What would you do with guns and bullet casings used in criminal shootings? Why make hipster jewelry and wear it, of course! Who cares if it was used in a murder?

Via The Daily Beast:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is collaborating with jewelry designer Jessica Mindich to repurpose guns and bullet casings into accessories—the legal kind.

The always-innovative mayor’s new project, The Caliber Collection, features utilitarian-chic bangles and cuffs made from the steel of 250 confiscated guns and brass of shell casings swept from the ground of crime scenes. Each piece has the weapon’s original serial number stamped into the hammered metal that wouldn’t look out of place on the arm of the Alexander Wang-wearing set.

The collection’s beauty is in its cyclicality: the pieces range in price from $150 to $375, and 20 percent of the funds raised support gun-buyback programs—the weapons purchased there, in turn, create more jewelry and more money for future buybacks. The collection has become an instant hit, raising $20,000 for Newark’s gun-buyback program in less than two months. The newly minted fashionista Booker called the line “very hot,” telling WBGO radio on Wednesday that “not only do they look good, they’re becoming very popular.”

Anyone who turns in a gun gets money, amnesty and the gun will then be destroyed and made into the jewelry in the future.

According to the designer:

“I’m taking the whole horrible scene and I’m transforming it and creating this virtuous circle and giving back to get those guns off the street so that scene can’t occur again,” she says. “You wear it as much more than jewelry—you wear it as a symbol of solidarity with the important cause that you’re reducing illegal gun violence in America.”

Read more here…

Newark has made a few buyback efforts over the last few years.  How’s that working for you?

Essex County Freeholder Rufus Johnson was carjacked at gunpoint Saturday evening, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed today.

A second-term freeholder, Johnson was in his Mercedes Benz when he was carjacked around 6 p.m. near the 100 block of Montrose Street, Chief of Detectives Anthony Ambrose said.

The freeholder was not injured and his car has been recovered, Ambrose said.

Keep reading…