Oak Bay Police melt dozens of guns into metal cube

Set of rare dueling muskets could go to museum

Call it gun-metal art.

On Tuesday morning Oak Bay Police posted before and after photos on social media of a rare task, the melting of 100 firearms.

The guns range in age and style, but are mostly old, hunting style rifles, with a mixture of handguns and other types. The lot of them were taken to a metal recycling shop where they were cut, bent, and made inoperable, said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties.

READ MORE: Oak Bay cat dies after being shot by pellet gun

“A lot of the guns are old and in bad shape [likely inoperable] but we don’t test them,” Bernoties said. “You don’t want to arm an old gun just to test it.”

In Oak Bay, people tend to inherit the guns and a lot haven’t been used for decades, Bernoties said. People don’t want to familiarize themselves with how to store them and deal with them so they just turn them into us.

It’s the first time Oak Bay Police Department has destroyed their cache of firearms since Bernoties started there 2.5 years ago. And it’s a different type of gun cache being disposed of compared to what the former RCMP member saw in Surrey.

“We just collect them until the room hits capacity, then dispose of them,” he said.

READ MORE: Last year 380 dead deer were collected between Oak Bay and Saanich

Some of the guns were pretty aggressive looking and actually, the one that looked the most violent was an air-powered pellet gun, Bernoties said.

“Some of the handguns were also pellet replicas so it shows just how realistic the [air powered] guns look.”

One set of guns that survived today’s metal recycling crusher was a set of replica 1800s dueling muskets that come in a red box.

“It’s an interesting looking set that we’ve been in touch with Royal B.C. Museum about,” Bernoties said. “Any time a gun looks like it might be of historical significance we will contact a museum first to see if there’s any interest in it.”

The police also disposed of a bin of weapons with machetes and tools such as bolt cutters. Most of what was in that bin was confiscated from people during patrol.

The best way to dispose of guns is to call Oak Bay police at 250-592-2424.

While the government has run gun amnesty programs in the past, officers at Oak Bay police are quite pleased to take any guns off the street and dispose of them.

“Please call us first,” Bernoties said. “We prefer to visit and pick it up.”

This avoids any confusion as at least a couple of residents have walked into Oak Bay police station with the firearm in their possession.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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