NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD will be melting down hundreds of confiscated guns so they don’t get into the wrong hands again.
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Nearly 2,500 firearms, some of which were surrendered during gun buyback programs, are heading to an undisclosed facility for recycling this week.
“The men and women of the NYPD work extremely hard every day at great risk to themselves to take illegal guns off the streets of New York City, and we do it better than anyone,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said Wednesday. “When we destroy these guns about twice a year we take them out of circulation forever.”
Deputy Commissioner Bob Martinez said the department has been doing this for years.
“There was a time way back if you look in the history books where they actually dump these things in the Long Island Sound, but at some point they stopped dumping them in the water and they started recycling them,” Martinez said.
Last year, the NYPD seized about 14,000 guns — half of which were melted down. Many of the weapons come from southern states along Interstate 95 with lapse gun laws known as the “Iron Pipeline,” 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman reported.READ MORE: Negative COVID Test Needed To Enter U.S., As Officials Try To Slow Spread Of Omicron
A recent study by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found 74 percent of nearly 53,000 guns used to commit crimes in New York state between 2010 and 2015 were originally purchased in another state. The study found almost 90 percent of the out-of-state guns came from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
“This is the end of the Iron Pipeline, this is the last you’ll see of these guns,” O’Neill said.
The National Rifle Association calls the practice shortsighted, noting that other departments sell the guns to make money, Liebman reported.
“Some police departments around the nation sell their seized guns to legal gun buyers in order to make money. We never do that,” O’Neill said. “We take them out of circulation forever. These guns were used to hurt somebody or to threaten the quality of life of the good people of this city.”
The handguns will be sent out of state to be melted down into scrap metal, while the long guns will be pulverized, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.MORE NEWS: 'Wicked' Cancels Weekend Shows Due To COVID Test Results And Scheduled Absences
Only guns used in murders are kept.