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In LA, Guns for Infrastructure

Friday, August 22, 2014

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Call it the modern equivalent of beating swords into plowshares: melting illegal weapons into materials for bridges and roads.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has melted down tens of thousands of confiscated handguns, rifles and other weaponry to make materials that will be used in county infrastructure projects.

Gun Melt
Photos: LA County Sheriff's Department / Facebook

Nearly 5,000 handguns, rifles and other weapons were melted this year. The materials will be used in rebar for highways and bridges in a three-state area.

The 21st annual "Gun Melt" event, held this year on Aug. 13, involved more than 4,600 weapons confiscated and obtained by 12 law-endorcement agencies through the department's "Gifts for Guns" program.

Under the program, gun owners may turn in weapons anonymously in exchange for a gift card of $200 for an assault weapon; $100 for a handgun, rifle, or shotgun; and $50 for a non-operational firearm.

Steel Mill Volunteers

The weapons were destroyed at Gerdau Steel Mill in Rancho Cucamonga that donates its smelter and personnel to the annual cause. The county's Department of Public Works trucks the weapons to the mill.

Gerdau Steel Mill

Gerdau Steel Mill provides equipment and personnel for the annual event, which has melted more than 178,000 weapons over 21 years.

Since the program began, the department has melted down 178,167 weapons. The metal is reused by L.A. County to make rebar for area highways and bridges in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Gerdau vice president Mark Olson calls the annual event an "opportunity to make a positive impact on our community."

“Gerdau is melting materials that could otherwise damage our community and transforming them into steel that will be repurposed to create the buildings, roads and bridges we use daily.”


Tagged categories: Bridges; Government; Infrastructure; Raw materials; Rebar; Roads/Highways

Comment from Stuart Ross, (8/22/2014, 6:04 PM)

" illegal weapons "..... tens of thousands of" ..... Wow, sounds sensational! "Under the program, gun owners may turn in weapons anonymously...." Media sensationalism again at work. So apparently all of these weapons were not illegal, nor 'seized', but donated for cash. Please just report the facts without embellishments.

Comment from peter gibson, (8/23/2014, 1:15 PM)

What a dumb article. Who cares about such rubbish...

Comment from Andrew Piedl, (8/25/2014, 12:22 PM)

Perhaps a course in remedial English may be of help.

Comment from Jim Johnson, (8/25/2014, 2:06 PM)

This is too wasteful and hair brained to even comment on...Idiots!

Comment from Mark Bowen, (8/30/2014, 12:14 PM)

The only thing worse is those who call it a "buyback" program. How can the government buyback what they never owned in the first place?

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