Hundreds Of Weapons Seized From Criminals Destroyed

They were once in the hands of dangerous criminals but now hundreds of guns and knives will never threaten anyone again.

On Saturday morning Gulfport police officers took weapons they've confiscated over the past few years and destroyed them.

Danielle Thomas reports on how the department believes getting rid of the guns makes for a safer community.

Whether it's a rifle, a handgun or a knife the Gulfport police want to make sure there's no chance that these weapons will ever be pointed at anyone again.

"We're destroying some of the weapons we've recovered over the past few years," said Chief Steve Barnes. "They are weapons that we've taken off of the streets that have been used in the commission of crimes."

"We have all different types of weapons. We've got virtually every caliber of handgun, long gun, shotgun, riffles, just a variety of different weapons."

As a safety precaution, officers had to be certain all guns were unloaded before destroying them. There were a lot of weapons to be checked.

"We've got about 200 different long guns and probably 400 or 500 hand guns that we're cutting up. We partnered with Southern Scrap. They're going to assist us in cutting all these weapons up."

Chief Barnes says while some police agencies sell confiscated weapons back to the manufacturer he doesn't like that idea. He says it's far more valuable to make sure these dangerous weapons don't end up back in the hands of criminals.

"These weapons when they're cut today they are rendered completely inoperable. So today we're taking about 600 guns off the street in our local community."

Workers at Southern Scrap Recycling in Gulfport volunteered to break the weapons apart. Officials there say in the past five years they've destroyed about 3,000 weapons for the Gulfport Police department, the Harrison County Sheriff's department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.