NYPD Sending Thousands of Guns Out of State to be Melted Down This Week

The NYPD has confiscated thousands of guns across the five boroughs and it wants to make sure those weapons don't get back on city streets. NY1 Criminal Justice Reporter Dean Meminger has an exclusive report about the police department's plans for those guns.

Thousands of guns, seized by the NYPD, are headed for the scrap heap.

"The NYPD works very had in getting these guns off the street and we are going to keep them off the street. And by destroying them there is no chance they will every find their way back out into the street, into the public," says Stephen Davis, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for public information. 

NY1 has learned that 3,000 thousand illegal guns seized by the NYPD or surrendered in gun byback programs will be shipped to an out-of-state facility this week, placed in a furnace and melted at high temperatures. 

"They can come up the Iron Pipeline, and they are going to end up as a hunk of iron at the end of this process," Davis says.

The Iron Pipeline is the nickname for the route that most illegal guns travel into the city.

A report by the state attorney general Tuesday said that from 2010 to 2015, nearly 90 percent of handguns used in crimes in the state - and recovered by police - came largely from six states along Interstate 95 where laws governing gun purchases are weak.

The guns are smuggled into by traffickers in cars and buses.

The NYPD's policy of destroying recovered or surrendered guns contrasts with a growing trend across the country.

At the request of the National Rifle Association, a number of states have passed laws requiring police to sell seized firearms. 

And the NRA is slamming the NYPD for not doing the same.

"Firearms should be treated the same as boats, jewelry, or any other confiscated asset and sold at auction.  Most departments are strapped for funds as it is, to cut off the potential cash flow for the sake of making some social commentary is short sighted at best," an NRA spokesman says.

The NYPD says it won't be selling any seized guns. 

"We don't want them and we are not going to send them elsewhere so that they can possible be re-circulated. They are going to be destroyed. and that is the end of it," Davis says.

The NYPD says it usually smelts thousands of illegal guns once or twice a year. 

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