Sheriff's Department Destroys 8,000 Confiscated Guns

The weaponry will be melted into rebar, which will be used in construction upgrades for freeways in California, Arizona and Nevada.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced Thursday the destruction of more than 8,000 weapons confiscated from criminals in Los Angeles County.

Annually, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works transport the weapons to Gerdau Steel Mill, a Rancho Cucamonga company that donates its furnace, equipment and personnel to convert the guns into steel rebar, according to a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department press release. 

Dubbed “Project Isaiah,'' the annual gun destruction gets its name from the Biblical passage in the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 2:4) that calls for swords to be beaten into plowshares as a way of bringing peace. 

The weapons will be melted into steel reinforcing bar (rebar) and ultimately transformed into elements of construction for upgrades in freeways and bridges in Arizona, California and Nevada, the release states.

“These weapons that you see here will never again be used to commit a crime or used to threaten or intimidate an innocent victim,'' Baca said in a written statement.

Twenty law enforcement agencies have contributed confiscated weapons to this program. These agencies include Bell Gardens, Beverly Hills, Burbank, California Highway Patrol, Claremont, Culver City, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, La Verne, Long Beach, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, UCLA Police, Pasadena, Santa Monica, South Pasadena, Union Pacific Railroad Police, West Covina, and Whittier. 

What do you think of guns being melted down for this purpose?

Leonard Robinson July 13, 2012 at 08:15 PM
My name is Leonard Robinson. I was the employee at the former TAMCO (now Gerdau) Steel Mill that started the Project isaiah program 19 years ago. I did it as a symbolic gesture to those who have neen affected by gun violence. A little known fact that rebar made from the melted firearms were used in the construction of the Staples Center in Los Angeles in the late 1990's. That is why the lakers won some many championships there from the firepower that went in the Staples Center translated into firepower on the basketball court :)
Antonia July 23, 2012 at 04:18 AM
I think it's an excellent idea and positive solution. Gun recycling transforms these weapons so the material (steel) can serve a new and more sustainable purpose both physically and socioculturally.
Dan Crandell July 23, 2012 at 06:54 AM
How many jail cell bars will 8 thousand recycled guns produce? Talk about symbolism used correctly.
Gayle M. Montgomery September 13, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Leonard, I am quite late in reading and responding to this article, but I wanted to thank you for the foresight you had in creating Project Isaiah. What a wonderful effort this is, and I can't fathom the number of lives you helped to save in the process.


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