Originally Posted by 62coltnavy
That's not the rule as I remember it. Unless they've changed the law, the fed regulations a couple of years ago required the gun owner to maintain possession of the key at all times.
As ralgha commented, it is the firearm case that the TSA isn't supposed to open and to which the owner is supposed to retain the key or combination.. The TSA has the right to open and inspect any suitcase at any time. The use of TSA-approved locks on the (outer) suitcase means they can open it and then relock it. They have always had the right to cut off non-TSA padlocks.
My understanding of the opening post is that the outer suitcase is what was opened.