How to Dispose of Guns and Ammunition

By Andrea Davis on November 14, 2019

At certain times it may be necessary to dispose of old guns and ammunition. Whether it’s because a gun is broken and too expensive to repair or you have spent cartridges or ammunition you’re not going to use for some reason, it may be tempting to throw those items in your trash. If you get only one important piece of information from this blog post and don’t read any further, please, don’t throw guns or ammunition (even spent) in your trash. It’s not only against the law, it’s very dangerous for you, our associates and the general public. You may have heard that soaking ammo in water prior to throwing it away will make it less of a risk, but there is nothing you can do that will make it completely safe. Guns and ammunition are an explosion hazard in our trucks and in the landfill. Period. So, that’s what you can’t do. Here’s what you can do.

  • Call the police. Your first and best option is to check with your local precinct. They may be able to safely take your firearm and also take ammunition as long as it is not in large quantities. They should be able to give you all the information and walk you through the process of surrendering a firearm.
  • Get cash or credit. Take your gun to a gun buyback event. Often at these events you can trade your firearm for a gift card or store credit. Or visit a resale shop that accepts firearms for cash.
  • Donate. Charities like Support Our Troops, America’s Military Charity, accept donated firearms and ammunition. You could also donate guns to a local gunsmith to use for training purposes.
  • Go to a special collection event. Collection events may be available in your area at certain times of the year. These could be hazardous waste collection events that accept guns and/or ammunition or events put on by local authorities specifically to accept firearms and related ammunition.
  • Turn your gun into a commemorative plaque. If the gun has sentimental value, possibly something that has been handed down to you by a relative, it might be a good option to have it mounted on a plaque to hang on your wall.

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