how many locks on a gun case when flying

How Many Locks on a Gun Case When Flying (Details Guide)

If you are worrying about flying on an Airplane with a Gun, you might have just reached the perfect blog on the Internet. 

How many locks should One have on a gun case when flying? 

Of course, a sufficient amount to guarantee the safety of the case. 

When it comes to carry-on luggage, one may be sufficient. You may need a few of them for the bigger ones. You need to have as many locks as there are holes. 

It’s really that simple. 

You need two if the case has a lock hole on each side. If it accepts three, you need three.

A gentle reminder, the firearm must be stored in checked baggage and unloaded. On the other hand, ammo must be stored either in the original factory box or in a container made specifically to store/transport ammo.

As a rule, magazines are not considered a container designed to TRANSPORT ammo. They simply don’t meet the basic requirements. 

This has been a matter of debate for years. However, we don’t recommend carrying loaded mags in your checked baggage.

It is difficult to travel while carrying a handgun. Several restrictions and regulations must be followed to bring a firearm onboard a plane.

The firearm accident examples are surprisingly high. Authorities need to be strict about it anyway. 

Notice these two requirements.

  • Transport firearms in a container that can be secured. 
  • Disclose their presence during the check-in process. 

Therefore, if you travel carrying a gun, you’ll discover many crucial things about it. The list includes the correct way to pack the gun, store it, and transfer it through an airport.

The preparations for going on a journey while carrying a handgun are pretty simple. To avoid being denied passage through security at an airport, all you need to do is familiarize yourself with the guidelines laid forth by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States and ensure that you own the necessary items.

Know All About The TSA Rules 

Know All About The TSA Rules 

The TSA does not hide the requirements it places on passengers who fly with guns. Also, guns were never allowed in the carry-on luggage. 

Despite this, TSA found approximately 6,301 weapons in 2022 carry-on luggage at immigration checkpoints throughout the United States.

Guess what? 88% of those guns were loaded. 

Carrying a weapon through airport security is not smart and may result in criminal or civil penalties. Instead, pay close attention to the TSA’s instructions regarding firearms.

Firearms and Ammunition MUST Be Transported As Checked Luggage

You may only carry a weapon aboard the aircraft if it is part of your checked baggage. However, you aren’t permitted to carry guns past the TSA Security screening or into the flight’s cabin under any circumstances. 

If you fail to pack and disclose your weapon properly, you might face 

  • a maximum fine of $14,950
  • surrender to local authorities
  • state criminal charges. 

Guns Must Be Disassembled and Stored In A Secure Container

Each gun must be fully unloaded before being placed in a hard-sided, locked case. Make sure that all of the magazines are removed, and check to ensure that the weapon does not have any bullets already chambered. 

If you want to speed up the inspection process once you get to the airport, use a Pistol Lock or Chamber Flag traversing the gun’s chamber to indicate that there is no round chambered in it. 

You must have your weapon in a locked, hard-sided box at check-in. You may use a key to unlock it or a combination lock.

Carrying Ammunition In One’s Checked Luggage

Similarly, as a weapon, ammunition cannot travel with you in the carry-on. It must be transported as checked luggage. 

It is required that ammunition be kept either in its ORIGINAL packing or manufacturing box or in a container that has been exclusively developed to transport small quantities of ammunition. Ammo bags are not allowed for transporting ammunition.  

Magazines, Firing Pins, Clips, Holsters, Bolts

Magazines and clips, whether loaded or empty, must be kept in the same manner as firearms and ammunition, which is to say, in a secure case with a rugged exterior. 

It is strongly suggested that all magazines be unloaded to prevent any possible issues. 

You are permitted to put your strikers and bolts together in your ordinary checked baggage or suitcase. They don’t have to be stored in the gun’s case. However, you are not permitted to bring them through security with you in the carry-on bag you get or through airport checkpoints. 

How Many Locks On A Gun Case When Flying?

Important Considerations When Selecting a Lock for a Gun Case

Keep in mind that the latest gripes about the TSA center on their insistence that rifle cases be secured completely, as opposed to being locked on a single side, or that locks be placed in each padlock hole. 

If your rifle case has four lock holes, you must attach four locks to it. 

Otherwise, the gun case won’t be allowed to fly. Remember that you have to use every single lock integrated into the gun case.

Even though these precise criteria are not specified on the TSA website, particular airlines are allowed to and often set their standards. These restrictions may vary depending on the airline. However, they always contain the following:

  • To render weapons entirely inaccessible, gun cases need to have locks installed at each hole, even those on the ends.
  • The gun case’s locks must be strong enough to keep it closed to the point where an individual’s hand cannot pass through the gap formed when they try to open the case. Additionally, guns shouldn’t be capable of being shaken loose or dragged out using the gap in the case’s closure.
  • Different airlines have different policies regarding the number of guns that may be carried in hard-sided pistol cases.
  • All magazines must be full.
  • The gun case has to be durable enough to endure the handling that luggage goes through, and it also needs to be capable of bearing pressure as well as crushing load.

Locks should be of the solid key kind, and the shackle clearance should be large enough to accommodate the gun box without providing any wiggle room after the case is locked.

In case a security officer requests the keys, you should direct him/ her to the following section of the Federal Regulations Code about traveling with guns:

  • According to Title 49- Transportation, Part-1450 of the General Rules of Civil Aviation Security, Subpart-B- Passengers’ and Other People’s Responsibilities (1540.111 (c) (iv)) – Only the traveler can access the combination or key to the lockable case in which the gun is stored.
  • According to Title 49, Transportation, Part-1544 of Aircraft Operator Security’s Subpart-C (1544.203 (f) (iii) ), The case that the gun is transported is secured with a lock, and the only person who has access to the lock’s key or password is the person who checks the luggage.

Have not just knowledge of, but a written copy of, the regulations of the Transportation Security Administration, the individual airline company, and the state or states you will be visiting. 

It is in your best interest to have a copy of the regulations in a carry-on bag if you interact with an immigration agent or TSA official unfamiliar with the laws governing weapons and/or ammunition.

Important Considerations When Selecting a Lock for a Gun Case

When choosing a lock for your gun box, you should keep the following considerations in mind to guarantee that your handgun will remain safe and secure during your flight:

  • One that is composed of high-quality materials like strong steel or copper. Your lock will be able to survive any attempts at tampering or breakage that could be made while it is in transit if you do this.
  • Locks with Keys or Combinations: Depending on your individual preferences, you may choose either a lock with keys or a lock with a combination. Combination locks reduce the chance of losing a key, even if key locks can give a higher level of protection.
  • Dimension and Compatibility: In order to stop unwanted entry, you need to make sure the gun’s lock is the right size for the lock holes on your pistol case and that it fits securely.
  • Utilization Effort: Choose a lock that’s straightforward to operate and does not need any problematic processes or steps to be unlocked. During the security screening process, this can save you time and reduce the likelihood of any problems occurring.

What type of firearm case do you need to travel with my gun?

The requirements state that the firearm case must either have a lock built into the case itself or choose a case with a standalone lock. Avoid using locks that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says are acceptable.

Many specialists in the weapons business routinely travel while carrying firearms and advise that you should check for the following elements in the gun bag you want to use while flying:

  • No ordinary hard case will do; only a gun case designed to carry weapons safely will do.
  • A pistol case has robust sides and enough structural integrity to keep its form even when loaded with significant weight.
  • padlocks that are key-operated and have short shanks
  • Locks were placed in each of the gun case’s holes.
  • Cases designed for firearms that can survive the intense pressure seen in an airplane’s baggage compartment without causing any damage to the firearm itself
  • Extra foam, if necessary, ensures that the firearm or firearms are packed securely enough not to move or slide while being transported.
  • A rifle stored within a waterproof case provides an additional defense against the elements. 

We have a details Guide for you what to consider while travelling with your gun

How many locks are allowed through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security?

How many locks are allowed through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security

There is no limit to the number of locks allowed in checked baggage or carry-on bags. However, if you are planning on carrying large locks or a lot of smaller locks, it would benefit you to put them in your checked luggage to help make the security screening as comfortable for you as possible.

Why TSA Lock Isn’t Safe To Use

 Although TSA locks are now authorized, you are strongly advised to refrain from using one to secure your luggage. Although they’ll keep casual thieves out, they are easy to break and open.

The TSA failed in the essentially impossible task of having many copies of a secret key without someone outside the TSA getting hold of one. They also incompetently allowed a newspaper to photograph the keys and publish the photograph. 

You can create a copy when you have a photograph of a key. 

That’s why you can’t rely on them for high security. For example, high-security applications like firearms cases should not use TSA locks – they should use a lock that only the firearm bearer has a key for. 

TSA locks are adequate for discouraging someone from opening your bag and grabbing something while it sits on the baggage belt or in the overhead locker in the toilet.


Despite the supposedly strict laws, thousands of people in the United States fly every year with weapons without encountering any problems.

There is no valid reason to prevent you from bringing your legally owned guns along on the trip, provided that you can strictly adhere to all of the laws and regulations that are in place to ensure the safety of both you and the other passengers on board the aircraft.

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Behind Best Darn Product is Kevin Pena, a passionate blogger and e-commerce enthusiast based in Atlanta, Georgia. With his finger on the pulse of the ever-growing online marketplace, Kevin is dedicated to sharing his extensive knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the products and services that shape our modern lives.

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