• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Thousands of seized guns melted for recycling

July 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department melted thousands of weapons Tuesday morning during their 17th annual "Project Isaiah" gun-melting operation.The department collected more than 8,000 weapons off the streets this year. Many of the weapons were illegal and confiscated during search warrants.

Officials said the weapons weighed a total of 28,000 pounds, and they'll be turned into rebar. The rebar will be used in public works projects to build schools and other structures.

Tamco Steel Inc. is melting the weapons for free. The process of melting the weapons into rebar takes about two hours.

"It's just bringing public awareness, trying to get the guns off the streets, and this is a great thing that Tamco is generously letting us use their personnel, their furnace and their steel mill to do this every year," said Nicole Nishida of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Some of the guns came from the "Gifts for Guns" event that was held during the holiday season. People received a gift in exchange for handing over a gun or rifle they no longer need or use, or one that is illegal to use.