The VICE Guide to Right Now

A Florida Goodwill Thought Someone Donated a Loaded Grenade Launcher

Please don't donate your used weapons.

Workers at a Goodwill store in Bradenton, Florida, found a little surprise nestled inside the donation box last Sunday—a grenade launcher loaded with a live grenade, according to the Bradenton Herald.

The Bradenton store employees apparently gave it a once-over and shipped the thing to a Goodwill Bargain Barn in Sarasota. But when the folks at the Bargain Barn realized what they had, they quickly called up the police.


According to the Herald, the Manatee Sheriff's Department retrieved "the active grenade" and disposed of it inside a Hazmat locker back at the department. But when police took a closer look, they realized that the thing was just an Airsoft launcher and not an honest-to-God grenade launcher, like the kind that falls out the back of police vehicles, a Bay News 9 reporter confirmed. Airsoft or not, though, a spokesman for the sheriff's department told the Herald that he "would not call [the launcher] a toy."

It's unclear who donated the launcher and why, but Goodwill manager Joe Beshures told ABC Action News that he's seen a lot of weird stuff come through the store's donation box in the past.

"An urn with ashes inside of it, firearms, ammunition, gold teeth," Beshures told ABC, making it clear that his employees are trained to deal with potential hazards and would never let any of it actually go out for sale. "We would never want to put any of our customers or employees in any safety risk at all," he said.

If this was your Airsoft grenade launcher and, for some reason, you actually meant to give it away, maybe you should take a closer look at Goodwill's donation guidelines. It's against the rules to donate any weapons to the thrift store—including guns, crossbows, and, yes, all types of grenade launchers. They won't take your old waterbed, either, so don't even try.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Related: A Smarter Gun