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The Oakland Police Department sowed the seeds for a safer community — figuratively and literally — this past weekend during a gun buyback event that offered an unusual twist on the theme of taking unwanted weapons off the streets.
But rather than merely melting down weapons as is the usual practice with such events, these firearms will all be repurposed and forged into gardening tools by local blacksmith John Rogers to help beautify the city of Oakland.
Some of the lucky participants in Saturday’s buyback went home with free garden trowels forged from other surrendered firearms.
Participants brought in pistols, shotguns, rifles and even an AK-47 and a “Tommy gun,” OPD said.
Folks who surrendered their gun received a gift card worth between $100 and $300, depending on the firearm. In all, OPD said they handed out over $10,000 in gift cards.
This was the first time in “nearly a decade” that the Oakland Police Department had hosted such an event, they said.