Fiery view inside Nucor’s gun-melting process, pre-buyback

January 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 21 Comments

(Seattle Police Department photo)
As announced earlier this week – West Seattle’s Nucor Steel is an in-kind donor to the upcoming city-county gun buyback, donating its facility to melt down whatever’s turned in. Nucor’s done it before, the Seattle Police Department – also a partner in the program – reveals, in an SPD Blotter report by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee; guns seized as evidence are turned into rebar there semi-regularly. See his report, and more photos from inside Nucor, by going here. Meantime, the gun buyback remains set for January 26, 9 am-3 pm, under I-5 between Cherry and James downtown.

21 Comments

  1. What will be made from the melted-down gun metal? Maybe a sculpture?

    Comment by BlairJ — 12:30 pm January 10, 2013 #

  2. @BlairJ, read the story
    http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2013/01/09/fahrenheit-3100-the-temperature-at-which-guns-burn/

    Comment by Diane — 12:37 pm January 10, 2013 #

  3. rebar for reinforcing concrete

    Comment by clark5080 — 12:37 pm January 10, 2013 #

  4. I always thought this would be an interesting place to tour!

    Comment by Jennifer — 12:38 pm January 10, 2013 #

  5. Cool that this is happening, and that they’re doing this, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a “donation.” Nucor melts down metal to be reused, it’s a for-profit enterprise.
    .
    That they are getting free metal to melt down in their factory (then sell for $) is a good thing for them, not a hardship.

    Comment by Alex — 12:38 pm January 10, 2013 #

  6. There is one in front of the UN building, made from old weapons, that is the shape of a gun with its barrel tied in a knot.

    http://newyorkdailyphoto.com/nydppress/?p=542

    Comment by happy — 1:10 pm January 10, 2013 #

  7. Alex –

    Considering the large volume I see that NUCOR moves from train cars into the furnace, a few hundred guns aren’t going to add much of anything to their bottom line.
    .
    On the other hand, if the city did have to go find a place to take the guns for disposal, it would probably cost the city some $.

    Comment by Denny — 1:23 pm January 10, 2013 #

  8. the Nucor is incredible; highly recommend

    Comment by Diane — 1:34 pm January 10, 2013 #

  9. I suspect that the cost to Nucor of special handling to recycle a small batch of guns with police oversight far exceeds the value of the steel in those guns. So that’s probably why it is a donation.

    Comment by owen — 1:40 pm January 10, 2013 #

  10. This is awesome.

    Comment by Kelly — 2:25 pm January 10, 2013 #

  11. It’s a shame. Destroying these firearms is wasteful and harmful to the environment.
    .
    A quick check of the internet suggests that metal recyclers are currently paying about $200 per ton for scrap steel. This equals ten cents per pound. A rifle or shotgun weighs between five and ten pounds on average. At least half of that is non-metalic, (either wood or plastic). A handgun is mostly metal and weighs one to three pounds. Assuming the 168 firearms are equally divided between handguns and long guns, the total scrap metal weight would be roughly 756 lbs, (worth $75.60.)
    .
    If these guns were sold at public auction, I would be suprised if they sold for less than an average of $200 per gun. If they were auctioned in lots to gun dealers, I figure at least $50-100 per gun. Assuming that 5% of the guns are unsaleable due to being unsafe or illegally modified, that’s still between $7500 and $30,000 worth of guns that are being turned into rebar.
    .
    Every one of the guns would be sold to a law abiding citizen who has passed a background check. They would be used for recreation, to put food on the table, and to protect homes and families. In many cases, they would go to those who couldn’t afford a new gun.
    .
    Taking these guns out of circulation will have no effect on crime. More will be manufactured to meet demand. The money raised by selling them would do much more public good than having them destroyed.

    Comment by Chuck Jacobs — 4:17 pm January 10, 2013 #

  12. Nucor is such an awesome support for their community in so many ways. I love this. I wish Nucor could challenge other steel mills throughout the US to do the same.

    Comment by Kathi — 5:28 pm January 10, 2013 #

  13. LOL. I love the press this is getting. I mean, seriously? A gun buyback for $100? Cheaper advertising and self-promotion I’ve never seen.

    Comment by Tuesday — 6:10 pm January 10, 2013 #

  14. The one in 1992 offered $50 and got 1200 takers. Anyway, we often point to SPD Blotter. In this case, I was most interested in the Nucor photos. We have asked to take photos there before in conjunction with tours but have been told no photography beyond the front gate; checking on whether this represents a policy shift – TR

    Comment by WSB — 6:14 pm January 10, 2013 #

  15. While I also took the tour I think the primary concerns are not the 19th century furnace, but the controls that make it work. It is great that they are doing this too.
    -
    It is an awesome tour…I did it for a donation once and it is so cool to watch the lightning bolts dance around the furnace, arcing off everything in sight. I wanted to do my mad scientist maniacal laugh. If you get a chance, take it. I love that Seattle still has a manufacturing/industrial heart that beats unlike SF…

    Comment by JayDee — 6:57 pm January 10, 2013 #

  16. I would love to tour the place sometime. Great pictures.

    Comment by Jeff — 9:05 pm January 10, 2013 #

  17. that was supposed to be “the Nucor tour is incredible; highly recommend”

    Comment by Diane — 12:00 am January 11, 2013 #

  18. It’s a shame. Destroying these firearms is wasteful and harmful to the environment.
    .
    A quick check of the internet suggests that metal recyclers are currently paying about $200 per ton for scrap steel. This equals ten cents per pound. A rifle or shotgun weighs between five and ten pounds on average. At least half of that is non-metalic, (either wood or plastic). A handgun is mostly metal and weighs one to three pounds. Assuming the 168 firearms are equally divided between handguns and long guns, the total scrap metal weight would be roughly 756 lbs, (worth $75.60.)
    .
    If these guns were sold at public auction, I would be suprised if they sold for less than an average of $200 per gun. If they were auctioned in lots to gun dealers, I figure at least $50-100 per gun. Assuming that 5% of the guns are unsaleable due to being unsafe or illegally modified, that’s still between $7500 and $30,000 worth of guns that are being turned into rebar.
    .
    Every one of the guns would be sold to a law abiding citizen who has passed a background check. They would be used for recreation, to put food on the table, and to protect homes and families. In many cases, they would go to those who couldn’t afford a new gun.
    ,
    Taking these guns out of circulation will have no effect on crime. More will be manufactured to meet demand. The money raised by selling them would do much more public good than having them destroyed.

    Comment by Chuck Jacobs — 3:53 am January 11, 2013 #

  19. Yea, this whole gun scare and the way we handle it seems so pointless.

    Comment by comment — 11:10 am January 11, 2013 #

  20. I’m surprised nobody has pointed out that ‘no questions asked’ destruction of guns like this is the perfect way to get rid of weapons used in crimes, and get a gift card to boot, leaving no evidence.

    Comment by Aaron — 12:05 pm January 11, 2013 #

  21. Before we all snap our elbows patting ourselves or Nucor on the back, let’s not forget that not only is this not a “buyback” (The guns were never owned by the police to begin with), but even if any of these firearms were used in crimes, they’ll now end up being replaced in the hands of criminals by the more expensive guns they desire, that will now be taken from law abiding gun owners. Many times, these “buyback” programs don’t amount to much more than a disposal mechanism for criminals who’ll then go and victimize someone else to get a more durable weapon.

    Let’s at least think through the logic of these things before applauding.

    Comment by Jack C — 6:00 am January 12, 2013 #

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