What do law-enforcement agencies do with the many illegal guns they confiscate during their police work or acquire through buybacks? Sometimes, firearms can pile up and take up valuable space -- and often departments destroy them.
Thanks to a Chesterfield-based company, the actual process of destroying these guns just got a whole lot easier.
Meet the "GUNBUSTERS™ Firearms Pulverizer," a machine which does exactly what its name suggests: pulverizes guns.
Here's how it works via GunBusters:
"We've had more and more departments that have asked us to help them come up with a way to dispose of firearms," retired police lieutenant Ray Reynolds tells Daily RFT. "I was trying to figure out how to come up with a simple system to do it."
Reynolds, who served in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for 24 years and who also runs PoliceTrades.com, is the brains behind the pulverizer, which was officially unveiled yesterday.
He says it's the first product of its kind and could become very popular locally and across the country.
Some agencies currently destroy guns by cutting them with a saw, torching them, hitting them with sledge hammers or even dumping them in the ocean.
"Those are inherently dangerous," he says.
The machine is similar to the technology used on cars at scrap yards, but those often don't work well on smaller guns, he says.
Reynolds explains that the product (approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) also has a tracking device that records the serial number of the firearm and time of its destruction. As a news release says:
The Patent Pending GUNBUSTERS™ Firearms Pulverizer system enables law enforcement agencies to destroy confiscated and surrendered firearms within the safe confines of the agency. It is the first commercial pulverizer specifically made to destroy firearms. The ATF approved GUNBUSTERS' pulverization system, includes an optical capture camera system with two high-resolution cameras that records the serial number and the pulverizing of each firearm. The video program simultaneously time-stamps the images to show the date and time of the destruction, while displaying the operator's and witnesses' names, and other agency information. The system may also be utilized to destroy knives, computer hard drives and license plates.
The machine weighs about 7,200 pounds:
"It's designed to be a safe and very simple and very secure solution," he says.
Agencies can buy them and the company is currently hosting demonstrations in Chesterfield for interested law enforcement officials.
He points out there are states which have laws actually banning the destruction of guns (North Carolina's "save the gun" legislation recently got a lot of attention).
The high-profile Missouri gun bill up for debate today at the capitol incidentally would change the policy around gun destruction here (essentially requiring that police first attempt to sell or trade firearms to license dealers before destroying them).
Clarence Harmon, former mayor and police chief of St. Louis, and now a spokesman for GunBusters, adds to Daily RFT: "It's revolutionary what it does and the way it does it."
"It's astonishing," he says of the challenge police forces face with their supplies of confiscated guns. "What it amounts to is an increasing storage concern and security concern."
"Among the law enforcement community," he continues, "we've got some good responses. We've talked to a number of police chiefs. They are enthusiastic about it."
From gunbustersusa.com, here are some examples of the destroyed guns, followed by more videos.
Continue for more photos and gun destruction videos.
Pulverized S&W Revolver