Airport Seize Your Stuff? Look for It on eBay

TSA's confiscated items end up being sold via state agencies
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2009 8:19 AM CDT
Transportation Security Administration officers stand next to a table with confiscated goods at a security check point at Newark Liberty International Airport.   (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
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(Newser) – From knives to baseball bats to cake-cutters to corkscrews, and including at least one kitchen sink, the Transportation Security Administration confiscates around a million items from air travelers every month, CNN reports. Guns are turned over to law enforcement and shampoo bottles end up in the trash, but the rest is given to state surplus agencies, and ends up being sold in stores and on eBay, with the states keeping the profits.

State agencies and groups like the Boy Scouts usually get first dibs on confiscated items, paying just a few bucks per item. Officials expected the flow of contraband to slow down after a couple of years, as passengers got wise to the rules, but that hasn't happened. "It's not slowing down," says a Kentucky airport official. And they do a brisk business in fake weapons as well as real ones—even gun-shaped belt buckles. At the Orlando Airport, they take in a lot of pirate swords from Disney World and donate them to groups working with underprivileged children.