(OK) Mill finds new use for guns


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Drizzt
October 8, 2005, 03:15 AM
Mill finds new use for guns

By Ty McMahan

The Oklahoman

Thousands of weapons seized by law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma are converted each year from firearms to fence posts.

The process takes place in Sand Springs, home of the state's only steel mill, where the guns are dumped into an 82-ton furnace and melted down to liquid steel. The steel from the guns is used for fence posts and reinforcing bar.

Oklahoma City police delivered a load of about 1,700 guns Friday to be destroyed.

"We heat it up to about 3,100 degrees," said Mike Grayson, general foreman at Sheffield Steel. "Those guns turn to molten metal that pours like water."

Grayson said Sheffield Steel has provided the service to law enforcement agencies, free of charge, for more than 35 years.

"It's thousands of guns," Grayson said. "There has been a pile out there as tall as my head."

Guns are not the only contraband that meets its fiery end in Sheffield Steel's furnaces.

Grayson said the steel company burns knives, brass knuckles, drugs and pornography, among other items.

"I remember when I was a kid, we burned a lot of slot machines they got during a raid," Grayson said. "They found them at some country club."

Guns, however, are more common than any other item brought in by law enforcement agencies, Grayson said.

Oklahoma City police Sgt. Gary Knight said the department destroys nearly 2,000 guns every year.

"That's after we've gone through all the steps to track down the owner," Knight said.

Knight said the department returns about 500 guns to their rightful owners every year.

Destroying all the guns is a decision Oklahoma City police think will help keep the streets safe. Knight said every destroyed gun is one less that can find its way into the hands of a criminal.

"We don't want to start supplying guns to the public," Knight said.

Grayson said it pains him sometimes to see quality guns go up in flames -- eventually becoming a post to hang barbed wire in someone's cattle pasture.

"I hate doing this, because I see a lot of good guns that go to waste," Grayson said.

Most departments agree with Grayson.

Jim Cox, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Police Chiefs, said many departments, especially those with smaller budgets, rely on the resale of seized guns to help pay for equipment.

"Just because it comes in the hands of the police does not mean it shouldn't be turned back to someone for legitimate use," Cox said.

Cox said many long rifles and shotguns used for sporting purposes are resold to the public. He said there is a detailed system of background checks and safeguards to ensure weapons are sold to people who intend to use them for legitimate purposes.

Tom Shaffer, president of the Oklahoma Sheriff's Association, said his department in Major County earned about $6,000 from the sale of guns at the last county auction. He said some of the guns are traded to dealers for other equipment needed by the department. Most guns that can't be used for sporting purposes are destroyed.

"It does a lot for us," Shaffer said. "Since our budget is so short, it does a lot for buying equipment and training."

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz said he has received criticism for reselling the guns.

"They try to jump on me for selling hunting weapons, but I agree with the Second Amendment -- that people have a right to have those guns in their homes," Glanz said.

"Guns are part of the American tradition. No matter how many laws you have, you're not going to get rid of guns in America."

http://www.newsok.com/

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jondar
October 8, 2005, 09:17 AM
Yes, as everyone knows, the Second Amendment IS about hunting.

Onmilo
October 8, 2005, 06:37 PM
They do the same thing over in Peoria.
Melt them at a Steel and Wire factory.
If it makes anybody feel better, most of the stuff they melt is pure junk.
A few Smith's, Glocks, Colt's go into the kettle but the majority is plain junk, no loss to anybody.

Chut1st
October 8, 2005, 07:13 PM
What the h*** does "sporting purpose" have to do with anything? I read my copy of the Constitution again yesterday (it doesn't take that long and everyone should be required to do so before every election.) and "sporting purpose" is nowhere in the Second Amendment.

As for pieces of "junk" being melted, if they are inoperable or defective and cannot be repaired, no great loss, but lots of folks stuck in public or low income housing are as deserving of the right to protect themselves from the drug dealers and gangbangers as the rest of us and that might be all they can afford. The media attack many years ago on inexpensive firearms that created the "Saturday night special" label managed to disarm many low income citizens, making them easy prey for the scumbags out there.

Spot77
October 8, 2005, 07:28 PM
What do you want to bet that most of the employees at that mill have an outstanding personal firearms collection??? :evil:

lucky_fool
October 8, 2005, 08:12 PM
I'd be willing to trade the mill double or triple the weight in my scrap steel for some of their scrap steel. :evil:

Standing Wolf
October 8, 2005, 09:45 PM
Knight said every destroyed gun is one less that can find its way into the hands of a criminal.

Every criminal taken off the streets adds up to hundreds fewer crimes committedóbut of course, it's much more politically correct to go after guns rather than criminals.

Dionysusigma
October 8, 2005, 10:31 PM
A few Smiths, Glocks, and Colts go into the kettle, but the majority is plain junk and no loss to anybody.
But you repeat yourself. ;)

Why not send the nicer, more historic ones to museums? As far back as I can remember, museums are pretty well guarded... plus it wouldn't be wasting them, now would it?





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Idea: Why not give guns (just the ones in good working order) confiscated from criminals to abuse victims? Instead of filling out "just another restraining order," why not make the victim pro-active and let them defend themselves?

MuzzleBlast
October 9, 2005, 02:13 PM
Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz said he has received criticism for reselling the guns.

"They try to jump on me for selling hunting weapons, but I agree with the Second Amendment -- that people have a right to have those guns in their homes," Glanz said.

"Guns are part of the American tradition. No matter how many laws you have, you're not going to get rid of guns in America."

Always heartening to read of a chief LEO that really gets it.

Onmilo
October 9, 2005, 02:51 PM
I repeated myself, so what.
As for historic stuff going into the pot,,,,
A retired Police Officer, friend of mine, now dead,whacked a pimp down who was in the process of pistol whipping a prostitute for some misdeed she had perpetrated.
The pimp was carrying a 4 3/4" SAA, nickled and factory engraved, complete with Pearl stocks, caliber .32-20.
Gun was confiscated, pimp was jailed, life went on.
My friend tried like hell to get that gun, he even petitioned the Chief of Police, but to no avail, the gun went into the pot.
He did manage to get the Chief to allow him to remove the pearl stocks from the revolver, these he kept and later gave to me.
I, in turn, gave them to a collector of Colt revolvers.
The incident occured in 1958.
It was the only time that officer could remember any firearm of note being confiscated and his career spanned forty odd years.
When I say Smith revolvers, I mean Model 10s, Model 19s, and oddly, Model 29s. Plenty of those models around, no loss.
When I say Colts, I mean mainly old, rusty, Police Positives, many in .38 S&W/Colt Special caliber and many loaded with incorrect ammunition for the gun.
When I say Glocks, I know of two that went to the furnace, big deal.
Rugers are fairly popular with crooks around here, quite a few are seized and melted.
Melt all one wants too, Ruger is quite capable of making more.
So I repeat, most of the stuff is junk, Jennings, Lorcins, Hi-Points, RGs, Ravens, Bersas, single barrel shotguns, most cut down to near unuseable dimensions, .22 rifles cut down in the same fashion, pump shotguns, man we have a shortage of these in this country now,,,a few semi-auto AKM copies and SKS rifles.
I don't know of any local museums who would even want a complete collection of Soviet inspired semi auto pleasure rifles, do you??

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