There are just a few basic requirements outlined in the following from TSA:
You may only transport firearms, ammunition and firearm parts in your checked baggage. Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are prohibited from carry-on baggage.
Failure to adhere to the following regulations will preclude passengers from traveling with firearms, ammunitions or firearm parts:
* Travelers must declare all firearms, ammunition, and parts to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
* The firearm must be unloaded.
* The firearm must be in a hard-sided container.
* The container must be locked. A locked container is defined as one that completely secures the firearm from being accessed. Cases that can be pulled open with little effort cannot be brought aboard the aircraft.
* Travelers should remain in the area designated by the aircraft operator or TSA representative to take the key back after the container is cleared for transportation.
* TSA must resolve all alarms on checked luggage. If a locked container carrying a firearm alarms, TSA or the airline will make a reasonable attempt to contact the owner. If contact is not made, the container will not be placed on the aircraft.
* Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging that is specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
* Travelers may not use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
* Ammunition may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as it follows packing guidelines described above.
* TSA prohibits black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder.
These regulations are strictly enforced. Violations can result in criminal prosecution and civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Therefore, travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies. Also, please note that other countries have different laws that address transportation and possession of firearms. If you are traveling internationally, please check regulations at your destination about their requirements.
There are certain limited exceptions for law enforcement officers who may fly armed by meeting the requirements of Title 49 CFR § 1544.219. Law enforcement officers should read our policies on traveling with guns.
Above info cited from: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... _1666.shtm
Of course before you travel, you should always familiarize yourself with gun carry/transport laws in your destination state. For me, TX recognizes TN handgun carry permits and I've read up on proper transport of rifles according to TX state law so I'm good to go once I hit the ground.