Swedish NGO Converting Illegal Guns in U.S. into World's Most Valuable Metal
Oct. 16 U.S. launch of Humanium Metal with destruction of firearms in Falmouth, Maine.
(EMBARGOED UNTIL FRIDAY A.M., 10/15/21)
PORTLAND, MAINE – October 12, 2021 – The U.S. launch of an innovative, gun-violence disruptor is scheduled for Saturday, October 16, as a suburban Portland, Maine police department destroys illegal and turned-in firearms that will eventually become high-end brands and products designed to increase awareness and promote peace.
Humanium Metal, part of 83-year-old NGO IM Swedish Development Partner, is coordinating with the Falmouth Police Department to combat the global scourge of firearm violence and foster peaceful and inclusive societies. The weapons will be melted down, converted to Humanium Metal, and in partnership with high-profile brands, transformed into peaceful products. All profits from the sale of the raw material, Humanium Metal, will be donated to the Maine Gun Safety Coalition (MGSC) to further its advocacy, education and outreach efforts.
Humanium Metal is considered the world’s most valuable metal because every ounce of it represents a gun that can no longer be potentially used to kill another human being.
2020 U.S.’s DEADLIEST YEAR IN DECADES
2020 was the deadliest year in the U.S. for gun violence in decades – with nearly 44,000 deaths (24,000 by suicide) as well as 40,000 shot and injured, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The sobering data underscores the urgency for Humanium Metal, founded in 2016, to replicate this model across the nation – especially considering firearms outnumber people in the U.S.
Over the next 12 months, the organization aims to partner in at least five major cities with local law enforcement, gun-safety advocacy groups and others seeking creative ways to address gun-related violence. Officials with municipalities and local police stations around the country interested in a similar program are encouraged to contact Humanium Metal.
“Humanium Metal is an example of ‘disarmament that saves lives,’” says Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. “It is my sincere hope that the Humanium Metal initiative will inspire millions of people – youth, consumers, businesses, authorities – to seek innovative, sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, particularly armed conflicts and violence.”
MEDIA INVITED; LIVE VIDEO FEED OF FIREARMS BEING DESTROYED
Media are welcome to attend and anyone can watch live via a link provided here. The illegal and voluntarily turned-in weapons will be destroyed at the Falmouth Police station parking lot on Saturday between 2 and 4 p.m. Key officials will make speeches before the firearms are destroyed. Thereafter, the firearms will be taken to a smelting facility and melted into raw material. That metal will then be mixed with various alloys to create a high-end stainless-steel (trademarked as Humanium Metal).
“Peace does not come through prayer, we human beings must create peace,” commented His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. “Also, power of the truth is more powerful and enduring than the power of a gun. Therefore, Humanium Metal is a laudable effort at making this world more peaceful through concrete human action.”
Formed in 1938, IM created Humanium Metal in a partnership with Johan Pihl and Peter Brune in 2016. IM has used this destructive-to-creative virtuous model to help eliminate 12,000 firearms in El Salvador and Zambia. The Humanium Metal created and sold has raised $1.2 million. After all related expenses, 70% is donated to local groups dedicated to preventing gun-violence and supporting survivors. Humanium Metal’s circular business model has been endorsed by the United Nations and other global organizations, leaders and celebrities.
“Our model is proven, brings people together, removes guns from the streets and elevates awareness about a real crisis facing millions,” says IM Secretary General Martin Nihlgård. “Making a meaningful impact in the U.S. is a crucial part of our global ambitions.”
“Every unwanted gun that we permanently remove from circulation is a win,” says Falmouth Police Chief John Kilbride. “That’s one less tragedy for a person, family and community. I hope my fellow U.S. police chiefs work with Humanium Metal to help their communities in this special way.”
In Maine, between 2010 and 2019, there was a 50% increase in gun suicides (compared to 13% nationally) and a 45% rise in gun-related deaths (compared to 17% nationally).
MGSC Executive Director Geoff Bickford says the funds Humanium Metal donates will support his organization’s efforts to advocate for stronger gun safety laws in Maine, to provide free gun locks, and to train pediatricians on educating families about gun-safety measures in the home.
“It’s utterly heart-breaking, every time,” says Bickford. “It doesn’t get any easier between your 10th and your 20th school shooting, random act of violence or suicide by firearm.”
To date, Humanium Metal has worked with 10 organizations and companies to produce a variety of high-profile, commercial products with a global reach and impact. In addition, the organization has forged alliances with over 100 organizations that are dedicated to peace and a broad spectrum of human rights.
Prominent figures including actor/activist Leonardo DiCaprio, actor Forest Whitaker, statesman John Kerry and many others own, wear and endorse products made with Humanium Metal. Since 2016, more than 30,000 Humanium Metal products have been worn and talked about by consumers worldwide. They include watches, jewelry, bracelets, and custom guitar picks – with a boundless outlook for more product lines.
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