A loaded grenade launcher, found this week by Goodwill employees among donated items in Bradenton, is an air-soft launcher like those used in military simulations or paintball games, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has discovered.
Sheriff’s office spokesman Dave Bristow said he would not call it a toy, however. Inside the airsoft grenade launcher was a live grenade used with airsoft launchers, he added.
In appearance, the launcher looks like a M203 grenade launcher, that is often attached to an M-16 rifle. The launcher found at Goodwill is stamped with the word “Taiwan.”
On Sunday, deputies were called out to the Goodwill Manasota Bargain Barn, 7501 15th St. E., after employees discovered a grenade launcher with a grenade inside among donated items. The grenade launcher had come in a Jan. 25 shipment from a store on Cortez Road, because the employees at the Bradenton location didn’t know what the donated item was.
While Goodwill Manasota has seen some interesting items donating over the years, the grenade launcher was a first, Vice President Veronica Miller said Thursday afternoon.
“The important thing is it never made it’s way to the floor,” Miller said. “I am happy it’s off the streets but it never made it to the floor.”
According to the incident report, deputies say they placed the active grenade in a Hazmat locker and the grenade launcher in the property room at the sheriff’s office District One office.