The weapons destroyed include weapons handed in by the public at large during the past eighteen months across the country but also guns that belonged to police officers. Some people want to get rid of old weapons, while other guns are no longer working properly. Some of the guns were no longer needed by hunters and sports people.
In order to take all the weapons to the steel giant’s plant in the Port of Ghent, police services staged a three-day secret operation.
“Twenty officers guarded the weapons and accompanied the transports. They also guarded the weapons when they had arrived at ArcelorMittal” explains Alexander De Baets of the federal police.
Carina Van Cauter, the Governor of East Flanders Province, believes it’s a good thing the weapons are no longer circulating in society: “In this way the guns can’t end up in the wrong hands”.
The police are eager to see more people handing in firearms.
“Hand in weapons you are no longer using or that you can’t handle. This also goes for weapons that come from the black market. Take them to the local police. An officer has been appointed to deal with cases like that” says the governor.
The weapons being melted down now represent sixty tons of steel. The steel will now be recycled and used for other ends. “We contributing to the circular economy!” says Carina Van Cauter.