Skip

Hey, there's my knife!
March 2, 2003 5:42 PM   Subscribe

State of California sells confiscated items on eBay. Actually, it's not just items confiscated at airports -- it's any kind of surplus the state wants to get rid of. See the complete list here. (Apparently they unload some at Goodwill, too.) (SFGate link via ObscureStore)
posted by Vidiot (12 comments total)

 
I can see them donating things they've confiscated, but is it right for a government to make a profit on these things? (It's not just stuff that people have tried to sneak through security -- I've seen lots of people hand stuff over that they've belatedly realized they had on them that wouldn't make it through the checkpoint.)
posted by Vidiot at 5:45 PM on March 2, 2003


yeah, this is pretty wrong.

they should at least have offered people the option to come pick it up at the airport at some later date, or pay the cost of postage to have it sent back to them. put a reasonable time limit on those options, and then after that they can donate it or sell it or whatever.
posted by dorian at 6:06 PM on March 2, 2003


Well, police departments have been profiting for years from assets forfeiture laws, and it would appear that the DEA could practically fund itself on stolen...er, I mean, seized assets. If you want to know about those, just pick up the Wall Street Journal on most days, the DEA advertizes their loot there.

Evidenty CG2K IS selling more than just airport-seized items... I can't really imagine anyone trying to sneak a set of four new Firestones aboard a plane!
posted by clevershark at 6:07 PM on March 2, 2003


As much as I despise the idea of my sharp things being sold at a profit, the fact of the matter is that you do have the option to simply walk back to your car and drop them off, if you have time. Still, I'd prefer if they simply went to goodwill or some such organization.
posted by mosch at 6:19 PM on March 2, 2003


Interestingly enough, what would happen if a knife sold in such a manner were to be used in the commission of a crime? Would the state have a certain liability? It's not so far-fetched... certain cities, counties and states have taken firearms manufacturers to court claiming that they were responsible for said city, county or state's violence problem.
posted by clevershark at 7:46 PM on March 2, 2003


Would the state have a certain liability?

Please. No. What's the difference if you buy a knife at a store and commit a crime with it? Is Wal-Mart somehow responsible?

Why is this wrong? You can't take a knife on a plane... plain and simple. And it would cost a lot more than the price of postage to ship it back to you. Someone has to be paid to do that. Someone has to be paid to man the "hold it here for them until they come back for it" station. I think the state is showing a good bit of common sense by selling this stuff.

Donate 350 pocket knives to Goodwill? C'mon. Is that the kind of merchandise the people of Goodwill are focusing on?
posted by Witty at 2:33 AM on March 3, 2003


Hatchets, money-clips, and a little girl's baton? "Daddy--they took my baton!" *sniffle* But no confiscated cocaine or such, which might make for a truly hot Ebay auction.
posted by Shane at 7:10 AM on March 3, 2003


Aren't the normally confiscated sharp pointy things not supposed to be sent through the mail?
posted by dagnyscott at 1:04 PM on March 3, 2003


Please. No. What's the difference if you buy a knife at a store and commit a crime with it? Is Wal-Mart somehow responsible?

Witty: Does the statement hold true if I substitute the word "firearm" for the word "knife", and in addition to "Wal-Mart", if I add names like "Smith & Wesson, Winchester, Ruger", and perhaps "legitimate gun dealers"? Is that the same thing? In other words, are these business responsible for the use of a firearm if it is used illegally?

I'm not trying to be a wise-ass, just wondering if you're willing to carry your statement a little further...
posted by LowDog at 7:34 PM on March 3, 2003


Yes, I am willing. I think that as long as they are selling items that are legal to sell in the first place, and they sell it to a legal buyer (in your example, a felon would be an illegal buyer), then I think there is no way they can be held responsible for the actions of that person. How could one possibly think otherwise?
posted by Witty at 2:16 AM on March 4, 2003


As much as I despise the idea of my sharp things being sold at a profit, the fact of the matter is that you do have the option to simply walk back to your car and drop them off, if you have time...

... and you didn't take a cab/train/bus to the airport, and you didn't get a ride there from someone, and you are departing as opposed to returning.

Why is this wrong? You can't take a knife on a plane... plain and simple. And it would cost a lot more than the price of postage to ship it back to you. Someone has to be paid to do that. Someone has to be paid to man the "hold it here for them until they come back for it" station. I think the state is showing a good bit of common sense by selling this stuff.

Then maybe passengers should be given the option to pay the entire estimated cost of that too. It shouldn't be very much either. Step out of line. Fill out a label. Grab one from a stack of pocket-knife-sized boxes and drop it into a bin. Someone dumps the bin into a mailbox when it gets too full. It sounds time consuming, but I bet it's less of a disruption than the one that arises when you tell someone to look on eBay for their grandmother's heirloom nail clippers.

Any time the state profits from the confiscation of goods, this incentive can lead to bad policy. For example, I wonder how much effort they put into reminding passengers, before it's too late, of exactly what can and can't be brought onto a plane.
posted by originalname37 at 3:21 PM on March 5, 2003


Toronto Police Ebay store.
posted by modofo at 4:17 PM on March 5, 2003


« Older OldVersion.com   |   Human shield Britons quit Baghdad Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post