KTVI - Fox 2 St. Louis visits GunBustersUSA to learn about their firearms destruction process
POSTED 11:19 PM, OCTOBER 10, 2016, BY JASMINE HUDA
(KTVI) Guns from cities across the United States are ending up in the St. Louis area. And while it might sound unusual, police are pleased.
“The departments want to get rid of them,” Scott Reed, Vice-President of Gunbusters said.
GunBusters is exactly what the name implies. Pulverization. Destruction.
“[We] take the full guns, operate them through our machine, and then you get them fully destroyed. You pulverize the entire gun,” Reed said.
It takes about eight to 10 seconds to pulverize a handgun, Reed said, and up to 30 seconds for a rifle.
The St. Louis-based business destroys approximately 2,000 guns a year. Reed said the company services about 20 different agencies in the metropolitan area.
“The reason we use them is the documentation piece,” Chesterfield Captain Steven Lewis said.
“The ability to say with 100% assurance, this is the weapon that was taken here, this is the weapon that was taken into this machine. And this is the weapon that was destroyed.”
Lewis said guns are destroyed for a variety of reasons. In some cases, a court order has allowed for the destruction of a gun used in the commission of a crime. In other instances, citizens turn over guns out of safety concerns. The department has also received guns that, sadly, were used in suicides.
“There are a lot of reasons why people would not want guns to be in their household,” Lewis said.
Documentation sets Gunbusters apart from other businesses that destroy weapons. Each gun is destroyed individually, with video documentation as evidence.
“We record the serial number of the firearm. We record the case number that the agency provides. We record the agency it came from, and the full time and date of destruction,” Reed said. “So, if they give us 100 guns, they get back a DVD that has 100 videos on it – of each gun being destroyed.”
The scraps are recycled and sold, allowing the company to stay in business, Reed said.
GunBusters also handles other items, including hard drives and knives. GunBusters does not accept guns or other weapons from private citizens. Citizens are encouraged to turn over any unclaimed or unwanted weapons to their local police department. That department, in turn, can transfer the item to GunBusters.
KTVI - Fox 2 St. Louis & St. Louis City Sheriff Vernon Betts witness GunBustersUSA destroying their 10,000th firearm
POSTED 8:36 PM, MAY 18, 2017, BY PATRICK CLARK, UPDATED AT 07:36PM, MAY 18, 2017
CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) – Meticulous destruction might be the best way to describe the work being done at Gunbusters.
“These are guns that are used in a crime or taken from somebody by the police department,” said City of St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts. “We store those guns for evidence if they have to go to trial. And then after so many years, we then go to the (St. Louis) Circuit Attorney's Office and they make sure those guns are no longer needed for evidence for any kind of crime. Then we have the guns available to be destroyed.”
The Chesterfield based business on Thursday morning shredded their 10,000th gun, this one turned over by the St. Louis City Sheriff's Department.
Firing up the Gunbusters Firearms Pulverizer, the machine can turn a gun into decimated pieces of steel and plastic in just seven seconds. A 6,000 pound machine, enough to crush a car, provides the meticulous destruction for things that once cause random chaos.
“We take in their firearms, destroying them individually and recording the serial number of the firearm, the case or evidence of the firearm, and the time and date,” said Scott Reed, Vice President Gunbusters. “So they have 100 percent proof that what is asked to be destroyed is destroyed.”
A recent shipment of guns from Phelps County, Missouri will be marked, photographed, videotaped, and a copy of the entire process sent to the corresponding law enforcement agency. The pieces of pulverized firearms will be recycled for scrap.