BEVERLY HILLS—On Monday, July 6 the annual gun melt was held for Los Angeles County. Los Angeles County Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, announced approximately 3,400 weapons confiscated throughout the year in the area were destroyed.

The event celebrated its 22nd anniversary as part of California Penal Code 18005 (c), which states that guns that are not, or cannot be sold to the public, and cannot be returned to their owners, must be destroyed. The code cites the conservation of local resources, such as space, as reasoning for the event.

Thousands of guns confiscated last year are turned into rebar. The new substance is then used for construction projects on some government roads.

A Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department press release stated, “The weapons included in this destruction will be re-purposed for good:  Melted into steel reinforcing bar, better known as ‘rebar,’ and transformed into elements of construction for upgrades in freeways and bridges in Arizona, California and Nevada. The 5 ¼ tons melted today will be used for the betterment of transportation tomorrow.”

Each year local law enforcement agencies come together for the event. This year the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was joined by 10 other agencies including the Beverly Hills Police Department, Claremont Police Department, Downey Police Department, El Monte Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, Manhattan Beach Police Department, Sierra Madre Police Department, West Covina Police Department, Whittier Police Department, and the Los Angeles Superior Court.

The event was held at the Gerdau Steel Mill in Rancho Cucamongo. Since the beginning of the annual gun melt, the steel mill has volunteered its furnace, equipment, and employees. The rebar is transported by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works through their annual donation of trucks.

Gerdau Steel Mill Vice President and General Manager said, “This activity transforms weapons that were intended or used to inflict harm into a product that improves our landscape and economy in Southern California.”