Suffolk Police have started chopping up the largest arsenal of illegal firearms ever discovered in the UK, found at the home of Wyverstone parish chairman James Arnold.
The 49-year-old had amassed a staggering collection of weaponry with a total of 463 illegal firearms found at his home in April 2014.
The haul included machine guns, rifles, handguns and even an anti-tank rocket launcher.
Police had also unearthed around 200,000 rounds of live ammunition, weighing more than a tonne.
Arnold died of cancer in prison awaiting his trial.
On Wednesday, Suffolk Police began the task of destroying the weapons, using a special machine with powered jaws to cut the guns into pieces.
Exhibits officer Trevor Dale said: “All the hard work has been done, sorting and cataloguing; it is now just a case of bringing the weapons here and chopping them up.
“We usually break up a couple of hundred guns a month but to have one haul of 463 in one instance has never been heard of.”
Mr Dale said the chopped-up guns would next go to Sackers Recycling where they would be broken down further. “They’ll be broken into much smaller pieces,” he said. “We will go down and witness that destruction just to make sure.”
Steve Mattin, Suffolk Constabulary’s senior investigating officer on the case, said: “Initially the haul was unbelievable in terms of size and scale. This destruction is to ensure none of these weapons get their way into the public domain.”
Firearms examiner Ernie Cole said the destruction of the weapons would take three or four days. “It will be a busy week,” he said.