California police melt down thousands of confiscated firearms

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department holds an annual melting event to salvage metal from confiscated weapons. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

California authorities melted down more than 7,000 confiscated firearms on Saturday afternoon, salvaging nearly 10 tons of scrap metal.

The 19,840 pounds of reclaimed metal was converted into steel rebar that will be used in transportation infrastructure projects across Arizona, California and Nevada.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has organized the event for 23 years, pursuant to the state's penal code.

Five different law enforcement agencies contributed confiscated weapons that could not be returned to their owners or sold.

"Today, over 7,000 firearms will be translated from their potential of destruction into the certainty of construction," Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a news release. "These weapons which were used to harm, take away life, and effectively destroy happiness, families and communities, will be converted into something positive and beneficial."
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