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How can you prevent the TSA from going through your expensive luggage?

This one is more of a life hack. If you travel all the time with expensive equipment and want to ensure nothing is stolen or broken by the TSA buy a starting pistol. You know, the ones that are fired directly in the air to signify the start of a race. Track and field events use them all the time. They can be obtained for cheap and don’t require any background checks or paperwork however they are classified by the airlines as a firearm. That may sound scary, but in reality we can use the airline’s rule in our favor. Once you have the starter pistol throw it into your luggage. It doesn’t matter if your luggage contents consist of expensive camera equipment, a microscope or a delicate drone.

Once you check your bag in, declare the firearm with the clerk. A special inspector trained in firearms will check it out and verify the gun is safe. Then they will mark your case appropriately so no other TSA agents will be allowed in after that point. You will then be instructed to lock the case. At that point throw any lock on it. The lock doesn’t even have to be TSA approved. Any lock will do. In fact use a heavy duty non TSA Masterlock if possible which will make your luggage that much more secure.

So there you have it. Protect anything you have of value from the TSA when flying by purchasing a starting pistol. Please note: Airlines require your firearm to be in a hard-sided container so don’t try this trick with your soft sided luggage.

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Do you need a TSA lock when transporting firearms on a commercial flight?

No you do not. It’s a common misconception that you must have a TSA approved lock when checking in guns on a commercial flight however that is not the case. If you choose to lock non-firearm baggage a TSA lock is required (or else they will cut your lock off). When it comes to guns however use a normal lock. In fact a normal lock actually prevents the TSA from tampering with your firearm after it has been checked. When you first check your gun in, the TSA agent will inspect it to ensure everything is safe. From that point no other agent needs to inspect the case hence a normal lock is the way to go.

With that being said how do you know what a TSA lock is?

Any lock with this symbol is a TSA approved lock:


For example these locks are TSA approved locks & can be used to lock any non-firearm luggage:

Click to view or purchase
But when it comes to guns be sure to use something like these instead:

Heavy Duty Master Lock
Click to view or purchase

Medium Duty Lock
Click to view or purchase