People Visiting the Statue of Liberty Are Frequently Armed

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Since the beginning of 2011, security officers tasked with screening those intending to visit the big, green landmark have confiscated 5,300 knives and 5,000 other "miscellaneous weapons" (28 of them illegal). According to Park Police spokesman Sargeant Peter Culver, these statistics might just be evidence of cultural differences, as opposed to cause for alarm. It turns out that most people are surprised when they're told they can't bring, say, a screwdriver to Liberty Island. "For the most part, they have no intention of using it to commit a crime," Culver said. "It is just something they have on them ... Sometimes they come from different states where these weapons would be legal, and because they are tourists, we understand that and we try to be very reasonable." And remember, they're probably more scared of us than we are of them: In the last nine months alone, screeners found 7,000 cans of pepper spray. [NYDN]