Ahh, freedom. Or close to it, right? After researching all of the firearm laws in Nevada pertaining to concealed carry, I was ready to get on a plane from NY to make a 3-week trip out to Vegas to visit my girlfriend.
The trip was great. The process? No so much. Believe it or not, the easiest part was in NY.
It was September 6th, and I was headed to the airport to leave for Vegas for 18 days. I wanted to bring my firearm with me because Nevada, as of July 1st, began to recognize my non-resident Florida permit. Lucky for me, because they want nothing to do with my NY permit.
So with Florida, I was ‘legal’ to carry in their fine state. Good, then the Glock comes with.
I got to the airport in Albany and went to the counter to declare my firearm. I’ve done this before, but only heading to FL. I had to wait a few minutes for a Sheriff’s deputy to come over and inspect everything. When she arrived, she asked me to open the hard case that the firearm was in. I unlocked it and she took a look to make sure the firearm wasn’t loaded. “Can I keep the loaded magazines in the case with the firearm?” I asked the officer. “Sure, as long as the firearm itself isn’t loaded, that’s not a problem.”
Remember this for later.
Once everything checked out, and she took a peek at my NY permit, I was set to lock the box again and put it in my bag so that it could be taken away on whatever journey bags take in order to make their destination.
I hop on the plane and head to Vegas.
Once I arrive, I pick up my bag along with everyone else. There was no indication on the outside of the bag that a firearm was inside, so it came out with all the other luggage as you’d normally expect. Conflicting reports from employees always tell me two stories:
- Your bag will be on the carousel as normal
- You’ll have to go to a special location at the receiving airport to pick up the bag with the firearm
I’ve never once had to go to a special location. That’s a grey area for me. I don’t know the statistics of stolen bags on carousels at airports, but it’s a little uneasy for me to know that anyone could pick it up. What if I’m delayed getting off of my plane? What if I miss the bag on the first go-around? What if I have explosive diarrhea? All scenarios are possible, and leaves a window open for someone to snatch up my bag and gun. I don’t like that.
But alas, I retrieved my bag with no problem and hailed an Uber to get to my destination.
Now that we’re at the part of the story where I’m in Nevada, let’s take a look at the laws pertaining to concealed carry:
Man, that #7 looks like a big hangup. “Sorry baby, we can’t go into this place because they have a posted sign and I’m carrying my firearm.” *Note: One important thing that you should know about my girlfriend; if there’s a certain food that she wants, it’s that food or bust. Each time she said “Hey, let’s go to this place for lunch or dinner!”, I was immediately concerned about whether or not I could go inside.
But, it didn’t happen once. Maybe it was pure luck, or maybe there aren’t a lot of businesses in that area who want to restrict the right to carry a firearm. Either way, I was pretty happy with this outcome. Truth be told, I’d walk away from a place that had a posted sign, as they would not receive my business. Ever.
The three weeks were a success, and I carried everywhere. Well, except for the casinos. Most, if not all, have no-firearms policies while on their casino floor, and many have more strict rules that don’t allow firearms on property at all.
For example, we stayed at the Venetian for a few nights. Just for fun. Their policy: No firearms on property, no exceptions. However if you have all the time in the world, you can go down to the main desk and ask for security, where they will then bring you to a room with lock boxes to store your firearm. I’ve done it at a casino before, and it was an enormous hassle. Then were did I keep my firearm, you might ask? It’s a secret.
When did I start having problems, you might ask next? As soon as I entered the Airport in Vegas.
Enter: McCarran International Airport.
This was the least of my concerns. I figured that if I had trouble anywhere, it’d be in NY. Nope, it was in Vegas. We arrived with time to check bags, the firearm, and still have time to grab some food. When we got to the counter to check our bags, the issues started. “We’re the only airport in the country that operates in a different way with firearms. We have to call TSA, who aren’t in this area but are on the other side of the airport. It usually takes them 30 minutes to get here, and another 15 minutes to process everything,” the Southwest employee informed me.
That’s great, but we have a plane to catch and don’t have an extra *minimum* 45 minutes to hang around at the check-in counter. Hell, we still have to get through security.
We waited, and waited, and then it was too late to board our plane. We never even saw a TSA agent. I was asked if I wanted to get on a later flight, but there were none to Albany for the rest of the day. Instead, we could fly to Houston for the night and then continue our journey in the morning. By this time, we already had 4 bags checked that were on their way to Albany. One more was waiting, and it was of course the one with the firearm.
She informed me, “We can just check the bag as-is, because it seems that you have all of the proper locks and everything else required.” Do it, I said. Also, why not mention this 45 minutes ago? If there was a problem, TSA would hold onto the firearm. “They can keep it if that issue comes up, and I’ll send them the bill.”
A side note, while leaving NY, the hard case was required to be locked, but not the bag itself. At the Vegas airport however, both were required to be locked… and with special TSA-approved locks that I had to purchase for this special occasion. I’m not complaining that I had to lock the bag as well, I’m just bitter about the whole experience.
Here are the official rules that should be nation-wide:
See points 6, 7 and 8? Those were different at both locations as well. In NY, I could have my loaded magazine in the box with the firearm, but needed to put a piece of cardboard around the side with the exposed ammunition. Stupid, I know. But in Vegas, ammunition had to be in an entirely separate bag as the firearm. It’s not the end of the world. Just annoying.
Anyway…. with that, I checked the last bag and we headed through security.
When we finally arrived in NY the following day, we were greeted at baggage claim by a man who apparently knew who we were. “Brandon and Evlin?” I looked at him and realized that we didn’t know him. He’s just really good at picking people out I guess. Anyway, our five bags were right there next to him, just waiting for us to grab them. It was pretty nice, because we didn’t even know which flight the bags made it on.
But this time, they were being watched and were not floating around a carousel for anyone to grab. That’s good.