Turning illegal guns into jewelry, Syracuse partners with company to benefit local non-profits

Liberty United jewelry made from recycled gun metal and bullet casings.

The finished product is a thing of beauty from world renowned designers but some of the metal in each of the Liberty United rings, necklaces and bracelets comes from illegal guns and bullet casings collected by Syracuse Police.

The City of Syracuse has partnered with entrepreneur Peter Thum's company. The railroad spike inspired jewelry pieces sell for between $85 and $1400. Every bracelet Liberty United crafts also has the serial number of a recycled illegal gun imprinted on it

"We want there to be a connection for the person buying it, not only to the source but also in a way, they've taken ownership of that," said Thum.

Syracuse is one of just three cities working with Liberty United. Newburgh, New York and Philadelphia are the others. 25% of the proceeds from Liberty United's jewelry sales will go to local nonprofits working to prevent or deal with the consequences of gun violence. Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner says police have seized 253 guns in the city so far this year and she appreciates Liberty United's unique approach to making a difference.

"There is a trust factor that when people buy this jewelry they know it is going to go to a gun violence mitigation effort," said Miner.

The jewelry is available on Liberty United's website. One of the rotating cover photos is of a gun from Syracuse that was recycled and used in jewelry. Thum says he believes Liberty United can help make a difference in cities like Syracuse and get people talking about the problem of illegal guns.

"Whether or not they buy something, I hope they look at the gun violence issues in their city and see if they can play a role in reducing them," said Thum.