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Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been outspoken in his support for gun control. Now he’s trying to raise money for a Newark gun buyback by helping promote a bracelet line made from the city’s melted guns and bullet casings.
The new collection from Jessica Mindich’s Connecticut-based for-profit company Jewelry for a Cause was prompted by lack of funding for Newark’s Gun Buyback Amnesty program, last held in 2011. Booker decided that recycling the city’s weapons into a “powerful symbol of renewal” would raise awareness about gun control and buyback programs.
The Newark Police Department collected 250 guns and bullet casings from crime scenes and from anonymous city residents, and Sims Metal Management in Jersey City processed the weapons.
The jewelry line actually went on sale in late November just before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting intensified the debate on gun control. Booker wrote a blog entry for the Huffington Post in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, where he outlined his ideas for gun reform, including universal background checks that involve mental health assessments and more efficient anti-trafficking laws. However, Senator Lautenberg has criticized Booker for taking a relatively moderate stance on gun control considering Newark’s high gun crime rate.
The bracelets are made of brass or steel, and are engraved with “Newark” on one side and the former weapon’s serial number on the other. Prices range from $150 to $375, and the most expensive cuffs and bangles feature an .11-carat diamond embedded next to the serial number.
A portion of the profits will help fund future gun buybacks in Newark. The collection has raised $20,000 since it debuted. You can buy the pieces online at calibercollection.com.
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