Longmont Church among community efforts to combat gun violence
LONGMONT, Colo .– The Longmont United Church of Christ is preparing to host an event to help reduce gun violence in Boulder County.
“We see this as an opportunity to create a safer community,” said senior church minister Sarah Verasco.
On Saturday, September 25, his church will host a gun buy-back event, allowing people to return unwanted guns in exchange for a gift card.
“You bring the gun, we cut it into pieces, then we turn it into something else,” Verasco said.
Colorado Springs-based group RAWtools will take the surrendered guns apart and turn them into garden tools.
Photos from a previous event this year by the Community United Church of Christ in Boulder show the final product.
“We started almost nine years ago, a few months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting,” said RAWtools executive director Mike Martin.
His group has turned nearly 1,000 firearms into garden tools across the country in the nine years since its inception.
“Depending on the gun, we can extract multiple tools from it, but to make a tool it takes about an hour, maybe a little more,” Martin said. “It’s taking something that was designed to bring death but is now transformed into something that creates life.”
Interest in Saturday’s event is already growing.
“One is a Vietnamese vet and he would like to get rid of a few guns, and this is part of his recovery from PTSD,” said Dede Alspaugh, UCC Longmont member.
Earlier this year, the church donated 137 gun safes and 55 automatic locking boxes at a security event. Verasco hopes their efforts, along with those of other Boulder County churches, will start a conversation.
“We want to support gun ownership, and we’re just asking people to look at their safety practices and try to use, you know, the current ways of keeping guns safer,” he said. she declared.
The Firearms Redemption portion of the UCC Longmont event begins at 10 a.m. and a demonstration by RAWtools of the weapons turned into tools begins at 2 p.m.