Steel Mills

ArcelorMittal Cleveland Melts Guns in Police Buyback

Written by Sandy Williams

ArcelorMittal is helping to keep Cleveland neighborhoods safe by melting down unwanted guns. The steelmaker provided funding, and a hot furnace, to the Cleveland Police Foundation’s 11th Annual City of Cleveland Gun Buyback event Oct. 21.

Citizens received $100 gift cards from True-North-Shell, Target, and Dave’s Supermarket in exchange for turning in their unwanted guns. The Cleveland Police Department 3rd District Headquarters collected revolvers, rifles and other firearms, including 72 handguns and 25 rifles and shotguns. Among the weapons were an assault rifle and several sawed-off shotguns and semi-automatic rifles. Also collected were 18 “very real looking” replica, BB and pellet guns that were nearly indistinguishable from the real items.

This year’s haul will be added to the 168 firearms received during last year’s buyback. CPD will inspect and catalog the guns prior to being melted at ArcelorMittal Cleveland.

Once the firearms are processed, a joint press conference will be scheduled by the City of Cleveland, ArcelorMittal and Cleveland Police Foundation to witness the actual melting.

The firearms are thrown whole into the 3,000 degree melt pot at ArcelorMittal to become future appliances, vehicles, and other products. The stocks and other non-metal parts vaporize and have no impact on the quality of the steel being produced.

“ArcelorMittal has been a longtime supporter of the Cleveland Gun Buyback program,” said ArcelorMittal Vice President and General Manager Mike Madar. “It aligns with the culture of health and safety we have within our facility, and we are pleased to partner with the community to promote safety in our neighborhoods. I know this program has the potential to save lives. We will melt down the weapons collected in the Gun Buyback and recycle them into new steel, transforming them into consumer goods that improve the quality of all our lives.”

CPD Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said the program encourages the public to turn in unwanted guns to keep them out of the hands of other people and, especially, children. “A lot of times when people own a weapon or they inherit a weapon and they don’t want it, they may not store it correctly,” she said. “And every year kids come into contact with loaded weapons and they hurt themselves or they hurt other kids.”

“We know that as a result of this program someone’s life will be saved, and we are encouraged that the police and community are working together to get these guns off the street,” said Calvin Williams, Chief of Police. Since the program’s inception in 2007, 3,174 guns were removed from Cleveland’s neighborhoods.

One Cleveland resident commented after turning in a gun, “I can breathe easier knowing it is out of my house and unavailable for my grandchildren or anyone else to get to it.”

Cleveland Police Foundation Community Outreach Coordinator Bob Guttu agreed. “I have a feeling there are quite a few people breathing easier after this event.”

“Once again, ArcelorMittal has demonstrated that it is an outstanding corporate citizen and community partner who is committed to making our neighborhoods safer,” said Charles Lane, Executive Director of the Cleveland Police Foundation.

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