WORCESTER, Mass. (Meredith) -- One gun buyback location in Massachusetts puts a unique spin on the annual program this year.
Now in its 18th year in the city of Worcester, this is not like previous gun buybacks, but a space for creation at City Welding.
“We've got disabled gun parts here,” welder Ben Kelly said. “And I'm not too sure what I'm making yet. Thinking about it. It's coming along. Slowly, but it's coming.”
These students come from Assabet Valley Tech’s metal fabrication program. Here, they are fabricating something new.
Unused guns come in from residents like John McPherson who then receive grocery gift cards from 25 to 75 dollars.
“Particularly families with children, they may have a gun lying around, and they don't know whether it's loaded or not,” McPherson said.
The weapons get crushed, cut up, and then, in partnership with Guns 2 Gardens Massachusetts, they’re used to create something new.
“Something better can come of this than sitting in my closet and potentially harming someone,” said John Hayden.
The guns are transformed into gardening tools.
“Gives it a second life, makes it into a garden tool or like a little sculpture for art and stuff, so it gives it another purpose instead of just sitting around doing nothing,” Dustin Hart said.
While there certainly remain an untold number of guns on the streets, many in the hands of criminals, these guns will never be.
Worcester’s police chief Steve Sargent came by to see the operation at work.
“Not only do we get guns off the street which we know is a real problem,” he said. “To see the results and to see these young people stepping up and doing this is just really great for our community.”
“It can do good in a second life. Made in America twice,” Hayden said.