Friday, February 13, 2009


For the past few months I've been thinking about going to the 2A Blog Bash in Phoenix. I'm excited about meeting other gunbloggers, getting my little media pass so I can document the whole event, eating some seriously spicy food and taking a few extra days to spend with my uncle, who lives nearby. Plus, I've heard that the area is beautiful in May. I'm just hoping it's not as hot as the last time I visited - my sneakers were sticking to the pavement and I felt a bit woozy the whole time I was there. Desert flower I am not.

Arizona honors Ohio's CCW permits so I've been debating whether or not I should go through the hassle of bringing my Bersa. Part of me loves the idea of walking up to the ticket counter and declaring that I have a gun, if only for the potential blogfodder. The other part of me is kind of freaked out about traveling alone anyway and wants to just keep my head down and be as invisible as possible.

But wait...wasn't it me who said "Carry your gun - it's a lighter burden than regret"?

I guess I just needed reminding.


Lissa said...

You be careful down there, y'hear?

Lorimor said...

Take the Bersa along. Just be sure that you have a hard sided lockable case to check it in with the airline. It's not a big deal.

You can fly w/ammo but you can't travel w/it in the same case as the gun and the ammo should be in the original factory box just to keep everyone happy. 50 rounds o' 380 doesn't weigh much. :)

Good luck and have fun!

GeorgeH said...

Google the ABC Nightline story earlier this week on Phoenix becoming a war zone with 370 kidnappings just last year. The Mexican civil war has arrived.

Airport personnel have gotten over their panic about checked firearms and declaring one is routine most places. I haven't heard any horror stories outside the Northeast in a couple of years.

lordjim said...

It's not too hot down here in May. Last year it was just about 90-95 that time of year. Plus you'll meet lots of strange and interesting people, and see some pretty desert scenery.

wv: morningi: the start of the day for tiny creatures?

GeorgeH said...

The airlines have told me, that ammo can be in the hard case with the gun, but that the gun must be unloaded and the ammo in the original box. I have flown repeatedly like that with no problems.

Whitebread said...

When you pack your bersa in the case, I'd wrap it in a towel as well to keep it from sliding around and protect it more.

Last time I flew, my Glock 19 apparently got so beat up that the front sight decided it wasn't going to take it anymore and fell off.

The procedure itself is easy, and most airports are better than they used to be about knowing how to handle it. Politeness and a smile go a long, long way.

Shoothouse Barbie said...

I loooooooooove shootin' shit in the desert! The best part of AZ is that you can shoot on public land. I bring my carry gun out to Tucson when I visit the boyfriend, and the airport is never a problem. It's actually kind of fun; the guys occassionaly give me a raised eyebrow and will joke around, asking why I'm packing a gun.

heheeh..."because I can."

aczarnowski said...

Bring the gun. I declared for the first time earlier this week (heading home tomorrow). It was refreshingly low key.

Getting a hard side, lockable case for the pistol is the hardest part. You also want to have a non-tsa approved lock for your bag.

You declare, you head over with your bag to a TSA screening area, you open things up with them, show clear, lock the gun, pack everything up, they run it through the machine, you lock the bag up, they put it on the belt and you're on your way.

Take the pistol, and have a great trip.

firefighter4884 said...


I fly on a regular basis to get home to Indiana from TX. I always have at least one pistol with me when I fly.

The TSA guidelines are here:

but I would also check with the actual airline that you're flying with, because their rules may be slightly different.

TSA will allow you to fly with the ammo in the same case as the firearm (provided that it is packed in it's own boxes, or in magazines that are secured). Double check with your own airline though, as they may have different rules.

I often flew with a Glock 19, 40 rounds of ammo, and two magazines, all in the glock pistol case, and had absolutely no problems.

Have a good time in Pheonix. Hopefully next year my credentials will be good enough that I'd feel welcome at the 2A blog bash.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I'd love to go to Phoenix, but that is too long a drive. I've sorta sworn off airlines until they become more than glorified grayhound bus trips. I only fly when I absolutely have to. Sorta like I only get colonoscopies when I absolutely have to.

Weer'd Beard said...

What everybody else says. I took a flight out of Logan in Boston (TOP THAT) with a .357 in my carry-on. Super easy, super low-key, I'd do it again!

Old NFO said...

A clarification- You can fly w/ammo but you can't travel w/it in the locked case with the gun, this was pointed out to me at DFW two weeks ago; but the ammo (in the original factory box or a plastic ammo carrier) can be carried in the same piece of luggage as the locked pistol case.

LabRat said...

Take it. Phoenix wasn't the safest city in the world when I grew up there, and it's only gotten worse since, especially with Mexico exporting their law enforcement difficulties across the border.

You will "enjoy" Sky Harbor. The last time I was there it was like a Calcutta riot. The signage is fairly good though, so you'll eventually be spit out where you need to be.

firefighter4884 said...


I think that the person who clarified the issue for you at DFW was wrong, unless it was an airline policy. From the TSA website.

- You can't use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
- You may carry the ammunition in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as you pack it as described above.

Found at:

I've carried the ammo in the hard sided case on a regular basis. Usually I fly American Airlines, but occasionally end up on Northwest or Continentnial


danno said...

Come on down to Phoenix. It's no more or less dangerous than any other big city. Like Detroit or Chicago.

I think they are cooking the books with these stats. For example, When they bust a drop house with 50 illegals held for ransom, do they count that as one kidnapping or 50?

Bring the gun anyway, but careful where you take it. Guns are verboten in restaurants that serve alcohol. While the media interprets this as "guns in bars", it's really affects carrying in most restaurants (Chilis, Red Lobster, etc.)

The state legislature has tried to over turn that, but former gov Janet vetoed nearly everything related (and I believe this was one of them).

dr mac said...

The airlines isn't a problem. Just follow the rules pointed out above. I've never had a problem.

Take it or worry about regretting it ? Easy decision.

One Sensible Progressive said...

I'm driving to Phoenix in May, so I'm definitely bringing my .357. But the hard part is that if you don't have a car to secure it in you may have to leave it behind quite a bit. As was said, almost all restaruants serve alcohol so you can't take it in. And if you're mostly on foot/riding in other people's cars that's a hassle.

I've travelled to Phoenix a lot but always on business and never bothered to bring a weapon, but I also know there are a fair number of "no guns" signs in Arizona -- much more than Colorado.

Hopefully you'll have a rental car or something to deal with the above.

geekWithA.45 said...

Bring it, packed according to regs.

Most of the airline people know what they're doing and won't bat an eye. Plus, it's fun to watch eyes pop and brains explode in the crowd behind you. :)

ExurbanKevin said...

I'll have a post up soon giving convention attendees the rundown on Phoenix and the ins and outs of our carry laws here.

Ted said...

It would sure give you an experience to blog about. ;-)

And while you're there, don't miss the Grand Canyon - it's only around 3 hours from Phoenix.

Cemetery's Gun Blob said...

I was just recently in Tombstone for a match, and a few AZ locals told I could open carry, without any permits, even though I was from outta state. Not sure how true that was, but I did see a number of fellow shooters who weren't from AZ, wandering around town, open carrying.

Willorith said...

.357 in your carry on? Surely you miss spoke. That would be a very short trip - straight to jail.

ExurbanKevin said...

CGB, open carry is legal in AZ. There is a few wacky legal loopholes re: bars/restaurants and your car, but by and large it is legal in 90% of the places around here, and I suspect a large number of attendees will be taking advantage of this. :)

exurbanKevin said...

And I agree with Danno: Downtown Phoenix is nothing to worry about (more than any other city, that is). In fact, if anything, it's safer than it was 20 years ago when there was nothing to do downtown and everyone fled for the 'burbs after 5pm.

All the fuss and bother is limited (for the most part) to selected areas of the West Side and downtown Mesa/Chandler.

Anonymous said...

Two things: visit your airline's website to find out the policy for declaring your weapon to the airline and their policy on carrying the weapon and ammo. Second visit to find out what the laws are for AZ.


IZinterrogator said...

Breda, if you bring the Bersa, I'll bring a footlocker full of Colt 1911s for you to try out.

Cowboy Blob said...

Bring it! If you don't, I'll lend you a cowboy gunbelt with a big six-shooter for open carry :)

I'm considering going myself since the Bash's right after finals.

Sebastian said...

Never had a problem flying with a gun, and I've done it five times at three different airports. Just go up, declare it, fill out your tax, and the TSA will X-ray it for you while you wait.

Robert said...

Take it. It's legal and simple enough and the airlines folks need all the exposure to firearms they get, plus more.
Plus you get to shoot YOUR OWN firearm while you are visiting.
We want a photo of you going open carry as well.

So there is a lot of work for you to do. For us. Your adoring audiance. Mike too.

Anonymous said...

I will be traveling to Phoenix the first week of March. I'll be flying from Minneapolis. And yes, I decided to carry in Arizona. So, I'm ready to go with my locks and the hard-sided box. It's a little inconvenient....but, as you say, it is better than regret.

JohnOC said...

Arizona recognizes all other states valid ccw permits. (link to

It is legal to openly carry a firearm in any place where firearms are not prohibited, by any person who is not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

There is also currently a bill in the AZ legislative process, amending the rules about where you may not carry to allow carry in restaurants with class 12 (low volume) liquor licenses.

Even if this passes, bars will still be no-carry zones, but it will still be an improvement.