This Company Melts Old Guns, Turns Them Into Jewelry & Donates The Proceeds
Way better than selling old weapons for scrap. 👏
* * *
Most of the time, when the cops take guns off the streets, they melt them down and sell the metal for scrap. Sometimes they even throw them in the ocean to create artificial reefs for marine life.
Liberty United had another idea. The company, which is based in New York, transforms old firearms into jewelry, and then donates the money to programs devoted to reducing gun violence in America.
The group was founded after the 2012 Newtown tragedy by social entrepreneur Peter Thum and his wife, Cara Buono, the Hollywood actress. (Buono plays Karen Wheeler, Nancy and Mike’s mom, on Stranger Things. You may remember her steamy scene with Billy Hargrove in Season 2. Yowza!)
But Liberty United is more than a jewelry company. It’s a stylishly-executed PR campaign designed to raise awareness about America’s gun problem.
Here’s how it works: Law enforcement agencies in places like New York, Philadelphia and Cook County, Illinois donate old firearms to Liberty United. The guns are usually from buyback programs—where the police buy people’s weapons to reduce the number of firearms in a community—or from criminal trials (if the police confiscate a gun from someone who broke the law, they have no use for it after that person’s been prosecuted).
— Liberty United (@LibertyUTD) November 14, 2017
Next, the firearms get liquefied, and the metal is given to designers and jewelry makers who create necklaces, rings, cufflinks and other accessories. Liberty United sells their output for between $35 – $4,000, and gives the proceeds to various organizations who work to protect kids from gun violence.
Above, the newest Cross and Liberty United pen.
Most of the company’s products are on the pricier side. That was Thum and Buono’s goal: “We wanted to make things that got attention,” Thum told WNYC last year. “Attention from people who are powerful, who, with the stroke of a pen, can change something significantly.”
In other words, a more meaningful goal then selling scrap metal.