Thirty-one guns handed in at Concord event get chopped up 


Monitor staff 

Published: 06-14-2023 5:45 PM

Volunteers used a chop saw to dismantle 31 firearms that were turned in at a Guns to Gardens event in Concord Saturday.

Organized by GunSense NH and Granite State Progress, the event allowed community members to donate guns to be reforged into garden tools. 

Attendees drove to the event with unloaded firearms in the trunks of their cars and trained volunteers turned the weapons into scrap metal. 

The event met a long-unaddressed need in New Hampshire, said Zandra Rice Hawkins, director of GunSense NH.

“Some community members had been looking for an opportunity to do something with their unwanted firearms but did not want them to go back out on the market,” she said. “They have been looking for an opportunity just like this.” 

Nancy Brown, who coordinated the event, said she tried to make the event as comfortable as possible for attendees. There were “hospitality volunteers” handing out beverages and cookies and “trained listeners” available to those who needed support.  

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Not everyone supported the Guns to Gardens mission. Hawkins said a small group of detractors stood outside the event and offered to purchase the guns before attendees donated them, but had no takers. Some were members of the New Hampshire gun lobby, including a member of the Three Percenters.  

“We kind of expected that,” said Hawkins. “But on the whole the event was beautiful, and it’s interesting that some folks who are part of the gun lobby are so averse to any kind of common sense gun violence prevention efforts that they would want to interfere if somebody is trying to remove an unwanted firearm from their home.” 

Hawkins and Brown plan to organize another Guns to Gardens event next year. For now, they are focused on transferring the scrap metal collected Saturday to a metal artist who will reforge it into garden tools.