Cleveland melts guns collected during buyback program

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CLEVELAND (AP) – Officials from Cleveland and one of its suburbs say that 200 guns collected during buyback events this summer have been melted down at a Cleveland steel mill.

The guns destroyed on Friday were exchanged for gift cards for gasoline or groceries in August in Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. Officials say the guns were mixed with molten iron to make steel for household products.

The meltdown comes at a time when gun homicides and gun violence are on the rise in Cleveland. The city’s gun homicide rate is up 40 percent this year compared with the same period a year ago and felonious assault shootings are up 33 percent.

Cleveland officials say the city has collected more than 2,900 guns during buyback events in the last nine years.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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