Goodwill employees say they have found an increasing amount of gun ammunition mixed in with the clothes, toys and kitchen gadgets of daily donations.
On Friday, the Washington Road Goodwill donated more than 1,100 rounds to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office for use or proper disposal.
It might sound strange to donate ammunition, but employees said they’ve seen stranger.
“You name it and it’s probably come through our door,” said Phil Stacy, a loss prevention and safety specialist.
Guns, gasoline and opened cans of paint have also been included in donations. With guns, the store tries to get in touch with the owner, but if that isn’t possible, the gun is turned over to a law enforcement agency in the area. The store cannot legally resell guns or ammunition.
“We’re happy to have it off our hands and to have it in good hands, as well,” said Barry Paschal, the senior director of marketing and communications for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA.
Lt. Lewis Blanchard, who accepted the donation of ammunition for the sheriff’s office, said the shotgun shells will be useful for training and save the department money.
Bullets that were donated in boxes will be used if possible, but loose ones will be disposed of.
Blanchard said using unboxed ammunition presents a safety risk because the officer won’t know whether they were manufactured or reloaded.
Stacy said some of the donations appear accidental, such as several bullets found in the bottom of a purse, but others were likely on purpose.
Among the donations was a large unopened box containing 10 boxes, or 250 total rounds, of 12-gauge game loads. The largest donation was a box containing 400 rounds for a .22-caliber firearm.
Before Friday’s donation, Stacy said, ammunition donations were turned over to Goodwill’s Macon store and given to local law
“It kind of seemed wrong (to give to other agencies),” he said.
Goodwill hopes to donate the ammunition to the sheriff’s office on a routine basis.