Packing and the friendly skies: Deviant Ollam on how to be able to really lock your luggage and avoid those horrible “TSA-approved locks”

Another Shakacon presentation, this one from Deviant Ollam.  The short answer: fly with firearms.

Security consultants have expensive gear when they travel, and because of TSA regulations increasingly have to “trust people with questionable ethics”.  Deviant’s bags used to get opened a lot: by the TSA — and by others.  Once on the way a conference all his lock-picking gear got stolen.  After that he decided there has to be a better way.  And sure enough … there is.

Federal standards for transporting firearms in your checked luggage:

  • your luggage needs to have a hard case
  • the weapon has to be declared on check-in and unloaded
  • you need to lock it yourself, and it must have a non-TSA lock


It’s not just”functional” firearms.  Flare guns, starter pistols, replica weapons … all of these fall under the same rules.

Deviant’s full presentation has a bunch of additional tips — for example, carrying a print out of the rules.  Here’s a video of his presentation from CarolinaCon earlier this year.

Deviant Ollam – Packing & The Friendly Skies from CarolinaCon 2009 on Vimeo.