Guns made into jewelry in Newark

January 18, 2013 3:08:12 PM PST
Over the summer, the Newark Police Department called for a meeting between federal and local law enforcement leaders to fashion an all-out blitz against a surge in gun violence.

Within days, the raids produced a cache of weapons.

Gun violence cases dropped and now many guns and bullets from that effort are being turned into bracelets of peace.

Each bracelet was once a gun used on the streets of Newark to commit a crime.

"We're taking something that's causing so much destruction in the city and creating something people are going to wear around them that is the total opposite of it," said Samuel DeMaio, Newark Police Director.

Call it bullets to bling, a fashionable approach to gun control. The idea came from Newark Mayor Cory Booker and jewelry designer Jessica Mindich.

The Newark Police Department handed over hundreds of guns confiscated during arrests last year. The guns were then shredded and melted and transformed to create what's being called the caliber collection.

Mayor Booker had a direct hand in designing the bracelets.

"He was very specific. He didn't want to see any angry imagery. He didn't want gun imagery. He didn't want aggressive image coming out of it," Mindich said.

Each bracelet is shaped like a trigger cage of a gun. The name "Newark" is stamped inside and along the outer edges is the actual serial number of the gun from which it was made, appears four times.

"Gun violence is a really big problem and it's a really powerful message and they serve as a reminder of what we're trying to do," Mindich said.

20% of proceeds from the sale of the bracelets go directly to the Newark Police Department for its gun buyback program.

After just six weeks of sales, the department got a check for $20,000.

"We want to give people who will never walk the streets of Newark or tie to gun violence a way to contribute to a cause that's affecting so many people's lives," Mindich said.

The first gun buyback program from the money raised will take place February 15 and 16.

The bracelets range from $150 to $350.

For more information on the bracelets please visit:

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