gun surrender event sign

Safe Gun Disposal

With over 400 million guns in American homes, many are no longer wanted for a range of reasons: the gun owner may have children or grandchildren in the home; a hunter or other gun owner may have reached an age where they no longer feel that they can safely handle weapons; a gun may have been returned to family by the police after it was used in a suicide or accident; a conflict may arise in a family, or a family member may have a serious mental illness. 

For whatever reason, Guns to Gardens provides a way to dispose of unwanted guns without returning them to the gun marketplace where they could potentially be used for future harm. Over 43,000 Americans die every year from gun violence. Approximately 60% of gun deaths are from suicide, followed by homicide, family violence and accidents. A difficult moment can turn into a tragedy simply because a gun is nearby.

The History of Guns to Gardens

Guns to Gardens Safe Surrender events are offered across the nation marking Wear Orange Day, June 2, for Hadiya Pendleton’s birthday. Hadiya was a high school student from the south side of Chicago who marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s childhood friends decided to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.

Guns to Gardens
Guns to Gardens
Guns to Gardens

Guns to Gardens at FHC

On May 4, 2023, Forest Hill Church held a Gun Collection Day as part of the “Guns to Gardens” movement. In this four-hour event, 30 guns were surrendered to our volunteers and anonymous weapon donors received a gift certificate donated by participating retail establishments. The unwanted guns were dismantled and the leftover parts forged into garden tools. Also, an artistic structure will be created from guns collected at FHC and placed in the garden of our open courtyard entrance to the left of the parking lot.