About 8,000 firearms – many taken from criminals – were delivered to a Rancho Cucamonga mill Thursday, ready to be melted and turned into something more productive.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department teamed with Gerdau Steel Mill in Rancho Cucamonga for the 19th annual “Project Isaiah,” in which confiscated firearms are melted into steel reinforcing bars (rebar).
The project name is taken from the biblical passage about turning weapons into plowshares for peace.
Every year the steel mill donates its furnace, equipment and personnel to melt down the weapons, authorities said.
Some of the 10 tons of weapons were confiscated and had been held as evidence, said a sheriff’s representative.
“This is just one way to take a destructive weapon and turn it into something positive for society,” said L.A. County sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida. “Now they can be a small part of the foundation holding our community together.”
Twenty law enforcement agencies within Los Angeles County contributed confiscated weapons.
Thursday’s ceremony ended as bulldozers scooped up the piles of weapons and deposited them into the back of a dump truck which took them to the furnace to be melted.
“Gerdau’s continuous effort in creating partnerships with law enforcement agencies and the community is an example of true leadership,” said county Sheriff Lee Baca.