UMass Memorial Health is part of a national effort to take guns off the streets and turn them into objects that create beauty.
The health system’s Goods for Guns program is hosting a gun buy-back event from 9 a.m. to noon on June 11 at City Welding & Fabrication on Ararat Street called “Guns to Gardens,” according to a UMass Memorial press release. Health.
Weapons will be ground up on site and the metal will be donated to a blacksmith class who will turn the metal into gardening tools, according to a UMass Memorial spokesperson.
“By adding a ‘sword to plow’ layer to takeovers, we are able to drive the process of transforming something that harms communities into something that brings communities to life,” Mike Martin, Executive Director of RAWtools – a partner organization of Guns to Gardens, says. “Having artists and communities as part of this process allows us to engage more meaningfully with the trauma of gun violence and the possibility of healing from its damage.”
UMass Memorial Health, along with the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office, will be providing gift cards to everyone who attends the event to redeem their gun.
The amount of gift cards will vary depending on the type of weapon – $25 for a rifle or replica weapon, $50 for a pistol, and $75 for a semi-automatic weapon of any type.
Persons who lay down their guns will not be asked for their name and will not be required to surrender the firearms registration. the weapons must be unloaded and inside a bag.
Although gift cards are not offered for firearms, ammunition and non-functional firearm accessories, they will also be accepted at the program.
Over 20 years, UMass Memorial’s Goods for Guns program has collected more than 3,700 guns alongside local police departments, according to the news release.
“An unsecured weapon in the home is a public health hazard that leads to more frequent homicides, burglaries, fatal domestic violence, accidental shootings and suicides in the home,” said trauma surgeon Dr. Michael Hirsh at the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center. . “Please honor the memory of all of our citizens, young and old, injured by gun violence by bringing your unwanted/unsecured weapons (unloaded please) in a plastic or plain paper bag.”