RIO DE JANEIRO – The Brazilian army invited the media on Wednesday to observe the destruction of 8,549 firearms seized from criminals, handed in voluntarily, or retired from police arsenals.
The weapons that went under the steamroller “were no longer needed as evidence in trials,” Gen. Fernando Soares told reporters in Rio de Janeiro.
“There are all kinds of guns, from a World War II machine-gun to small pistols,” he said.
After the guns were destroyed the scraps were collected to be taken to a foundry and melted down for eventual use by the steel industry, the general said.
Lt. Col. Carlos Regis Carneiro Borge said that the army destroys around 100 guns a day on average, adding that the military expects to scrap some 17,000 police weapons in the course of this year.
“This destruction amounts to nothing, but if these guns were in the hands of criminals we would all be in danger,” Soares said.