NASHVILLE, Tenn. - They may be made out of metal and wood, but guns have never belonged in a recycling center.
One was found there Tuesday morning, and authorities have been trying to keep that from happening again.
The rifle that was found at a recycling center on River Hills Drive was taken to Metro Police.
Although badly damaged, it was loaded, and that's a concern for The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire Arms and Explosives.
“Any firearm, be it a rifle a pistol, a revolver, that's disposed of in the general public lends itself to a danger,” said Michael Knight, of the ATF.
Special Agent Knight said there's always a potential for a gun to go off even if it's not loaded, and it could be deadly if a child were to pick it up thinking it was a toy.
That's why it's important for gun owners to get rid of them properly.
One way has been by contacting Metro Police.
“The other way is for an individual that legally own firearms or certain types of firearms parts to go through a firearms licensee and make that proper transfer,” Knight said.
Either way, Knight said it's important that you keep a paper trail of your gun because if it's ever found it will be treated as evidence.
“It may be looking at evidence, collection of finger prints or DNA, as well as conducting a trace on that firearm,” Knight said.
Once that's done the guns have been destroyed.
When these two rifles go through that process they won't be recognizable.
“When they destroy a firearm they make it inoperable, and that will be by a variety of safe methods,” Knigh said.
That's what will likely happen to the rifle that was found at the recycling center.
One thing was made clear, guns don't belong at those centers.
Those at the recycling center said this was the first time they've found a gun.
Metro Police would like to prevent this sort of thing from happening, and that's why they're offering a program where you can bring in a gun in exchange for a gift card. That program has been set to kick off in September.