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The New York Police Department announced that it has seized over 3,000 guns so far this year, and over 1,000 of those will remain off the streets for good. The NYPD says its Field Intelligence Officers' haul is the highest in the last three years.
So what happens with all those weapons now?
According to the New York Daily News, the police used to dump seized guns in the Long Island Sound, but Deputy Commissioner for Support Services Robert Martinez says the department now takes the weapons to an "undisclosed location, to either be melted down or "stamped into oblivion." The Daily News also reports that scrap metal from the guns can be recycled for other uses.
"These guns will never again be used to hurt somebody or threaten the quality of life of the good people of this city," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. "This is the end of the iron pipeline. This is the last you'll see of these guns." A total of 1,995 handguns and 426 rifles are slated for destruction, 1,158 of which were used in felonies, 12 in misdemeanors, and 485 were acquired through the NYPD's gun amnesty program.
Not everyone is pleased with the NYPD's plan for the weapons, however. The National Rifle Association is pushing back on gun destruction efforts, and has even successfully lobbied some states to pass laws that require police agencies to sell seized firearms instead. "Most departments are strapped for funds as it is," the gun lobby said, "to cut off the potential cash flow for the sake of making some social commentary is short-sighted at best ... Firearms should be treated the same as boats, jewelry or any other confiscated asset and sold at auction."
Commissioner O'Neill was not swayed. "Why on Earth would we do that? We went to a lot of hard work to get these guns off the street."