On Wednesday, the City of Cleveland and ArcelorMittal melted down more than than 270 guns that were surrendered at the 2014 City of Cleveland Gun buyback last September.
“This gun melt will take guns surrendered by their owners, recycle them into steel, and prevent them from ever being used in an act of violence,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “I’d like to thank ArcelorMittal for being a good partner in the City’s efforts to improve safety and reduce gun violence.”
ArcelorMittal Cleveland Vice President and General Manager Eric Hauge said the company was proud to partner with the city, the Cleveland Police Foundation, and others to support the gun buyback program.
“We are pleased to melt down the collected weapons and recycle them into consumer goods that improve the quality of all our lives,” Hauge said. “The guns we melt will be transformed from weapons into washing machines, car parts, refrigerators and other steel products.”
According to the Cleveland City Hall blog, “The guns were placed into the No. 1 Basic Oxygen Furnace iron ladle and will be melted by approximately 200 tons of molten iron, at temperatures of about 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The molten iron, along with scrap, is then charged in the basic oxygen furnace to make steel, which will eventually be used to manufacture cars, household appliances, and other goods.”
ArcelorMittal destroys the guns as a “free community service,” the City of Cleveland said.
At the time of the September buyback, Ohioans for Concealed Carry said that such programs are a way to appear to be doing something while disarming people who might otherwise be able to defend themselves. “Criminals don’t turn in their guns. At least, not working firearms, anyway,” the group wrote in a blog post.” The group scoffed at the notion of a “so called gun buy-back … as if they ever owned the guns [and] were in a position to buy them back.”
In exchange for a working handgun or semi-automatic rifle, individuals received either a $100 or $200 Target gift card or a gift card for gas or food, as well as two tickets to a local sporting event. Gun rights advocates stood on a street corner a block away from the buy-back and offered cash for anyone who wanted to consider a better offer for their gun.