Los Angeles

Confiscated Weapons Melted to Make Steel Rebar

The weapons will be repurposed as steel rebar used to build freeways, bridges and commercial buildings

Approximately 5,000 confiscated weapons will be melted and repurposed as steel rebar on Monday as part of an effort to reduce the number of weapons in the Los Angeles area.

The LA County Sheriff's Department and Steelmaker Gerdau, the largest recycler in the state, have partnered for the steel melt's 22nd year at the Rancho Cucamonga steel mill.

"The conversion of thousands of weapons into rebar has assisted the reconstruction of many highways and, dually, the lives of those who were impacted by them," Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement. "Many are able to heave a sigh of relief today, knowing an implement which was used to intimidate, harm or kill someone they love is being changed for good."

The weapons are inspected for any ammunition and bent so they cannot be used before being combined with scrap metal in the furnace to become billets. The billets are reheated and put through a rolling mill to become steel rebar, which can be used for projects such as freeways and parking garages.

Law enforcement agents will be present for the melt to ensure the weapons are destroyed safely and completely.

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