TSA: Where Do All The Little Scissors And Knives Go?

We already know that the TSA sells scissors and nail clippers on eBay, but what else do they do with them? The Wall Street Journal has the answer:

Last year, according to Transportation Security Administration figures, airport agents collected 12,295 “clubs, bats and bludgeons”; 1.6 million “knives and blades”; and 74,665 other objects classified as “deadly/dangerous.”

The most lethal items are dispensed with promptly. Guns — an average of two a week are collected nationally — are surrendered to local police departments, which investigate their bearers. Hazardous chemicals are disposed of by SAIC Inc., a San Diego company under government contract.

The “voluntarily surrendered” stuff goes to people like Steve Elkin. He’s in charge of selling it at a store that just opened up in Georgia. Elkin is the director of the Georgia Surplus Property Division.

In Georgia, where the government once merely stockpiled surrendered items, the legislature last year passed a bill to allow direct surplus property sales to the public. Part of the reason, says Mr. Ekin, was to give passengers the chance — remote as it might be — to recover their goods.

The store, 3,000 square feet of polished concrete fenced off in a corner of an aluminum warehouse, boasts a large collection of potentially dangerous tools and trinkets. …Since the store opened, a trickle of passengers have come looking for their stuff.

“If they can prove it’s theirs, we’ll give it to them,” says Will Smith, the warehouse manager. A good description of the item suffices as proof, he says. So far, only two people have found their forfeited objects: a walking stick and a manicure set engraved with the owner’s initials.

Power tools, like the impact drill, are surprisingly common. So are toy guns and pistol-shaped belt buckles. Most common are scissors (over 4 inches is too long to carry on a plane), bottle openers, pocketknives and multipurpose hand tools. The store also sees hammers, dumbbells, circular saws, hockey sticks and nail guns, too. It once sold a chain saw.

In the market for some knives or power tools? It looks like there are some good deals to be had in Georgia!

By the way, who brings a chainsaw on a plane?

Carry-On Items Taken at Airports Find Happy Homes [WSJ]
Georgia Department Of Surplus Property