Guns to save laptops?

Cryptography and security experts bruce Schneier dug up this little gem:

Photographer Matt Brandon was posting a worried blog entry about the future outlook of transporting valuable goods in airplanes. Think expensive photo equipment or laptops. Being forced to put these items into checked baggage usually equates with certain theft or damage.

Readers of Matt's blog quickly pointed out there are goods treated with care in todays's air travel: firearms. For domestic US flights, TSA regulations mandate these to be packed into a locked container.

So here's the punchline: Otherwise harmless "starter pistols" (those little guns that fire blanks at track and swim meets) do not require registration in the US, but are treated as "weapons" for airline purposes. One reader claims he is checking in his photo equipment along with such a starter pistol sind 2001 in one hard case - with excellent result. He claims it's very unlikely airlines can afford to "loose" guns. Too bad this won't work outside domestic US.

So, when are we going to see valuable/fragile checked goods as a standard airline service?