Michigan destroying firearms with scrap metal pulverizer

LANSING, Mich. -- Starting this month, the Michigan State Police will be using a scrap metal processing facility to dispose of firearms. MSP personnel will transport all firearms to the facility where they will be destroyed in their entirety using an industrial pulverizer.

In January 2023, the MSP temporarily paused firearm disposal while it researched different options. Officials say the previous disposal method destroyed only the frame or receiver of the firearm.

“This new method will improve public safety by ensuring all parts of a firearm are destroyed, never to be used again, and continue to meet the ATF’s acceptable destruction procedures, as we always have,” stated MSP Director Col. James Grady. “I’m pleased we were able to find a cost-effective alternative method that allows for the full destruction of the firearm.”

According to Michigan Penal Code MCL 750.239 and MCL 28.434, firearms confiscated by authorities can be sold at public auction before being destroyed.

"Under the new procedure, the MSP will accrue some additional staff costs due to transport and record-keeping requirements but will not be charged for use of the pulverizer," said MSP Communications Specialist Lori Dougovito. "The pulverized metal will then be melted down and recycled into flat roll steel coils."

Officials say that Iin 2023, the MSP disposed of 11,582 firearms.

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