RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBS13/AP) — More than 3,500 guns seized in Los Angeles County have been melted and converted into rebar for highway and bridge construction.

The county Sheriff’s Department held its 25th annual gun destruction event this week at the Gerdau steel mill in Rancho Cucamonga.

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“Each illegal weapon removed from our streets significantly influences the community and citizens we serve,” said Chief Eric Parra in a statement.

Handguns, rifles and automatic weapons collected in criminal investigations and probation seizures, as well as guns turned in by citizens were melted at 3,000 degrees in the mill, which recycles scrap metal.

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LA county authorities say they have destroyed about 170,000 over the past quarter-century at the steel mill.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

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