anyway. They sent me a voucher for $100 to 'make it up to me'. I sent it back with a letter stating that I would never fly on their airlines again until they changed their attitudes and policy and that I would encourage the soldiers under my command not to fly with them.

I was NOT trying to carry on the plane. All I wanted to do was to have it in my checked bags like I have done dozens of time before.

My point is that you may or may not be able to carry ammo or your gun, depending on the jerk who checks you in and the attitude of the airlines.


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