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Guns collected in Seattle buyback program to be turned into "peace bricks"

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn plans to create meaningful art out of the more than 700 guns turned in during the city's buyback program. (KIRO Radio image)

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn plans to create meaningful art out of the more than 700 guns turned in during the city's buyback program in January.

He unveiled his "Weapons to Words" campaign Tuesday morning.

"It's a program that asks kids in Seattle to come up with a short quotation on the subject on gun violence," said the mayor. "The quotations will be engraved on plaques using steel that has been upcycled from the guns recovered in our guns buyback program."

The bricks will then be placed at Seattle parks. Chihuly Studio will help design the plaques and the city's Office of Arts & Culture will create a panel to select the winning students' entries.

"We were inspired by the idea that we could take these weapons that we recovered, 750 at the first gun buyback, and do something meaningful with them, something symbolic," said McGinn.

The project is privately funded.

"Our city has been through a lot lately. Gun violence has left many in our community wondering what they can do to help," said McGinn.

Entries will be accepted from first through 12th grade students until Sept. 15. Quotes can be submitted to seattle.gov/mayor

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