Are Bag Checks Legal?

Are Bag Checks Legal?

Do shops and stores have the right to search your bag? Bag checks are dependent upon the law of a country. Generally, speaking, most countries do not have laws that cover bag checks. However, shops and other business establishments can put up reasonable conditions for entrance—and even exit for security and safety precautions.

-and one more thing. Airport security is a different matter to a mall bag check.

So, when are bag checks allowed?

Security Concerns

As I previously mentioned, business establishments may implement policies for the general security and safety of customers that are within their care. I mean it’s easier to deal with a few irate customers than an actual lawsuit over flawed security.

Upon Certain Conditions

Although legal as they are, there are certain provisions that security personnel must comply with. For starters, they are not allowed to pull out items from your bag.

When Are There Consequences?

Forced Checking

A bag check is a choice. No one is actually forcing you to open your backpack and show all the content inside. However, you may be restricted entry upon the establishment if you refuse to do so. Seems fair, don’t you think? If you ask to come into a house, uninvited, and they ask you to take off your shoes—and you refuse. Then they can likewise not let you in.

Well, that may be a bit too much of an analogy, but you get the point. It’s all about respecting each other’s security.

Physical Contact

Another thing that establishment personnel should never do is actually touching your bag and inspect its contents with their own hands. This is already an invasion of your personal property. You need to be cautious about what happens the moment they put their hands inside your bag.

There have been certain cases in airports where bag owners became victims of airport security schemes where personnel plant drugs or live ammunition bullets, inside passenger luggage to ask for compensation so that a case won’t be filed against them. 

Summary of Security Personnel Dos and Don’ts

They can ask you to open your bag for you

They can ask you to leave the premise if you refuse to open your bag

They cannot touch the bag or any items in it

They cannot ask the owner to move items out to have a better insight

They cannot forcibly take or check your bag

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