Gun buyback program that turns weapons to garden tools set to take place Saturday

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WORCESTER — This weekend, gun owners will have the opportunity to exchange their guns for gift cards.

It’s all part of UMass Memorial’s Goods for Guns program, which takes place this Saturday, June 11, from 9 a.m. until noon at City Welding & Fabrication, located at 10 Ararat Street.

With no questions asked, gun owners can return a replica weapon for a $25 gift card, a pistol for a $50 gift card and any kind of semiautomatic weapon for $75. City Welding will then crush the metal and donate it to a blacksmithing class, which will turn it into gardening tools.

“By adding a ‘sword to plowshare’ layer to buybacks, we are able to bring the process of transforming something that harms communities into something that brings life to communities,” said Mike Martin, the executive director of RAWtools, an organization that partners with Guns to Gardens, a nationwide gun buyback program. “Having artists and communities as a part of this process allows us to more meaningfully engage in the trauma of gun violence and the opportunity to heal from its harm.”

The Saturday event in Worcester is part of Guns to Gardens’ first annual “National Buyback Day,” which is taking place throughout the country. Since the May 24 elementary school shooting at Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, there have been 650-gun killings in 43 of the 50 U.S. states, resulting in 730 deaths.

For more information on the Guns to Gardens program please visit their website here.

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