CHICAGO — What do you do with hundreds of illegal guns and bullets recovered from bad guys? Instead of melting them down into nothing, the Cook County Sheriff's Office is partnering with an anti-violence organization to turn them into jewelry.
In a statement Thursday, Sheriff Tom Dart's office said his office would no longer destroy weapons after they're used for investigative or legal purposes. Instead, they'll send them to Liberty United, a New York-based organization that turns guns and bullets into jewelry, with proceeds benefiting anti-violence organizations across the country.
“Our gun violence epidemic is destroying communities and setting back an entire generation of young Chicagoans,” Dart said in a statement. “With this partnership, we’re taking guns that would otherwise be incinerated and turning them into something beautiful, while benefiting a local organization working on the front lines to stop the bloodshed.”
The first organization to benefit from jewelry made from illegal Cook County guns is Children’s Home + Aid, a Chicago nonprofit that works with at-risk youth in Englewood.
Before the guns are shipped off to Liberty, they'll be "broken apart, rendered inoperable," Dart's office said.
Dart's office said they've recovered 112 guns in Chicago during a six-week operation, which doesn't count the thousands of guns Chicago Police take off the streets each year.
“Liberty United’s mission is to stop gun violence in the U.S. by turning guns into funding for programs to stop gun violence, actually transforming illegal guns and into wearable art that raises awareness, action and funding for this purpose,” said Liberty United's founder Peter Thum in a statement. “We are excited about this new partnership with Sheriff Dart, who has demonstrated a lasting commitment to the people and organizations working with his office to make Chicago and its surrounding communities a safer place to live.”
Check out the jewelry line here.
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