Gun melt takes hundreds of weapons off streets

Coatesville PD organizes removal, disposal of weapons at ArcelorMittal

By Lauren Parker- Gill, Staff Writer, The Times


Coatesville Police officers load the unclaimed weapons directly from the evidence room, onto a truck to be safely transported to ArcelorMittal.

COATESVILLE – In an effort to keep weapons and firearms out of the wrong hands and off the streets, the Coatesville Police Department organized a gun melt Tuesday morning and transported more than 200 handguns, rifles, shot guns, knives, blades, machetes and a sword to ArcelorMittal steel mill, where they were melted into molten steel.

Det. Sgt. Brandon Harris said there were 155 handguns and 78 rifles and shotguns that were being transported from the evidence room to the steel mill; some were new and old, with one handgun he suspected that had never been fired. Nevertheless, they will never be sold, traded or used in any way, ever again.

The weapons being destroyed were acquired in several ways: some were stolen and the rightful owners were either never located or didn’t claim them. Some were surrendered to the police department or found on the streets, others were acquired through the buyback program the police department held, while some of the guns had been used in the committal of crimes and the cases have been closed. Though Harris did state that any weapons involved in a homicide are kept as evidence forever, in the event a case is appealed and it needs to be presented again.


More than 200 weapons from the Coatesville Police Department filled the bed of an officer’s truck and will never be on the streets of Coatesville again.

“If a lawful owner is located, we send them a certified letter and they have 30 days from the day it is signed for, to respond,” said Harris, as he explained the process of locating the owners.

Harris added that all owners reclaiming their weapons must have a clear background check with the Pennsylvania Instant Check System, which determines whether a person is legally allowed to own a firearm.

Also participating in the event were the Parkesburg Police Department, with 30 handguns and rifles or shotguns, and the Baltimore Police Department with more than 1,600 handguns. All weapons remained in the chain of custody of their own police departments until they were officially melted into molten steel.

The total number of weapons that are now permanently off the streets and were destroyed ArcelorMittal was more than 1,800.

“The important thing we want people to know is that none of these guns will be on our streets again,” said Police Chief Jack Laufer.


Pin It

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment