Checking bags at MSP airport with a gun

I’m planning to travel thru the Minneapolis airport soon with a gun in checked bags for the first time and I’m just checking what other people’s experiences have been.

Does anyone know if the TSA prefers that the slide be racked while it’s stored in the safe? Their website doesn’t say. If they don’t care either way I highly prefer not to store my sig with the slide racked or even closed with a cable lock thru it.

I’m guessing after filling out the form at the ticket counter they will escort me somewhere else where I will open up my locked pistol safe and show that it’s unloaded with an empty chamber. The safe will also include ammo in its original box, 2 empty magazines, a magazine holster and gun holster.

Any insight is highly appreciated!



Not at MSP, but In the past, I have made sure my case is TSA approved, slide open with cable lock strung through the slide/magazine well.


They do not care in the least if the slide is back. Action closed is fine.

Generally most airports either send you and your bag over to the oversize baggage check (most common), or they (sometimes) walk with you and your bag to the oversize baggage check or the TSA place (sometimes) or, on occasion especially smaller airports, they actually send the bag back on the belt and TSA checks it behind.

Ammo in the same locked hard sided case as the firearm is fine.

I have checked loaded magazine, in the same case, dozens of times as well with no issue, and I see no rules that would indicate a possible issue, either…the wording about a storage whatever made for ammo seems to include magazines in practice…though unloaded mags and ammo in factory ammo container is good.

You will NOT show that it is unloaded, and will NOT show an empty chamber.

Nobody should touch the gun. Ever. During this process, nobody should ever touch the gun. That’s not to say a less than knowledgeable employee won’t ask you to, but, it’s not suppose to be.

I have checked a handgun at MSP specifically twice.


I agree with @Karacal. I have done the same as him when I have checked firearms. Hard case with a key is preferable to a combination lock. They will have to request your key from you to open it. With a combo lock they could say it was already unlatched.


Or maybe this guy is onto something.

Instead of using a case. Then ask for a pat-down. Better plan on an LCP and not a 1911. :rofl:
Before it gets flagged THIS IS A JOKE PEOPLE.
I would never suggest breaking the law!


Thanks guys!!


@Nathan57 got it perfectly right.
Great and clear explanation. :+1:


I’ve heard of keestering some drugs…how loose you gotta be to slip a pistol past the ol’ brown eye?


From personal experience: rack your gun, leave it alone in your safe.
Carry a second safe with your ammo, in original or better container and leave your magazines empty.
Still, be prepared to be hassled but, not badly.

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He must have watched the movie “Get Hard”. That was a funny movie.