TSA Now Zip-Tying All Bags With Checked Firearms?

Reader Offshoreaj writes:

I just flew from Vegas to Little Rock with my family and my Ruger 9mm. Check-in at Vegas was normal, but they said I’d have to retrieve the bag with the pistol inside at the Little Rock Delta baggage office, not at baggage claim.

The Little Rock Delta agent was very nice and explained she’d have to secure the pistol before letting me have the bag. She also said these new procedures just went into effect within the last few days.

Attached are pics of what was done to secure the pistol. She said the same (two zip ties) would be done to a rifle case and one zip tie would be used on a pistol case. This is the TSA response to the Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting.

So if this is, in fact, a new TSA procedure, all baggage containing firearms will be zip-tied in order to prevent passengers from accessing the contents while still in the airport. But wait…and we’re just spitballing here…what’s to prevent a determined wack-o like the Ft. Lauderdale shooter from cutting off the zip ties after retrieving the bag and before leaving the terminal?

Offshoreaj could have packed a folding knife in one of the external compartments of his bag where it could easily be reached, zip ties or no. It take teams of top men — top…men — to dream up this kind of security theater.


  1. avatar Isaac says:

    Isn’t that illegal? I was given to understand that ANY identifiable external markings are banned by federal law.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      This is going to result in a lot of stolen guns at airports. Are they going to hold the bags so they don’t walk?

    2. The external marking is a CAGPT label. It stands for Check And Give Protection To. It directs the baggage agent to take it to the Baggage Service Office. It has been used to protect high value contents in checked baggage. It doesn’t mean there is a firearm inside. They are just using an existing procedure to get the firearm to the BSO so they can wrap the bag in zip ties.

      1. avatar Rabbi says:

        Looks like a “steal me” label to me.

        1. avatar Sian says:

          It’s taken from the plane to the baggage office, and ziptied before release to the owner.

          Pointless, but it doesn’t increase exposure to theft.

        2. avatar Muzzle Device says:

          good thing wire cutters under six inches in total length are NOT banned by TSA

        3. avatar PPGMD says:

          Actually it does increase the chance of theft, as was mention that tag is only used for high value items. Thus a thief can target those bags because they have a high chance of containing valuable items.

        4. avatar strych9 says:

          Within the airport I don’t think it increases the risk of theft. Once you leave the airport on the other hand…

        5. Correct. Assuming this is general knowledge. Which it isn’t. It’s like worrying about printing. No one cares.

        6. avatar Big Bill says:

          “Within the airport I don’t think it increases the risk of theft. Once you leave the airport on the other hand…”
          Most theft from baggage occurs IN THE AIRPORT, by baggage handlers.
          Labeling the bag with a big “Hey! I’m valuable!” sticker only makes it easier for thieves to find the easily fenced stuff.

        7. avatar Sgt Bill says:

          Are you kidding me? All those baggage handlers passed a background check and thorough vetting (sarc)

        8. avatar LarryinTX says:

          The tag is there the entire flight, from terminal to terminal, as I understand it, absolutely SCREAMING “steal me”. It is only the zip ties which are applied in the baggage office.

        9. Your bag goes down the conveyor and one of two guys load it on a cart. One guy takes the cart to the gate to be loaded. Every bag is scanned onto the airplane. Your bag doesn’t get scanned? Questions get asked. You can download an app on your phone to see if your bag in on board.
          Another one of three guys would be in the bin of the airplane with your bag. So far, that is six guys who have had access to your bag.
          The plane is offloaded at the final destination by one of three guys. One other guy takes your bag to the BSO. We are up to 10 guys who have had access to your luggage. Anything you report missing from your bag, especially a firearm since Delta verified you checked a firearm, will be thoroughly investigated.
          These ten guys will be in a room with the FBI among other agents being grilled. I wouldn’t worry about theft. The issue here is the stupid infringement to your right to have access to your firearm before departing the airport.

        10. avatar JasonM says:

          The only thing you can legally lock up (with real locks, not TSA-friendly locks) is firearms, so any case with locks has a firearm in it.

          If someone does this to my case, I’ll pull the nail clippers out of my my backpack, remove the ziptie, hold it out, and ask the attendant if there’s a trash can nearby. At Sea-Tac the unsecured areas are gun-friendly zones, so I usually head to the bathroom and load up in private before heading to the Uber pick up spot.

      2. avatar Solomon Grundie says:

        Putting a tag on a bag that says valuable items in the bag does not sit well with me. That only identifies which bag to pilfer. I spent several years working as a ramp rat at MSP, the idea that a limited number of people have access to your bag is bunk. Some airlines will have one crew working several gates at a time. In that time there are also other people dropping of the mail, cargo, corporate mail, and transfer bags (bags from one destination going to a follow on destination). Next time you sit in the airport go to a window and watch how many people walk by a baggage cart.

        It pissed me off and still does to this day when there are reports of baggage handlers stealing out of peoples luggage. If a bag came open I made it a point to try and get everything back into the bag and then go to the carousel to let the passenger or a manager know what had happened. These were more for the bags to people pack and have to sit on to close, if it pops open at the house because your bag is smaller than needed, don’t you think when they load it on the plane it’s going to pop open? Rule of thumb when packing your suitcase, pack it and then throw it across the room if nothing breaks or it doesn’t pop open you are probably good to go. As much as they would like to treat you bag with kid gloves this isn’t very realistic when you have an airplane with 300 bags, 5,000 lbs of mail, 10,000 lbs of cargo to unload and load in under an hour, and oh by the way you have two other gates (airplanes) to deal with.

        1. In light of the fact brought to my attention that the CAGPT program was discontinued for it’s original purpose, I am inclined to agree with you. This does look like a violation of the discretion rule.
          Now how do we get it challenged?

    3. avatar Big boy says:

      Only the airline is prohibited from Marking bags with FIREARM labels.
      “No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.” 18 USC Sec. 922(e).

      The TSA can be as stupid as it wants to be. It is legal to ship a small, cheap knife in an outer picket of your luggage.

      1. avatar Mark says:

        “in an outer picket of your luggage”
        Hey, ain’t nobody getting through MY picket line without me knowin’ about it! Why, my pickets are ARMED!

        1. avatar RyanB says:

          Relax, Gilda, he meant ‘pocket’, not ‘picket.

      2. Again, this is not TSA doing this. It is Delta in an attempt to be progressive.
        It is the corporate way of showing concern for the victims in FLL.
        I am sorry some asshole killed people with his checked gun. But I would be more sorry if some asshole came in off the street and shot a guy that was trying to get to his gun that was zip tied.

  2. avatar pete says:

    Got to keep the guns from using their free will to escape. Also dont get the wet or feed them after midnight.

    1. avatar Markarov says:

      Damn! You mean I coulda fed it after midnight and ended up with a belt fed .50?

      “You do with Mogwai what your society has done with all of nature’s gifts! You do not understand! You are not ready. Perhaps someday, you may be ready. Until then, Mogwai will be waiting.”

  3. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Well damn, now I want to take a flight with my Pelican 1750 (4.5′ long with four padlocks, for those who don’t know) to see if they want to double ziptie it.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      They’ll just add as many zips as it takes to get the required length.

      Hopefully a TTAG’er who flies can report when they get that treatment…

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        I flew to Texas and back with my pelican case holding my rifle and pistol last weekend.
        No zip ties as it had two master locks on it. Had to pick it up at the baggage office both times.
        It did set off the explosives alarm in Austin, so a supervisor had to inspect the contents. Nothing there of course.

        Oh, and it was Alaska to Texas, and Delta airlines for the trip

        1. avatar PPGMD says:

          I set off those alarms all the time. Which is weird because it has been years since I’ve handled an actual explosive.

        2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          I thought maybe it was fertilizer from the ranch I was on?
          And I’ve handled explosives before flights. This was my first alarm.

        3. avatar Gary says:

          It likely alarmed because of gun powder residue picked up by the ETD (Explosives Trace Detector). Residue likely came off the firearm as it was being placed in the case. I got caught in a random hand swipe one time because of that and got all my stuff inspected as the outcome. It also happens occasionally with golf clubs, as they pick up ammonium based fertilizer components from golf courses.

  4. avatar Ed says:

    Our tax dollars at work. Makes me feel all warm n safe…..NOT. Another reason to road trip it…thanks TSA.

    1. This is not TSA. This is a voluntary act by the liberal leftist corporatist Delta Air Lines.
      TSA has jurisdiction from security checkpoint to baggage claim. After that, they can’t dictate how you maintain your personal belongings including firearmes. That role goes to local law enforcement and many airports allow permitted carry.

  5. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

    “Just happened in last day”
    Did you ask “and “by what psychic ability would allow me to know that?”

    1. This became Delta policy March 15th.
      Delta was supposed to put something on Delta.com regarding the zip tie procedure. I haven’t checked to see if they did.
      I don’t think it’s a bad thing to get free CAGPT protection but the zip tie procedure is bullshit. Just have your nail clippers ready at the BSO counter and cut the zip ties off immediately and report how they react.
      That’s what I plan to do.

      1. avatar Janet says:

        I was told by a baggage handler if I cut the ties I would be arrested

  6. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

    “last few days” Did you ask them by “what psychic ability would I know that?”

  7. avatar Tommycat says:

    Man.. I am glad I enjoy driving everywhere…
    It takes longer, but I don’t have to put up with this. Granted I enjoy the journey more than the destination.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Flying from the front seat is really fun. Flying in back with the cattle is uncomfortable, inconvenient, demeaning and expensive. If my BMW will get there, that’s how I go. The view is much more fun, the food is better, and the schedule conforms to me, rather than the other way around.

  8. avatar Sam I Am says:

    “…dream up this kind of security theater.”

    It is not SECURITY theater, government work IS theater all by itself. In the old Soviet Union, there was reported a joke about the relation between government and government workers – “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work”. In the US, we are superior…government workers actually get paid real money, and….pretend to work”.

    Years ago, the US Air Force decided that for security purposes, aircraft (not pilots) would be given a different and random call-sign for each flight. The operating theory came out of WW2, based on the notion that the enemy could use permanent call signs to identify specific pilots (or crews), and adjust defenses accordingly, or launch attacks when the enemy knew the less-than-terrific pilots or crews were on duty to defend the attack. Also, the enemy knowing the skills of the pilots/crews (intuited from monitoring oral communications) could somehow use that knowledge to target the really good pilots/crews for dastardly harm, thus degrading our national security. There was a actually a team employed to ensure randomness, and that the same call sign was not randomly assigned to the same pilot/crew within so much elapsed time. I did not work in the Pentagon, but I am confident entire careers were made or broken by people assigned to the call-sign designation group. All this while at the same time directing that attacks against Hanoi and Haiphong would follow the same ingress and egress tracks, at the same altitudes, night after night. And then stood puzzled at the loss rate. Fortunately, that stratagem ended shortly.

    In government, activity is always identified as accomplishment.

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      “and that the same call sign was not randomly assigned to the same pilot/crew within so much elapsed time.”

      Which itself reduces the randomness, another lesson we apparently didn’t learn from WWII.

  9. Is this a TSA or Delta rule? That’s the first thing we need to clear up here.

    1. avatar Gary says:

      It’s not the TSA. Their purview for arriving passengers ends when you cross out of the sterile or secure area, and when your bags make the carousel. This either Delta or possibly the arriving airport’s policy.

  10. avatar Sam I Am says:

    “Offshoreaj could have packed a folding knife in one of the external compartments of his bag.”

    Not even necessary. Airport gift shops. Arrive at the terminal, buy a knife or other cutter at the gift shop, proceed to general or airline-specific baggage location. Retrieve strapped bag, cut straps, rock and roll among the other people collecting bags. One should avoid putting knives and other valuables where airport workers can easily purloin them.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      You don’t even need that. You’re allowed to carry a lighter which will burn one of those zip ties off in about 10 seconds.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “You’re allowed to carry a lighter which will burn one of those zip ties off in about 10 seconds.”

        There ya’ go.

      2. Easier than that.
        Just use nail clippers.

        1. avatar Huntmaster says:

          A skillfully applied shoe string can burn through a zip tie in about 15 seconds. Shhhh, don’t tell the Security Professionals.

        2. Security professionals don’t give a shit.
          This is a Delta decision not unlike the float in the gay pride parade sponsored by Delta.
          It is PR driven.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Ya’ll are trying to think of all kinds of ways to remove the zip ties, but since the zip ties don’t actually block someone from unzipping the luggage, seems like you could probably just leave them on and still access the contents of the bag. It’s soft-sided suitcase. Just unzip the bag and reach in.

      1. They run the zip tie through the zipper tabs if available. Most luggage has this feature.
        Don’t know what they plan to do if you already have a TSA lock through the zipper tabs.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Then somebody needs to tell that to the genius who tied up the bag in the photos accompanying this article, because all of the zippers on that bag look like they could be easily opened without removing the ties.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        If you don’t have any of those other tools handy, just unzip around the ties, retrieve your pistol, and shoot off the ties.

  11. avatar Antiquity says:


  12. avatar No one of consequence says:

    So these were put on in the Delta baggage office in Little Rock, after the flight, not before?

    That’s not as bad as if it were done before the flight, but it’s still irritating and a waste of good zip ties. I hate wasting zip ties…

    1. avatar Offshoreaj says:

      Yes, it was done post-flight. Also, it was not done 1 week earlier going from LR to Vegas.

      1. Effective March 15th.
        I gave TTAG a heads up weeks ago but they had another pocket dump to post.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Good point ! Wish I had thought of that.

      In the day of nickel and dime charges for everything, you will soon be required to bring your own zip ties, or buy them at the check-in counter.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Nah, your zip ties might not meet government spec and could have been tampered with (You terrorist you!) so they’ll charge you for THEIR zip ties. $5 each.

  13. avatar Didymus says:

    Maybe it’s just a stop gap measure until the $X million dollar study is complete. Then we will know the most secure way to prevent Terry the Terrorist from accessing his weeeeepon.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Maybe it’s just a stop gap measure until the $X million dollar study is complete.”

      The likely outcome of that study is a recommendation that only scanned and checked baggage be permitted on aircraft, buses, trains and ships. People will be required to travel by car if they want to avoid the “security hassle”. TSA would love it, airlines would love it. Both spend enormous effort to remove people from the process.

  14. avatar Rick the Bear (MA to NH) says:

    As Billy Shakespeare once said, “Un-fucking-believable”. They might as well put a “firearm enclosed” label on the bag. Morons.

    “…top men — top…men — >>> Good “Raiders” reference!!

    1. avatar tmm says:

      I did not have to follow the link to know the reference. Helps they’ve used it before.

  15. avatar Hillaryforprison2016 says:

    Have no fear, the government is here!

  16. avatar strych9 says:

    I’ll see how this goes when I go to Vegas next month.

    I am sorely tempted to take TWO checked bags, put my knife in the other, watch them do this then open the other bag, cut the ties off, hand them the trash and walk out.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      Alternate idea: Take a pair of needle-nosed pliers with the wire-cutter bit (as long as they’re under seven inches) in your carry-on. Those should be allowed:


      Save $25 for the extra checked bag!

      1. avatar PPGMD says:

        The wire cutters on a typical set of needle noise pliers can barely cut normal zip ties. If you are going to bring anything bring a heavy duty set of diagonal clippers. Knipex makes a nice higher leverage set that is just under the 7″ limit.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          I bet EMT sheers will cut them and they let me carry those.

          I’d just like to see the reaction to an assisted or better yet a butterfly knife. Especially when you say “Um, here, do you recycle these? You should you know” and then hand them some treehugger sticker

        2. Hell! You can check your whole toolbox separate from your bag containing the gun. Use bolt cutters if you like.

        3. avatar miforest says:

          you are buying cheap pliers, go with klein and they will cut anything you can get them around.

        4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          i remove zip ties whenever i put equipment back into service; part of lock out tag out procedure.
          there are very small cutters designed specifically for this.
          flush cutters, also available from klein, irwin etc. or take a small side cutter and belt sand the backside of the jaws smooth.
          needle or duckbill pliers work almost as well, just grab and twist- even the heavy duty ties will snap quickly.
          if you’re counting on a nail clipper it had better be made for ol’ yeller toe nails.

        5. avatar Arc says:

          Toenail bits.

    2. That is the logical thing to do and you will not be violating any policy as the policy merely states the zip tie is to “delay access to the weapon”.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        Not directed at you…
        It may take a whole ten seconds to cut the ties.
        Is someone with a weapon standing there watching as you do this?
        If not, this is wholly ridiculous. So great, people get to live a whole ten seconds longer.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I was wondering about that—is there somebody armed in the “baggage office”? Because otherwise, what is the point?

        2. I asked Delta all these questions two weeks ago and have not received a response.

          What keeps the passenger from removing the zip ties inside the BSO?

          How long of a delay is optimal?

          What if the passenger has other items in the same bag such as medications or car keys that he needs immediate access to?

          What if a woman’s estranged husband knows she is arriving at the airport at a certain time and he means to do her harm? Why would Delta put her life in danger by not allowing her access to her personal defense weapon?

  17. avatar Racer88 says:

    Yeah… ‘cuz zip ties are so difficult to defeat! LOL! Seriously???

    And, yeah… there’s that law (?) forbidding marking luggage as containing a firearm.

    1. CAGPT doesn’t indicate a firearm. And the zip ties are only applied after final destination by the baggage service office right before handing the bag to the owner.
      There is a positive ID check as well. It actually more guarantees you won’t have your gun lost or stolen but the zip tie part is stupid.

      1. avatar Racer88 says:

        I wasn’t referring to the “CAGPT” thingy. 🙂 I was referring to the zip ties as an effective label that the luggage contains a firearm.

        1. The zip ties are applied right before you claim the bag. If anyone steals it because they see zip ties, then they stole it from you.
          You are expected to remove them because stated policy says “…in order to delay access to the weapon”
          Nothing about “preventing” access to the weapon.
          I may even load my pistol right in front of the BSO agent and holster it.
          Cash me outside, how bout dat?
          It is 100% legal to carry a gun in the Atlanta airport in all areas terminal side of the security checkpoint.
          The article title is wrong.
          TSA is not zip tieing luggage.

      2. avatar Racer88 says:

        Well, whattaya know? The CAGPT label IS, in fact, a giant sign that indicates “Something valuable inside here!”

        That’s just great! SMH.

  18. avatar Goon100 says:

    So me being a criminal now just has to go to the airport and grab some dudes bag as it comes off the plane and get myself a new gun. Smart really smart. Thanks I needed a fast way to get a firearm.

    1. It’s not that easy. First, you would have to apply for a baggage handler job, pass two interviews, take a week long ramp class, pass a drug test, pass a backround check complete with fingerprints, have everyone you ever interacted with get questionned, then manage to be planes idea when a bag with a gun came down, then grab it and walk off with it in plain sight as well as cameras, and get off the property , change your name, get plastic surgery to change your face.
      No, you can’t just grab a new gun as it comes off the plane.

      1. avatar Goon100 says:

        Sorry m8 I think you did not pick up what I was putting down. Say I fly from NYC to hotlanta. I just hang around baggage claim till a bag that is not mine rolls off the feeder. I pilfer it and either walk out or take it to the bathroom and open it. I then pocket the piece and go find another or walk out.

        1. avatar Premek says:

          The bag is given out in the office, against an ID, not rolling around on the belt.

        2. You should have read the article. Or half the comments. The bag doesn’t get delivered to the carousel. It goes to the BSO and you have to show ID to get your bag.
          I have no problem with this. My beef is with the stupid zip ties all over your luggage.

      2. avatar PPGMD says:

        That must be why theft of items from baggage is unheard of. And why the airlines doesn’t suggest travelers to bring anything valuable in their carry on.

        The fact is that theft isn’t unheard of, and the rules that prohibit airlines from marking bags with guns in them is based on actual thefts. Now this tag doesn’t indicate that there is a gun in the bag, but it does indicate that there is a high enough value item that the airline is willing to jump through hoops to protect it. Thus it would be targeted by the dishonest bag throwers.

        And yes those thefts happen, they are more common at certain airports, but they can happen everywhere because there are plenty of gaps in the security cameras at airports. The biggest one is in the belly of the aircraft.

        1. avatar Offshoreaj says:

          In this particular case, the baggage handlers either didn’t get the new procedure or just didn’t follow it. As I was standing at Delta baggage office with the agent waiting on my bag, my wife texted me that the bag came off the baggage claim belt. The agent & I walked out & met my wife, the agent took the bag back to the office & applied the ties, then she released it to me. We were all shaking our heads at the utter stupidity of the whole affair. So yes, it’s apparently supposed to work the way she explained, but in this case (& I’m sure others), the bag was put into “public” space with the “high-value” stickers on it.

        2. That doesn’t surprise me. CAGPT labels are rare. This guy probably never saw one before.
          Gonna get popular now.
          I hope the BSO agents get swamped. Imagine troop movements where 45 soldiers with weapons all take one flight.
          I want to be at the counter with a video camera to see the spectacle.
          How many zip ties does it take to wrap 45 duffle bags?
          Meanwhile, the BSO does handle other duties. Hope your bag doesn’t get lost the day 45 soldiers take your flight.

        3. Who says don’t bring valuables in carry on?
          Your carry on is with you at all times.

        4. They always get caught. All bag tags have an RFID chip in them. They will narrow down to a few employees 3 or 4 who were with the bag when the items went missing.
          Anyone dumb enough to risk a good job by stealing from passengers, isn’t smart enough to get away with it.
          You’d have to leave the country. They know who you are.
          Even if cameras didn’t catch anything. The passenger would report the theft within 24 hours most likely. The airline would call in the only three guys working that flight. They already have him. They just need to figure out which one or if all three to charge. The Federal Reserve trusts baggage handlers when the move hundreds of millions of dollars from bank to bank.
          One clear plastic bag of $50 bills contains $750,000. A baggage handler will stack 30 of these on one flight. Your $1,000 Sig isn’t he most tempting item in the belly of the plane.

        5. avatar PPGMD says:

          That was sarcasm, I was pointing out that airlines routinely suggest you take any valuables with you because they know that theft happens in the baggage system. Why else would they exclude the most common valuables that people travel with from their insurance programs?

          And yes the Feds do send money through the airlines, but the thieves are typically smart enough to not target something that will have the Feds come down on them. OTOH some dude stealing a camera or a gun out of a bag, no one cares enough to do much more than a cursory investigation, if they do anything at all after they take the report.

          RFID won’t change things, they can already back track those things if they wanted to. But how would they know if it happened at your destination, layover, and departure point? Because they don’t steal the entire bag. They open it up, reach in, and see what they get. Close it and send the bag along the way. I personally know of several instances in my small group of family and friends.

          The fact is that this program is stupid. And though that tag doesn’t automatically indicate that a gun is present, the presence of the tag does indicate that something worth stealing might be in that bag. But OTOH there are reports that Delta’s excessive valuation program was terminated in January, which means that the primary usage of that tag could very well mean that there is a gun in the bag.

        6. The airlines take theft of anything seriously.
          They have two jobs: Get you and all of your belongings from point A to point B.
          Passenger retention and loyalty is the first priority in the competitive market. So much so that airlines will operate at a loss in some markets just to gain market share.
          Let it get out that your property is not secure and that can be devastating to the reputation that has taken several decades to build.
          If a pattern of theft emerges, rest assured that the airline will tap every resource up to the Federal level to eliminate the problem. Especially when firearms are involved.
          A pilfering baggage handler isn’t going to escape the scrutiny of the FBI.

      3. avatar neiowa says:

        Do tell. All the Minneapolis ramp guys are Somali muslim “refugees” (though a number have been on vacation to Syria/Iraq with ISIS). More Security Theater

        1. MSP is a major hub for Delta since the Northwest merger. Delta doesn’t hire non US citizens to work domestically and doesn’t contract out ramp services at major hubs.
          The ISSIS fighter in question was a cabin cleaner, not a baggage handler and he was not employed by the airline.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Huh? Airlines allow unsupervised people inside their $50 million aircraft who are not employees? That statement is very suspect, to me.

      4. avatar Stinkeye says:


        “Harper told police that stealing from luggage was a common practice among his coworkers and admitted to taking and pawning several items, arrest reports said.”

        Sounds like all that screening is really keeping the lowlifes out.

        Maybe the airlines take it seriously when a gun gets boosted, but speaking as someone who had a nice pocket knife stolen from a checked bag, I didn’t get the impression my stolen property was going to get any attention beyond some token filling out of paperwork.

        1. Great news story. Reinforces my point. They always get caught.

  19. avatar Gabe says:

    This might be a good theft deterrent against thieving agents. If the bags/cases are high profile, it might keep sticky fingers out.

  20. I sent RF this information in a satirical write up several weeks ago. It is my understanding that this is a Delta policy and not a TSA policy. TSA does not patrol bagged claim and unsecured areas of the airport.
    It is legal to carry a firearm in the ATL airport. It should be just as legal to unpack your bag in baggage claim.
    I tried to warn you guys sooner about this but TTAG sits on all my contributions.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You look suspicious to me, too!

  21. avatar Joe says:

    I like to check the contents of my bag right at the baggage claim to make sure everything is still there.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Last time I checked a gun (LONG time ago), guy watched me seal the gun in the bag, it makes sense the guy in baggage office should watch me take it out. If it is not there, they can skip trying to blame *me*.

      1. Matt in FL suggested checking your gun case separately for this reason. The thief would have to steal the case that contains the bag tag identifier rather than just go inside the bag to take a gun case that has no tag attached.
        This would cut the suspects down to only a couple guys rather than the ten or so in my other example.
        They’re still going to zip tie the case but I would still remove them immediately.
        If they ask me why I am taking my gun out of the case, I’ll say “When the County Sheriff issued me a permit that I paid for to carry a gun, this wasn’t in the bargain”.

  22. avatar Hannibal says:

    Well we knew there would be fallout from that idiot, if this is all it is then at least it could be worse.

    Frankly I expected that ammo wouldn’t be allowed to be checked.

  23. avatar Rand says:

    American is using a bright red tag on luggage with firearms. Marking for theft or a mugging later if someone is watching and waiting. Nothing can prevent a repeat of Ft. Lauderdale.

    1. avatar Kendahl says:

      Nothing can prevent the beginning of a Fort Lauderdale. How far it goes will depend on whether someone on the scene is equipped to put down the attacker. A karate sidekick to the middle of the back would do the job. If you are dead center, you get the spine. If you’re off a bit, you get a kidney. Either way, the bad guy will go down.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        And when you fall on your own butt as a result of trying such a ridiculous mall-ninja move hopefully the bad guy will laugh hard enough that he forgets what he was doing.

      2. avatar Scrote McGee says:

        It really makes me nervous, how little clue some gun lovers have about good ol fashioned fist fighting. Jesus Christ boys, take a few months of Muay Thai classes or something. It will hurt, a lot, but it will be worth it.

    2. avatar Jim says:

      By federal airline regs you are allowed to check 11 pounds of ammo. Must be in original or some other safe containment, not loose, and in a hard side bag. Must also be declared.
      I did this stuff for 34 years before I retired, so I have a pretty good idea of what I am speaking.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        And the rules have not changed in more than 34 years?

    3. avatar Aaron says:

      psychotic spree killers always give signs. the ft lauderdale shooter is no exception. he wentto the fbi and essentially notified them he was a dangerous nutcase.

      but we’d rather hassle competent law abiding citizens than actually deal with nutcases.

  24. avatar EJQ says:

    What worries me more are the baggage handlers. What type of criminal background check have they been through? This suitcase has a big, big sign on it. Doesn’t exactly say “Rolex Watch inside”, but still.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      ha ha, that’s a good one! “baggage handlers background check!”

  25. avatar PPGMD says:

    My suggestion would be to carry a set of clippers in your carry on. Knipex X-Cut clippers should have enough leverage to get through those zip ties, and they are just under the 7″ maximum tool length.

  26. avatar FlamencoD says:

    This is an ineffective idea. Anyone can take a pocket knife right out of one of pockets on that bag and simply cut the zip ties with a little effort.

    1. Please do that. And have your travel companion video it.
      I have a pistol case with no handles and a built in lock. The zip ties can be slid off without cutting.
      I’ll see how they like that.

  27. avatar Matt says:

    I haven’t verified this, but it is possible that delta is using this only for firearms. The last comment indicates the CAGPT program may have been discontinued on January 31st.

    1. You’re correct. Delta being the most frugal airlines in the industry must have had a surplus of labels.
      My hope is that enough armed travelers raise enough hell about this that the practice ceases. As with most firearms issues though, I doubt our numbers are substantial.

    2. avatar Matt says:

      I’m taking United Airlines to go to Front Sight this Saturday. I’ll note if I detect anything unusual. It isn’t Delta, but we’ll see if anything happens.

  28. avatar Joe R. says:

    Welp, “For Safety” is better than “Safety” when For Safety is all you got to sell.

  29. Here is the story that TTAG did not release that I submitted on March 7th, eight days before this policy was implemented.

    After the shooting in the FLL baggage claim area from a psycho that retrieved his pistol from his checked bag, Delta Airlines has taken a proactive action to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again. No, they are not banning guns in checked baggage. Their solution is much more creative than this and retains our 2nd amendment rights as valued customers.
    The ease in which the killer retrieved his gun is the issue. Therefore Delta aims to delay this process by requiring the firearm be delivered to the Baggage Service Office and in order to retrieve the bag containing the firearm, the owner must provide positive ID and perform the Chicken Dance, all verses, before the BSO agent will relinquish the firearm to the owner.
    This process is applied in order to; from the intra-company bulletin:
    “to prevent immediate access to the weapon.”
    So it is obvious to the casual as well as the astute observer how this procedure will succeed in the goal of delaying access to the weapon. I mean, who hasn’t done the Chicken Dance?

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      OR maybe we could just get these dangerous psychotics into mental institutions where they belong, and stop hassling competent, law abiding citizens….

  30. avatar Kara Luna says:

    I just called Southwest Airlines and was on hold a few minutes while the Customer Service Rep checked on this…SW is NOT following Delta’s lead on this.

  31. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i took the “city of new orleans” down and back the week before ash wednesday. called amtrack the day before departure, declared firearm and ammo.
    an hour before departure from union station they scrutinized my version of the “hokey pokey” which is a darn side simpler to perform apres lounge than the chicken dance. when i arrived they said “go to room ‘c'” which contained one item which was my case, and an armed guard.
    plus you get a bed, can drag whatever you want on with you (edged stuff has limitations), three ok meals are included and you can scan the right of way gully for turtles.

  32. avatar Aaron says:

    Hey, I’m just a guy, and not all edumacated in the intracacies of zip-tying luggage and what not, but how about this crazy idea:

    how’s about when a dude goes to his local FBI office and tells them that the CIA is mind-controlling him and forcing him to fight for ISIS, that we PUT HIS ASS IN A MENTAL INSTITUTION.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      One with LOCKS!

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Or at least they could put a zip-tie around the doorknob.

  33. avatar KenB says:

    I don’t mind this, i think is to keep things from being stolen from bags.

    When i was traveling with scuba gear we were not allowed to lock the bags, what we did was put the entire bag inside a bag with a drawstring. You can’t get in the pockets without considerable work, and it’s not locked

  34. avatar Mike W. says:


  35. avatar Bob Skaggston says:

    Msp to las vegas 3/16, no special sticker, no zip ties.

    Las vegas to Msp, 3/20…agent puts steal me sticker on bag, tells me it will be ziptied and I’ll have to pick it up at baggage services.

    Arrive Msp, bag is tenth onto carousel like all other bags, but mine has steal me sticker and zero zip ties.

    I pull off carousel, remove sticker and walk away. Firearm still in inner locked case.

    What a stupid policy. Must be set up for easy theft.

    1. No. It’s just theater and not all the actors know their rolls yet.
      It may peter out before it gets off the ground. Front line employees are usually reluctant to follow stupid corporate policy.

      1. avatar Bob Skaggston says:

        oh she (the agent) was quite gleeful of this new policy as it inconvenienced me, put a special tag on the bag, put my belongings at higher risk of theft and was a poke in the eye of gun owners.

        As though crazy Bubba or Ahmed couldn’t just walk in to the baggage claim right off the street.

        1. You also have many anti freedom folks in the industry.

  36. avatar Brian Hargreaves says:

    How about any person who has a Government Clearance, carry permit, etc. Can carry pistol in holster. Unloaded. Ammo in small locked case. Only owner has key. Into bathroom, mag in, rack, leave.
    Now no one has access! Just you.

    As in danger, a brick? Just as dangerous. I had a buddy, years ago, FBI Agent, traveled armed. Don’t know what he did, give a form in? Don’t remember. He was no more safe than I was, by the way, no profiling? In working with EL Al in Toronto. Talk about profiling? Constantly.
    Your name. Your appearance. your passport, on and on. But once you had flown to Israel, you were in the computer, on in a jiffy.
    In my case, I was testing the Security, did not use my Canadian passport, even though I was a Canadian Citizen. I used my British one, never been anywhere with that passport, renewed it, prior to expiry, whilst living in Toronto.
    Took me the best part of an hour to clear Customs ( Israel system, and born agents) when I was given my seat, I told them I was waiting for the head of EL Al Security World Wide to come here, at the boarding gate.
    I received a smack on the chest! “You lie just like an Israel”
    A complement?

    1. What’s your question?

  37. avatar Jim Macklin says:

    Maybe TSA can follow the London Bobby model and place a number of unarmed targets around the airports to “prevent” crime?

  38. avatar James Drouin says:

    “… what’s to prevent a determined wack-o like the Ft. Lauderdale shooter from cutting off the zip ties …”

    Not a single thing. But then, the government not known for “solutions”.

  39. Your first question to the Baggage Service Agent should be: “How do I know my bag wasn’t pilfered?”
    Your second statement should be: “I’m not accepting my baggage unless I can verify the contents have not been pilfered”.

  40. avatar Greg from GA says:

    I’ve just flown from Atlanta to Columbus OH this morning. Nice little CAGPT tag placed on my suitcase at the Delta counter before wheeling it to the TSA inspection station.
    Looked for my suitcase at the baggage carousel in Columbus. Some skycap looking gentleman wheels the suitcase to the Delta baggage office right next to me.
    The Delta agent then puts two zipties on my suitcase before I could receive it after showing some ID.
    I tell the agent that the procedure was stupid because I am now going to cut them off. She just shrugs and says “Just doing my job.”

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