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TSA sells your confiscated items

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By Rene Marsh

(CNN) - Every day, airline passengers are forced to hand over possibly dangerous items at the security checkpoint, and someone is making a lot of money off of these confiscated  belongings.

According to TSA, an average of 425 pounds of "stuff" is turned over at some of the nation's largest airports, and TSA sends  it to states to make a profit.

According to TSA, the majority of items accumulated are knives.

"When they go through the TSA security checkpoints they have the option of either sending those items home voluntarily or voluntarily surrendering them so they can get on the plane."

Pennsylvania, specifically, is turning the collected items into a profit. They have one of the largest receiving centers, which holds boxes and buckets of your personal belongings from major airports, including Laguardia, JFK and Newark. Over the past nine years, they  have sold knives and other paraphernalia for nearly $900,000.

Some items are sold at a government surplus store. Ten pounds of assorted black knives can be worth an estimated $75.

Most items, however, are sold at Govdeals.com, where you can buy back your belongings that were taken by an airport screener. The state determines the price of each  individual item.

But TSA says you have the right to be informed of your alternative options before you have to take out your wallet. When a belonging is confiscated, you can opt to check it, mail it home or leave it.

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