Self-Defense SHIELD

What exactly IS the Self-Defense SHIELD?

The USCCA, Inc. Self-Defense SHIELD is an insurance-backed, criminal and civil liability benefit. USCCA, Inc. owns the insurance policy and the Silver, Gold and Platinum members are the beneficiaries of this insurance policy. Please see the Self-Defense SHIELD diagram for the the specific criminal and civil liability limits.

Who Can Be Covered Under the Self-Defense SHIELD?

The Self-Defense SHIELD applies only if you can “legally posses” a gun.

Found in Section VI on page 28 of the Membership Resource Guide:

"Legally possessed" means the insured, by operation of the applicable:

a. Local;

b. State;

c. Federal; or

d. Other jurisdictional law, is authorized to own or use the firearm. “Legally possessed” includes the use of a firearm regardless of any violation of a conceal carry or similar law.

Does Self-Defense SHIELD only cover the legal use of handguns? What about other weapons?

The Self-Defense SHIELD covers use a firearm or other weapon in an act of self-defense. So that means any type of legally owned firearm (handgun, shotgun, etc.).

Where Are My Bonus Items?

Bonus items are typically emailed to members/purchasers right after their transaction has been completed. Please check in your e-mail inbox (or spam or junk folders) in case the e-mail routed there instead.

Does the Self-Defense SHIELD benefit cover all 50 states?

Yes, the Self-Defense SHIELD covers all 50 states.

Does the Self-Defense SHIELD also cover members who are active duty law enforcement?

The Self-Defense SHIELD will cover law enforcement officers only while they’re NOT on duty.

Will my spouse be covered under my Self-Defense SHIELD membership, or will these only be individual memberships?

The Self-Defense SHIELD has a convenient feature regarding families. Here’s how it works:

1.) Outside of your residence, the SHIELD covers only you.

2.) Inside your residence, the SHIELD covers you, your relatives, and any persons under the age of 21 that are in your care.

So, if both you and your spouse carry, you’ll want to purchase two separate Self-Defense SHIELD memberships. Please call a Member Service Advisor for more information on purchasing a membership for a spouse at 1-877-677-1919

Will I have my own individual insurance policy?

No, Self-Defense SHIELD is not an individually underwritten insurance policy. The USCCA, Inc. Self-Defense SHIELD is an insurance-backed, criminal and civil liability benefit. The USCCA, Inc. owns the insurance policy and the Silver, Gold, and Platinum members are the beneficiary of this insurance policy. (Please see the Self-Defense SHIELD diagram for the the specific criminal and civil liability limits.)

Can I use any lawyer with the Self-Defense SHIELD?

For criminal matters, Self-Defense SHIELD will help pay for any lawyer of your choice or you can have access to one of our USCCA Law Network Attorneys. Our Critical Response Team is available 24/7/365 in the event of a self-defense related incident.

For civil matters, the insurance company will provide an attorney for you.

Will the Self-Defense SHIELD provide an attorney for me?

For criminal defense matters, members may use an attorney of their choice, or they can be given access to one of the USCCA Law Network attorneys in their area by their designated Critical Response Team manager.

For civil matters, the insurance company will provide an attorney for you.

What will happen immediately after a self-defense incident?

You are instructed to first call 911, then call the USCCA. Immediately upon notifying the USCCA of your self-defense incident, you'll be connected with a USCCA Critical Response Team manager.

A self-defense encounter is fast, dynamic, and stressful. You will most likely experience loss of dexterity, tunnel vision, memory loss, and auditory exclusion. We highly recommend you keep your membership card on your person at all times so that you can easily follow the instructions on the back. This will ensure the 911 operator understands that you were the victim of a crime, as well as prevent you from saying anything that could potentially be incriminating. Request both police and ambulance.

It’s important that you prepare yourself for when the police arrive. They will be shouting commands at you; simply comply with their instructions. While every situation may be different, the responding officers may put you in handcuffs–for your safety and their own–however you may or may not actually be under arrest. After you’ve secured the scene, you will want to reholster your firearm, as you do not want to be the one holding a gun when the police arrive!

Your Critical Response Team manager, who will be available to you any time of day, will be your direct point of contact for the minutes, days, weeks, and months following your incident. You’ll have members-only access to a crisis specialist who will provide psychological counseling, if needed, to help you and your family get your lives back to normal. Everyone you will encounter is highly trained to handle these specific types of stressful situations.

We'll be with you every step of the way to provide:

  • Immediate coordination with any criminal defense attorney of your choice or access to the USCCA Law Network
  • Immediate attorney retainer coverage
  • Immediate bail bond funding if needed–to get you back home where you belong
  • Any required follow-up with the insurance company
  • Post-Incident psychological support
  • Advice for what you can expect to happen next (in your home, in the courtroom, and from your family or community…)
  • Weekly follow-up calls

What if a Self-Defense SHIELD member is involved in a court case involving his or her firearm, but is NOT related to self-defense?

The policy through USCCA is a Self- Defense Liability policy, and responds to its members that are involved in acts of self defense, as per the condition and limitations within the policy.

What is exactly covered in the “insurance-backed” benefit portion of the Self-Defense SHIELD?

You can download and view the USCCA, Inc. Self-Defense SHIELD Summary of Benefits.

Do Homeowner’s Insurance or Umbrella Policies cover this sort of thing?

Homeowner’s and umbrella policies RARELY specify the coverage of self-defense acts with a firearm. For many policyholders, the answer is "no." Most standard home and auto policies contain a liability clause that specifically excludes coverage for injuries or damage caused by an intentional act such as firing a gun, even in self-defense. Even if the law recognizes your right to defend yourself, insurance companies see it differently, according to the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI). Policies often contain an intentional injury exclusion, which defines self-defense as an intentional act and therefore excluded from compensation.

If someone is accidentally injured on your property, your home insurance liability coverage will cover medical bills and the resulting legal fees. But if you fire a gun at an intruder and you end up in court, the deliberateness of the act (even if it was in self-defense) means that your home insurance policy may not cover the resulting costs.

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What’s the Difference in the Membership Options?

Every level of USCCA Membership provides the same great resources. The only thing that differs is the amount of money you’ll receive in the event of a self-defense incident.

Platinum Membership: The Platinum Self-Defense SHIELD coverage has a total Occurrence Limit of $1,000,000 Coverage and $150,000 in Criminal Liability Limit.

Gold Membership: The Gold Self-Defense SHIELD coverage has a total Occurrence Limit of $500,000 Coverage and $75,000 in Criminal Liability Limit.

Silver Membership: The Silver Self-Defense SHIELD coverage has a total Occurrence Limit of $250,000 Coverage and $50,000 in Criminal Liability Limit.

Each level of membership includes a subscription to Concealed Carry Magazine. We publish 8 issues per year, released every 45 days. This also provides online access to every back-issue, beginning in 2004. Your membership also gives you access to the USCCA online training resources, attorney listing, reciprocity tool, and video library.

What Do I Get Right After I Join?

You’re instantly protected by the Self-Defense SHIELD the moment that you activate your membership. New members also receive a Welcome Kit that contains:

  • Your Membership Card
  • A Welcome Letter from USCCA President Tim Schmidt
  • Member’s Welcome Guide that includes your complete Self-Defense SHIELD policy
  • A USCCA decal
  • Defensive Shooting Guideline Card

Plus, you get immediate access to the greatest resource: the USCCA Member’s website. Just use your login name and password to view your training resources, video library, and back-issues of Concealed Carry Magazine.

How Do I Know When My Membership Will Expire?

  1. Go to our website
  2. Login using Username and Password in upper right hand corner of your browser
  3. Click on “My Account:”
  4. The Membership Information screen will show your current status including your Member Since date, member number, and expiration date

How Do I Renew My Membership?

One of the easy ways to renew your USCCA membership is to visit

  1. Select a level of membership in the Self-Defense SHIELD chart
  2. Login using your username and password
  3. Verify that your Shipping Information is up-to-date
  4. Select a payment method, monthly or annually
  5. Enter your payment method
  6. Verify that you understand the USCCA’s Terms Of Use
  7. Click “Place Your Order” button

You will also receive a sequence of emails to inform you that your renewal date is near. You may also expect to see a letter in the mail. We advise that you do not opt-out of all USCCA emails and that you keep your mailing and billing information up-to-date.

Of course, at anytime that you may have questions with this process or would prefer to renew over the phone, you can call our Member Services team at 877-677-1919.

Can I Renew Early?

If you would like to renew your membership early, please contact our Member Services team.

How Do I Renew My Membership If it Has Expired?

Follow the same steps as an existing member renewal.

  1. Log on to the USCCA website
  2. Log on using your username and password
  3. Click on the My Account link on the upper right hand corner of your screen
  4. Click the blue renew button on the bottom of the USCCA Membership Info screen
  5. Scroll down the screen to select the membership level you want
  6. Click on the membership level Renew Now button
  7. Review shipping information to make sure it is correct. If it is not make any necessary changes
  8. Select your membership time
  9. Check the Billing Information is the Same as Shipping information box if it is the same. Or fill in billing information
  10. Fill in Credit Card information
  11. Check the button “Click here to Acknowledge”
  12. Click the yellow Activate Now button
  13. A confirmation page will appear

Can I Upgrade My Membership and Pay the Price Difference?

We can certainly take care of that for you.

You can mail us a check for the difference along with a copy of this e-mail or a note to:

Delta Defense, LLC 1000 Freedom Way, West Bend, Wisconsin 53095

Or you can call us with a credit card number and we can process it manually for you with a credit card. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 877-677-1919. We can process the additional purchase to your account upon receiving that info.

How Can I Give a Gift Membership?

You can process this online, by visiting our membership page:

  1. Click on the Join Now button for the desired membership
  2. Enter Shipping Information (This is the Recipient of the Gift Membership)
  3. Select Membership Option (Silver Plus, Gold Plus or Platinum Plus)
  4. Enter Username and Password (For the Recipient)
  5. Enter Payment Details (This is the Purchaser of the Gift)
  6. Check the Click Here to Acknowledge Box
  7. Click the Activate Now button
  8. When membership goes through a Confirmation page will appear

What If I Can’t Afford the Membership?

Even if you can't get the membership at this time, we do have a free weekly newsletter which consistently provides valuable, information in it. The Concealed Carry Report is received by nearly 3 million responsibly armed Americans, like you! Signing up is easy, secure, & 100% FREE!

To stop receiving emails from the USCCA, please click on the link at the bottom of your email that says “To Be Removed Click Here or Manage Your Subscription”. Then simply unsubscribe yourself from the prospects list, or check the box that says “Do Not Contact”.

Or, if you like, sign up to receive the FREE Concealed Carry Report. It comes every Friday and is packed with great information.

Why Did I Not Receive My Bonus Items?

Bonus items are typically emailed to members/purchasers right after their transaction has been completed. Please check in your email inbox (or spam or junk folders) in case the e-mail routed there instead.

Does USCCA Share or Sell Email Addresses?

No, the USCCA does not share your email address with any other person, organization or entity.

Is The Government Going to Get My Personal Information Through the USCCA?

The USCCA does not share your information with anyone. However, the government already has a list of all those who legally carry concealed or who have purchased firearms. In the event of the government subpoenaing records, the USCCA will work to protect your information to the best of our ability. We will not readily turn this information over to ANYONE.

Why Didn’t I Get the Newsletter on Friday?

The free Concealed Carry Report newsletter goes out EVERY Friday. Sometimes emails just don't get delivered and get lost in cyberspace. If you don’t receive your newsletter, feel free to call in and we can be sure it gets delivered to you.

Why Is There Promotional Stuff in the Newsletter?

Tim and the entire USCCA team understand how you feel about the promotional pieces, however, they feel an obligation to explain the necessity of these emails to our members:

Part of any company’s marketing effort is to reach as many people as possible. Tim’s position is that we are giving away a lot of free information in the newsletter, and that is being done in exchange for using the newsletter subscribers e-mail address for promotional emails. Since the subscriber has the choice of subscribing or opting out, it is not considered spamming.

It does cost us money to publish the weekly newsletter each week, and if we didn’t have a way to recoup some money in another way to cover it, we wouldn’t be able to publish the free newsletter.

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience. If you want to continue receiving the newsletter, but don't like the promotional emails, please just delete all the other emails you get.

Where Can I Access My Downloads?

  1. Click Here
  2. Click The Digital Purchases tab.
  3. Voila! Enjoy your downloads.

My Download Has A File Error or Says It’s Damaged?

Make sure you have the latest version of Adobe download on your computer. This could be one of the causes. Extremely high security settings may also be the culprit. Temporarily reduce your computer’s security settings and the damaged file designation should disappear and the download should be able to open.

However, it could be something on our end! If none of these solutions work for you, call 877-677-1919 and we’ll be sure to correct the issue.

How Can I Contact Tim Schmidt Directly?

Please submit an email and we will forward your inquiry to Tim. Please know he receives hundreds of email questions each week and due to the time constraints of running the business, he has time to answer only a very few. We hope yours is one of them!

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Concealed Carry Magazine

When Will I Get My First Concealed Carry Magazine?

A Fast Start package was mailed out to you the week after you subscribed. The package includes a USCCA member card, Member guide booklet, bumper sticker and defensive shooting card. That mailing schedule indicated member's first subscription copy will be the next issue after your join date…unless you joined within 10 days of a mailing date, then your first copy will be the following issue after that (since we sent the mailing list to the printer 10 days prior to the mailing date for processing time).

Concealed Carry Magazine Print Release Schedule

Issue Mailing Date
January 1st Friday in January
Feb/March 3rd Friday in Feb
April 1st Friday in April
May/June 3rd Friday in May
July 1st Friday in July
Aug./Sept. 3rd Friday in Aug
October 1st Friday in October
Nov./Dec. 3rd Friday in November

Please add 7 to 14 days for the postal service to deliver the magazine to your house. We will post each issue on the website 10 days after the print release date.

Can I Purchase a Back Issue?

Yes, anyone can purchase back issue by contacting our Member Services team. 2004-2012 Issues: $6.99 (please note, some issues are not available) 2013 and later $7.99

Do You Mail Internationally?

The USCCA is no longer able to sell international memberships (including Canada). If you know of someone in the US that you can have sign up for you, this would be the only option at this time. Even if the US person signed up for you, you would have access to the USCCA website thru that account, but not receive the physical magazine in Canada. However, the US account holder would be the recipient of the magazine and could forward it to you. You could choose the Silver Membership. Silver members can read the articles from the current issue while it's active on the website, but not a .pdf format. The current issue is posted on the website 10 days after the mailing date and stays on for approximately 45 days until the next issue comes out.

If you would like to do this, just visit our online membership page.

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How To Use My Account

How Do I Log Into the USCCA Website?

  1. Go to the login page
  2. Enter Username and password
  3. If you don’t have, or can’t remember, your username/login name and password, you click on the “Forgot Login?” link
  4. Once you enter your login name and password, you'll be logged into the USCCA website

I Can’t Remember My Username or Password/Not Accepting It?

On the Login page, there is a link that says “Forgot Your Password?" just below the login form. You can click that link to take you to the login name/password retrieval information.

How Can I Change My Information?

Once you're logged in, you can edit your personal information (address, phone, e-mail, username, password, etc.) by going to My Account.

The emails we send out are not membership benefits, but emails that non-members as well as members receive, and everyone who receives it has requested to receive it. The membership database is managed separately from the newsletter/daily tips emails. To change this, go to any of the emails you receive from us. The last line says "unsubscribe/to be removed click here" and a link is indicated after. Click this link then look close to the top where it says "edit contact information". Here you can change your name as it appears on the emails, or the email address. You can also unsubscribe on this screen and then click Save.

I Try to Login and It Says Cookies Must Be Enabled?

Occasionally we have a member with cookie problems. There are a few things we can tell you to look at. If these do not take care of them, then you would need to contact a computer consultant, as the problem is with your computer settings.

Make sure the clock is set to the right time and especially, the right date! This is most important. If the date is set ahead, the software doesn't recognize your log in because your computer is dated in the future.

Some members with this same problem have an antivirus program on their computer, which requires specific cookie sites to be added to their "allow list". Norton is one of these. It is actually within Norton’s Internet Security. You need to open that then click on Privacy Control, then advanced and then add our website to the list to allow cookies.

You have bookmarked an incorrect link

If you are using a bookmark in your browser to get to the site, make sure that you have saved the address with the "www." in front of the domain name. In other words, if you were saving this site to your bookmarks, the url should be - not simply

Personal Firewall or Security Software

Some security software like Norton Antivirus or McAfee, etc have options for extremely high security that do not allow any cookies from any site. Members will have to set the antivirus program to accept cookies specifically from

Browser Has Cookies Turned Off

If the browser has cookies turned off, please reference the documentation of the particular browser you are using. Every browser or browser version could have a different set of steps to enable or disable cookies.

I’m Having Trouble Viewing the Emails…

We really haven't changed the method on how we create or send these items out for the last few years now. And, since we do not have really any other complaints from people that this is happening to them, our indicators at this point is that it is something to do just with your computer. We're not sure if your email provider made a change to their system, or if you changed browsers, or even computers. The only suggestion we can give you is to have a local computer technician assist you with this. I'm sorry but we just don't have anything other information to provide to you. The only explanation we can see it being is a settings issues and how your email service receives and processes our emails.

One thing to perhaps try (if you have the capability) to access your emails from a different computer, is to try SEVERAL other computers and see if the problem follows. Our emails are optimized for Internet Explorer browsers, but do work on others but perhaps need some tweaking to work properly. It's working properly for about 104,000+ other subscribers to our free emails/newsletters

Why Do I Continue To Get Emails After I Just Renewed/Joined?

We apologize for this inconvenience. We do our best to keep our current members off of our prospect list, but sometimes miss a few.

To stop receiving prospect emails from the USCCA, please click on the link at the bottom of your email that says, “To Be Removed Click Here or Manage Your Subscription”. Then, simply unsubscribe yourself from the prospects list and after that you will no longer receive any prospect emails from the USCCA.

If you check the box that says Do Not Contact, you will no longer receive any emails from the USCCA. This may cause you to miss notification of your membership expiring and any new, exciting products.

To receive member emails, make sure you are subscribed to the “Members-Receive e-mail” list.

Does USCCA Share or Sell Email Addresses?

No, the USCCA does not share your email address with any other person, organization or entity.

How Do I Unsubscribe From Emails?

We are sorry that you were added to this list. We do not unsubscribe people from receiving these, it is managed entirely by the subscriber. There is a link located at the last line of any of the emails we send out which says "To Be Removed Click Here or Manage Your Subscription". When this link is clicked, it takes subscribers to a page to manage their free subscription they can unsubscribe, or change their name or email address. Then they click "update or save" and the change takes place.

What If I Get A Warning About An Unsecure Site (ICP Track)?

Nothing will happen to your computer if you continue past the warning, you can just ignore it. The link is just doing a minor re-direct first. IF you can't ignore the warning, you can try to reduce your security settings temporarily so the warning doesn't come up.

Why Can’t I Click on the Links?

Anyone who has a very high security setting on their computer (either through Norton, McAfee, etc) or on their browser settings has a problem with what we call this "re-direct". You can either try accessing this from a different computer, or reducing the high level of security settings on your computer. Either of these should allow you to get to our ordering site.

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What is the USCCA’s Position On NRA?

Thank you for asking about the USCCA's political position, and our position in regards to the fight for recognition of our Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. The fact that you're asking these important questions tells us that YOU are a patriot, and for that, we are honored to know you.

The truth is, only recently has the USCCA been able to become politically involved as a collective group. Until lately, we weren't even a blip on the "gun rights radar". Lately, we have been able to donate large sums of money to help further our universal cause: For all governing bodies in the USA to recognize our individual liberty to defend our lives against violence attack using deadly force- no matter where we stand- as guaranteed by the Second Amendment, and instilled into us by our Creator. The most recent example was our $10,000 donation to the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, for support of our jointly submitted amicus brief for the McDonald vs. Chicago Supreme Court case. This was a huge victory, and soon the residents of Chicago will be able to keep handguns in their homes.

While we believe that while the fight for recognition of our Second Amendment Rights leaves no room for compromise, we also understand that we may have to take smaller victories that will lead to the ultimate freedom that the founding fathers believed we should all have.

For example, we fight for gun-ownership rights where there are none, such as in Washington D.C. and Chicago, and from there we fight for Concealed Carry rights. When the CCW laws are proven effective and safe, we fight for 'right to carry' laws like those in Alaska and Arizona.

We believe in the NRA, and that while sometimes they support laws that are bigger compromises than we are comfortable with, we understand that without the NRA, most of the battles that have been won on the gun rights front in the last twenty years would simply not have been won. For that, we are grateful to them, and we ask that our members also join the NRA, but write them frequently to keep them accountable for their decisions (just as we should all be writing our congressmen and women as well!).

Lastly, I want to remind you of the power of the individual. The USCCA was created from one man's vision, as were most of the great things in the USA. If you don't like the way something is, fight to change it. You are an American, and you have the capability to make waves. If we do something that you don't agree with, let us hear it. The same goes for the NRA and the US Congress. Jump on our member forums and rally your friends in a letter. Begin an email forward. Talk to your buddies at the American Legion. Drive to the capital and jam a sign in their lawn. Act! Our country is worth it.

How does this differ from the NRA Self-Defense Coverage protection from Locton Risk, whose protection is available at either $100K or $250K levels?

The NRA-Endorsed self-defense policy is administered by Lockton Affinity LLC. It comes in two versions. Both provide up to $50,000 criminal defense reimbursement once you are acquitted or charges are dismissed. The lesser version costs $180 per year and comes with $100,000 civil lawsuit coverage. The more expensive policy costs $269 per year and offers $250,000 for civil lawsuit.

USCCA Shield corrects three drawbacks of NRA-endorsed insurance. First, USCCA Shield offers up to $125,000 in criminal defense protection as well as up to $1 Million in Civil Suite Protection for only $347/Year. Second, you get money immediately, both for a lawyer retainer and bail bond. Thirdly, USCCA Shield offers the most comprehensive emergency resources available including 24/7 access to our Critical Response Team Crisis Case Managers, Attorneys, and psychological support.


We at the USCCA have neither the staffing, the funding, nor the numbers to truly be an effective lobbying group, and that is why we encourage ALL of our members to fully support the National Rifle Association, The Gun Owners of America, and the Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership- not just with their money, but with their time and energy as well. We are proud to boast that over 90% of our members are members of the NRA, and we know that as responsibly armed citizens, all USCCA members are doing their part to stay active politically and civilly.

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How Many CCW Holders Are There?

There are over an estimated 88 million gun owners in America, and about 9 million people who hold CCW licenses.

There could be more CCW holders than that, since one state that DOES reveal the info, Florida, shows that 4 million people there, alone, have CCW permits. The numbers could be closer to 15 or 20 million CCW holders.

Which Gun or Holster Should I Choose?

The choice of a firearm or holster is a deeply personal one. As you are selecting a gun it needs to fit your hand, be comfortable, not too heavy, not too light. The same with the holster, it needs to fit one’s body style and the gun itself. It's like going to a store and trying on clothes to make sure they fit before you buy them...the same principal applies here. You really don't want to solely take recommendations from others because they'll tell you what fits them and feels good to them, which may not be good for you.

Your best bet is to educate yourself by going to a gun show, where many vendors are present. Or if you don't have any in your area try contacting the gun manufacturer for recommendations. Try different models, ask around as to what is important feature-wise for you and you'll end up narrowing down your choices to what suits you best.

If you are a USCCA member with website access, you can also post that question on the forum to see what other member’s would recommend, especially if they have experience with a particular gun or holster.


Here’s what our managing editor provided us on this subject:

SB 2099 was proposed in the year 2000! It was killed in committee and has never been resubmitted. Please ask your e-mail correspondents to help stamp out that pernicious rumor…it is not a current issue! Gun owners have enough real battles to fight these days!

Right Handed and Left Handed Holsters…

A right-handed holster is designed for a right-handed shooter. A left-handed holster is designed for a left-handed shooter.

Here’s where people sometimes get confused, as it relates to one particular type of holster design (a “crossdraw” holster). If you are right-handed, your holster will generally be worn on your right hip. No confusion there. But if you are right-handed, and want to carry crossdraw, a crossdraw holster generally places the gun on your left hip. But you must still request a right-handed holster even though the holster will be designed to ride on the left side of your belt. If this describes you, just be sure to clarify that it’s a crossdraw holster you’re looking for, and that you’re right-handed, and you should be good to go.

TSA and Case Information…

Each airport, and each member of the security personnel may interpret the rules and laws of flying with a firearm a bit differently than intended. This needs to be considered before traveling.

1.The case cannot be pulled open with little effort? What does that mean? Buy a case that is sturdy. Don't get a cheap plastic container that can easily be pried open with bare hands. Be sure if the case has latches that can be opened while the padlocks on the case are in position (needs to lock on both ends not just in the middle), that the case can't be opened even a little bit. Imagine a shed door that has a hasp and a padlock with a knob to turn to open the door when the padlock is removed. Imagine turning the knob on the shed door, and the hasp and padlock allowing the door to open just a tiny bit. If the TSA had to approve that door, it would be better to have a deadbolt on the door so it couldn't be opened even a tiny bit, and the door shouldn't be cheap plastic like they are on those Rubbermaid plastic sheds either. Get it?

The wording of the rules leave the wiggle room for the security personnel to determine if your firearm case is sturdy enough. So just buy a sturdy one that won't budge open even a fraction of an inch when the locks are in place. A locking mechanism that prevents the latches from being opened at all when locked would be best. That way when the padlocks are in place the latches can't even be opened. However, I've only seen cases that have a lip with a hole through it for a padlock. If you stick on a padlock that is too big, then the cases can be opened at least as far as the padlock will slide.

So what's a person to do? Consider a sturdy plastic case such as a Hardigg case. Just be sure to get a good lock that doesn't allow much movement.

As for loaded magazines I would personally not have any loaded for traveling by air. I would have ammunition stored in the original container I bought it in, and if I didn't have the container I would buy a new box of fresh ammo. I would have any magazines and the gun empty. I'd even add a plastic barrel plug as an extra measure for untrained personnel to see that the gun is unloaded when I'm getting the declaration form.

A person can follow the letter of the rules and law only to be denied due to the interpretation of the laws and rules by the personnel at the time one is traveling. Best to follow all of the rules, guidelines, and protocols as to not call attention to yourself for increased scrutiny. Still, an overzealous employee could single out anyone at any time for further inspection. A backup plan in place to leave the gun behind should be in place just in case they say no way. If dropped off at the airport, I'd have someone stick around in case I needed them to take my gun back home. I'd also show up really early in case I was ran through the mill a few times because of declaring a firearm.

Air travelers travel with firearms every day without incident. However, there is always the exception to the rule.