Can turning illegal weapons into high art stop gun violence?

Liberty United
© Liberty United

Liberty United is a company that recycles and transforms illegal guns and bullets into beautiful jewelry, reducing the number of weapons on the street and generating proceeds to help gun violence victims.

A company called Liberty United, created by the founder of Ethos water, is on a mission to reduce gun violence in the United States. Its method is highly unconventional. Illegal weapons and bullets are collected from partner communities, checked and catalogued by law enforcement authorities, and released for recycling. Liberty United’s designers then transform and reforge the weapons into beautiful pieces of jewelry, thus reducing the number of weapons on the street and rendering them unable to cause any further harm.

Each piece of jewelry bears the serial number of the original weapon or is made of reworked metal bullets – a stark reminder of what its purpose once was. A large percentage of profits from sales go back into the communities from which the weapons were collected in order to create safer opportunities for young people and to help families with victims of gun violence.

In a video describing the work that Liberty United does, renowned jewelry design Philip Crangi urges Americans to remember the unity that was both required and created by the construction of the first transcontinental railway across the U.S. in 1869. He invokes the historic act of driving the golden spike as an important symbol of the American spirit, which can also be channeled to combat the unnecessary and rampant gun violence that currently plagues the nation:

“Politically, I think, we all see each other as on opposite ends, and it’s really easy to define ourselves by who we’re not, but ultimately you know we are all in this together. The railway spike is a really important symbol of that idea. To do this kind of project is amazing. This represents a gun that’s no longer on the street killing somebody.”

Crangi’s line of railway spike designs is called Giles & Brother and features rings, cuffs, and necklaces made of bullets and gunmetal, sometimes mixed with gold.

Philip Crangi cuff© Liberty United

Designer Pamela Love also creates modern, almost gothic-looking pieces from her home in New York City, using ethically sourced semi-precious stones and exclusively recycled metals.

Pamela Love cuff© Liberty United

All Liberty United pieces are made by hand in the United States, and you can order them online. Perhaps it could make an interesting Christmas gift with a powerful message?

Liberty United from Liberty United on Vimeo.

Related Content on