Oakland Police Gun Buyback Program Turns Guns Into Yard Tools – CBS San Francisco

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by Cesar Lopez-Ramirez

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – Reviving the old call of beating swords into plowshares, Oakland police are using a gun buyback program to turn guns into gardening tools.

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The Guns to Gardens program is OPD’s newest buyout program with a mission to reduce gun violence in the city. At a press conference Thursday, the department said it was partnering with a Colorado-based nonprofit RAWtools turn weapons into tools to build a better community.

“We want these guns. We want to be able to melt down those guns and do something positive with that metal,” Chief LeRonne Armstrong said. “Oakland obviously faced tremendous violence and guns were the real driver of that violence”

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Armstrong hopes the financial compensation for phantom guns or privately made guns will encourage people to turn them in.

Mike Martin, executive director of RAWTools, founded the company with the direct goal of getting guns off the streets due to past events involving gun violence.

“We’ve been turning guns into gardening tools since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting,” Martin said. “The effort here that begins here in Oakland is part of a nationwide effort of other buyouts across the country.”

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Guns to Gardens will take place June 11 at At Thy Word Ministries Church in Oakland.

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