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.