TSA Approved Gun Cases & Locks

7 Best TSA Approved Gun Cases & Gun Case Locks

If you’re flying domestically or internationally with a firearm you’re required to use TSA approved gun cases and gun case locks or else you risk getting fined.

Below is my ranking of the best TSA approved gun cases for air travel as well as the TSA’s rules and regulations on transporting firearms and ammunition.

Don’t forget to grab a TSA approved luggage tracker just in case your airline happens to lose your firearm case.

TSA Approved Rifle Cases

TSA-approved rifle cases must be hard-sided, lockable, and be difficult for anyone to open without the key.

The following three rifle cases are thoroughly tested and approved for you to use for air travel and even for your daily use.

1. Plano All Weather – Best Overall

Get the Plano All Weather gun case, available in small, medium, and large. Plano is one of the top companies when it comes to plastic cases of any kind and I highly recommend them. Their all-weather gun case is perfect for travel as it will keep your guns safe and secure. It also includes the following:

  • A built-in pressure release valve helps equalize pressure caused by altitude and temperature changes.
  • Built-in easy glide wheels for easy transport.
  • A continuous Dri-Loc seal to keep water and dust out.
  • Dual stage lockable latches.
  • Rugged, industrial-strength construction.

2. Vault by Pelican – Best Quality

Available in both a single and double size, the Vault by Pelican rifle case is perfect for any air travel.

If you want to keep your scope attached, I highly recommend the double to ensure you have plenty of room.

  • Six Push button latches
  • Crushproof, dustproof, and weather resistant.
  • Five layers of protective foam
  • Can fit two scoped rifles in the double.
  • High-impact polymer shell.

3. Eylar Rolling Rifle Case – Second Best

The Eylar Protective Roller Rife Case comes in three sizes: 38 inches, 48 inches, 53 inches.

It’s waterproof, crushproof, and comes with built-in roller wheels so you be able to roll it easily across the airport.

  • 1/4″ Padlock Hasps
  • Pressure Equalization Valve
  • Three Layers of Foam – 1 Layer of Customizable Pluck and Pull Foam
  • IP67 Waterproof – Can be fully submerged up to 1 meter.
  • Roller wheels for easy transportation.

4. Flambeau Tactical Hard Gun Case – Best Value

The Flambeau Tactical Hard Gun Case is the best value TSA approved gun case available at less than $80 and includes:

  • Magazine & Ammo Storage Dividers
  • Zerust Anti-Corrosion Technology
  • Velcro Straps for Securing Your Firearm & Magazines
  • Four Latches and Four Lock Hasps

TSA Approved Pistol Cases

TSA approved pistol cases must be hard-sided, lockable, and be difficult for anyone to open without the key.

The following two pistol cases are perfect for you to use for air travel and even for your daily use.

5. Vault by Pelican – Best Overall

The Vault by Pelican pistol case beats every other pistol case in its class and is my go-to case for a pistol or even my camera.

  • Two Push Button Latches
  • Crushproof, Dustproof, and Weather Resistant.
  • High Density Protective Foam
  • Fits Two Pistols or One Pistol & Extra Magazines
  • Customize for a Camera or Other Gear
  • High-impact Polymer Shell.
  • Pressure Release Valve

6. Flambeau Range Locker HD – Best Value

The Flambeau Range Locker HD is a great affordable choice when you need a TSA approved gun case for your pistol. A little smaller than the Vault by Pelican but it will still get the job done.

  • Pressure Release Valve
  • Zerust Anti-Corrosion Technology
  • Two Layers of Pluck Foam
  • Meets STD-810 Water Immersion Specifications
  • High Density Polymer Shell

7. Eylar TSA Approved Pistol Case – Second Best

The Eylar TSA approved pistol case is a great choice if you’re looking for something in the middle of the price range that is built to perform.

  • IP67 Waterproof
  • Dustproof, Shock Proof and Crush Proof
  • Two Lockable TSA Approved Fittings
  • Two Layers of Pluck Foam
  • One Bottom Pad Layer of Foam
  • One Egg Crate Layer of Foam
  • Pressure Equalization Valve

TSA Approved Ammo Cases

TSA approved ammo cases must be hard-sided, lockable, and be difficult for anyone to open without the key.

The following two ammo cases are perfect for air travel and even for your daily use.

Sheffield Field Box

The Sheffield Field Box is my go-to ammo box

  • Dustproof & Waterproof
  • Modular Design for Easy Stacking & Storage
  • Three Pry-Resistant Lock Locations

MTM Ammo Crate Utility Box

If you’re flying with a few boxes of ammo, the MTM Ammo Crate is perfect.

  • 650 Pound Capacity
  • Water-resistant O-ring seal
  • Two Lock Locations

TSA Approved Gun Case Locks

All gun cases and ammo cases used for air travel must have a lock on them and it must be difficult for anyone to open without the key.

All TSA locks have a red Travel Sentry logo on them as well as a keyhole at the bottom that allows the TSA to use their special TSA key to unlock your lock.

The following three TSA locks have been proven to work perfectly with any of your TSA approved gun cases.

1. Master Lock 4696T TSA Approved Gun Lock – Best Overall

The Master Lock 4696T is a durable and trustworthy lock for any and all of your gun cases and luggage.

  • Designed Specifically for Lock Hasps
  • Resettable Four Dial Combination
  • TSA Acceptable

2. Nanuk TSA Approved Gun Case Lock – Second Best

The Nanuk gun case lock is a unique design that I love. They’re designed specifically for Nanuk cases but have worked perfectly in Pelican and other similar cases.

  • Designed for Lock Hasps
  • Silicon Tether to Keep the Shackle Together When Unlocked
  • Resettable Three Dial Combination
  • TSA Accepted

3. Forge TSA Approved Cable Gun Lock – Best Value

This Forge TSA approved lock is my go-to for all my luggage because it’s very versatile and I never have to worry if it’s going to fit/work.

  • Most Durable TSA Accepted Lock
  • Resettable Three Dial Combination
  • Flexible Cable for Universal Demands

TSA Rules & Regulations

The TSA’s rules & regulations on transporting firearms and ammunition are clear. They must be in a locked hard-sided container, unloaded, and must be declared when dropping it off as checked luggage.

Absolutely no guns or ammo are not allowed in carry-on luggage and bringing them to or beyond TSA security checkpoints can result in civil penalties and fines.

How Much Are TSA Fines?

The TSA may impose civil penalties of up to $13,910 per violation per person. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100.


When transporting firearms on a flight the TSA requires the following:

  • Be aware and follow all local, state and international government laws.
  • See the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for international gun export laws and regulations.
  • Must be declared with your airline.
  • Must be unloaded.
  • Must be in a hard-sided container.
  • Must be locked.
  • Only the passenger should have a key to the lock.
  • All firearm parts including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins must be in checked baggage.


The TSA requires the following when traveling with ammunition:

  • Must be declared with your airline.
  • Can be in the same hard-sided container as firearm.
  • Must be packaged in a cardboard, wood, plastic, or metal container designed to carry ammunition.
  • Must be locked.
  • You cannot use magazines or clips for packing ammo.
  • Magazines and clips must be boxed or included within a hard-sided, locked case.
  • See airline for ammo quantity limits.

What Happens if You Bring a Loaded Gun to The Airport?

If you bring a loaded gun to the airport, TSA will contact local police and you may face fines and/or jail time depending on the local laws.

Here’s a bodycam video of a police officer who gets called to the airport when a guy forgets his loaded handgun in his carry-on bag:

Now that you’ve chosen from one of the many TSA approved gun cases and gun case locks, be sure to check out my article on the Best TSA Approved & Airport Friendly Belts so that way you don’t have to take off your belt the next time you’re going through security.

Alex Knoch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *