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Santa Fe Event Turns Guns Into Gardening Tools

Santa Fe artist Don Redman hammers parts of an old gun to turn it into parts for a gardening shovel.
Kevin Meerschaert
Santa Fe artist Don Redman hammers parts of an old gun to turn it into parts for a gardening shovel.

After a successful gun buyback event on Saturday in Santa Fe some of the weapons taken off the streets were turned into gardening tools on Sunday.

About 50 people gathered on the steps of Santa Fe’s First Presbyterian Church Sunday morning to help turn weapons into tools.

Local artist Don Redman brought along his hammers, anvils and kiln to turn gun parts into spades for gardening.

The metal is melted and pounded into the metal spade while the wood from rifles is used for the handles.

The gun buyback on Saturday at Fiesta Nissan gathered 166 weapons ranging from small handguns to AR and AK style rifles.

In return the gun owners received gift cards ranging from $100 to $250 depending on the style of weapon.

Most of the costs of the gift cards were picked up by the owners of Fiesta Nissan.

Santa Fe Deputy Police Chief Ben Valdez says they have received both positive and negative comments about the buyback, but it does get unwanted weapons off the streets.

“A lot of responsible gun owners are our best advocates because they in turn share that (their guns) should be in a safe or have them secured because a lot of people think the only way to have them secured is with a gun lock and (they don’t believe) that’s very accessible but there’s a lot of solutions (to keep guns safe.) and still be able to get them if needed for protection.”      

The Guns to Gardens event at First Presebyterian Church was sponsored by New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence.

The group’s co-president Miranda Viscoli says the buyback was a success thanks to the strong support of the city of Santa Fe and the police department.

“The city has been so supportive of all the gun buybacks,” she said. “Thanks to the laws passed decades ago in New Mexico there is very little a city council can do, this is one of the few things a city council can get behind.      

It was the fifteenth buyback hosted by New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence and the fifth with the help of the Santa Fe Police Department.

All the guns were checked to see if they had been reported stolen.