MSP changing disposal method for firearms


LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State Police (MSP) has announced that it will be changing the disposal methods utilized for firearms. The MSP disposed of 11,582 surrendered firearms in 2023, and subsequently is making the switch to ensure that they will be destroyed entirely, moving forward.

The decision has been in discussion since December. The Very Reverend Chris Yaw is one of the leaders in pushing for the change, following his and his church’s experience with the previous system during a buyback program.

“Eight departments and us partnered together to do these buybacks. We gave away $5000 of gift cards in 20 minutes. The line was 2 miles long outside our church.” Reverend Yaw explained.

“This is not a red or blue issue. This is not a gun rights issue. The vast majority of gun owners in this country know how to handle a gun. We’re talking about that percentage of weapons that people don’t want.” 

He explained that, statistically, the presence of a firearm in the home increases women’s risk of harming themselves by 37%, and males’ risk increases by 8%.  

Reverend Yaw stated that the program itself was a success, however a few months later found himself excited about approaching his local department about hosting another event however found that they had been overwhelmed by the number of surrenders and were experiencing challenges in having them all processed.

“You’ve got line chain of custody, so an officer gets it, again they’ve got 12,000 guns, they have to physically see each gun destroyed. That’s gonna take a lot of time.” Reverend Yaw said. “It was very clear that getting unwanted guns disposed of is very difficult in our present system.”

Historically, the Michigan State Police contracted the disposal of firearms to a company called Gunbusters. The company provides destruction services to law enforcement agencies, free of charge. In However, in January, the MSP halted the destruction of firearms after discovering Gunbusters disposal service only destroys the firearm at the level of the federal minimum: the receiver, the casing that has the serial number. This is, in these times, a part that can be reproduced or 3D printed.

Gunbusters, it was further discovered, then recycled the leftover internal portions of the firearm by selling them, in some cases for over $2,000 per kit. It was thought that this opens up the potential for the kits to be repurposed and used to make unregistered homemade firearms or ghost gun kits.

The Michigan State Police, in a statement this month, said that this month they will commence utilizing a scrap metal processing facility in Jackson for the complete disposal of firearms. The pulverized metal will then be melted down and recycled into flat-roll steel coils.  

— with files from


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