ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators destroyed more than 350 firearms this month, as they clean out their evidence lockers. Wednesday they destroyed about 150 stolen pistols that were seized during arrests or investigations.
Usually once a year Sheriff's Investigators destroy the firearms that have been seized through the courts, or by all law enforcement in Dougherty County. They have been concerned about the number of stolen guns on Albany streets, and know these weapons will never be used by criminals again.
Sparks fly as a cutting torch turns a pistol into a burning piece of metal. More than 150 small handguns, called Saturday night specials, seized by law enforcement are destroyed.
Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigator Captain Craig Dodd says "that will kill you. That is your basic R.G. piece of junk, but it will still shoot."
Dodd said "L-lincoln, 6-4-2."
The serial numbers are checked and cataloged, then Lt. Eric Miller uses the cutting torch to make sure it will never shoot again.
Miller said "All I do is cut the barrel and the receiver where it can't be used."
Dodd said "Cutting through the firing mechanism, the barrel, everythings destroyed. Some of the guns, literally because they are magnesium, the frames, they literally just melt. Those are definitely Saturday night specials."
Cutting the guns with the torch is just the start in the destruction.
Dodd said "Then we crush them. Then we turn them over to a metal company that guarantees they'll be shipped out immediately."
Law enforcement say Albany thieves are targeting guns, ending up in the hands of criminals.
All these guns have been ordered destroyed by the courts, and Deputies are glad they will never threaten anyone again.
Dodd said "It's a good feeling knowing you will never have to see these guns again. But there is always those other ones."
Stolen guns that will never hurt or victimize anyone again.
One of the first guns that Captain Dodd destroyed was one used to fire on Deputies. He said that was a sweet feeling to destroy that gun.
Sheriff's Investigators say people need to protect their guns from thieves with safes and locks. Also make a record of the serial number, make and caliber, and take a picture of it. So if it is stolen, and Police recover it, you will be able to get your gun back.