Georgia Sells Off Items Confiscated at Airport Security Checkpoints

June Jones wonders why anyone would try to take a set of steel dental picks aboard an airliner, or, for that matter, who would want to use them after they were seized by airport security screeners.

"Who'd want to buy that?" asked Jones. "But maybe they'd be OK if you boiled them."

The dental picks were among thousands of items — including butcher knives and even a chain saw — relinquished or discarded at Georgia airport security checkpoints that went on sale Monday at two of the state's thrift stores, in Tucker and Swainsboro. Proceeds go to the state.

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The items came from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, and included scissors, saws, screwdrivers, nail clippers, grooming kits, corkscrews and miniature tool kits.

"We still have a few knives, but they've been going quickly," Steve Ekin, director of the Georgia Surplus Property Division, said at the Tucker store. "I saw people walking out of here with handfuls. The infamous chainsaw is gone. I saw it go out with the circular saw."

Each month, the federal Transportation Security Administration, the agency that screens airport passengers, sends the state vats of discarded or confiscated items.

A recent state law allows the division to sell the items in its thrift stores without going through the customary bidding process for disposing of surplus items.

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