What happens when the TSA takes your weapons away

Last year the Transportation Security Administration collected 888,000 items — from knives and scissors to snow globes and sunglasses — that were confiscated or left behind by airline passengers as they boarded their flights. But airport contraband has an afterlife. It ends up in state-run stores, where thrifty customers can rummage through bins of objects from the TSA’s no-fly list. In warehouses around the country, bargain-seekers browse through crates of knives, tools and even box cutters. Everything is sold at a deep discount, sometimes for $1 apiece, and sometimes by the pound. The “leftover stuff” includes includes not just items that can be used as weapons, like meat cleavers, ice picks, sabers, bows and arrows, nunchucks, hammers, power saws and cattle prods, but also forgotten items like books and jewelry. Some of the items are sold at state-run stores and some are auctioned off in bulk on the website

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