Woman turns illegal guns into jewelry

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The Pittsburg Police Department is teaming up with a woman who takes illegal guns and turns them into jewelry.

The city of Pittsburg is partnering with a woman who takes illegal guns and turns them into jewelry.

It's hard to see the beauty in a bucket of illegal rifles and even harder to see a way that these illegal weapons could promote peace, but that's where Jewelry For a Cause Founder Jessica Mindich steps in. "I'm so proud to be a part of a comprehensive public safety effort," Mindich said.

The jewelry designer's company melts illegal guns and remolds the metal into bracelets, cuffs and cufflinks.

Pittsburg police sent her 291 weapons from their gun buy-back program last year. "This guy came in with a modified rifle, said he had just taken it from his brother and didn't want his brother to get in trouble, figured it's better that we had it and destroyed it versus his brother using it," Pittsburg Police Department Capt. Michael Perry said.

The serial number from that gun now appears on one of the San Francisco Caliber Collection bracelets.

"We tried to retain authenticity in the design, but at the same time not glorify guns or gun violence," Mindich said.

Mindich launched the Caliber Collection with the Newark Police Department in November of 2012, just weeks before the mass shooting took place at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Shortly after, police departments in Detroit and Hartford started sending her gun metal as well.

As of today, she's helped transform thousands of guns into jewelry. "I never had any idea that it would get this big. I never had an idea of the enormity of the problem either," Mindich said.

A portion of sales helps fund new gun buy-back programs. "Anything we can do to generate more money to continue this program is what we're looking to do," Perry said.

To order from the San Francisco Caliber Collection, click here.

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