CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A first of its kind event coming to Charleston will provide people the opportunity to voluntarily surrender their unwanted guns and have them be transformed into garden tools.

A nationwide event, Guns to Gardens will now be held in Charleston on Saturday, May 4.

Sarah Gottlieb, a spokesperson of the event talking about it on 580 Live with Dave Allen Wednesday said it began about three years ago in Bolder, Colorado following a mass shooting at a King Soopers grocery store.

She said the event offers people the opportunity to bring in their unwanted firearms to be dismantled. Blacksmiths then take the gun pieces and re-shape them into garden tools, Gottlieb explained, or art or jewelry, whichever you prefer.

Gottlieb said the concept for the event was formed out of an idea by a Mennonite pastor named Mike Martin.

“He based it off of a scripture from Isiah chapter 2 verse 4, ‘they shall beat their swords into plow shares,’ so that’s where he got the idea for this, and the first Guns to Gardens event was held three years ago like I said, and since then they have been nationwide,” said Gottlieb.

She said closer to home, there have been Guns to Gardens events held in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky and in Shepherdstown.

Another event spokesperson who joined Gottlieb on 580 Live, Robert Avsec said often times, people come into possession of a firearm when that was never really their intent.

“Perhaps the firearm owner has passed away, their lifestyle has changed now that they have children in the home, or they’re grandparents who are taking care of children on a regular basis,and we all know how inquisitive children can be,” Avsec said.

He said unintentional shootings involving even the smallest children are unfortunately not uncommon.

Avsec said the event would also be beneficial for families who want to keep guns away from their loved ones who may have developed mental health issues, or get rid of guns that were used in suicides, among other traumatic events.

He said there’s a lot of reasons why someone would want to give up their guns, and this event provides them another means to do so.

“They’re looking for a way to get rid of the gun and know that it’s not going to fall into the wrong hands,” he said.

The Guns to Gardens event will be held Saturday, May 4 at St. Marks United Methodist Church on 100 Washington Street E. from 1 to 3 p.m.

Avsec said arriving at the event, guns must be unloaded, as they have no need for the ammo inside the gun, and it should be kept in the trunk of your car.

He said greeters will meet you to retrieve the gun and it will be taken to a firearm safety station where they will identify the gun and the serial number off of it will be recorded.

Avsec said that following the event, they will provide the list of the guns’ serial numbers to the Charleston Police Department to further ensure that the particular gun is safely done away with.

“They can run it against any guns that have perhaps been used in a crime or have been reported stolen, or whatever, and know that that firearm is no longer even in the picture,” he said.

Avsec said this is another option available for people who don’t have anyone else around to take the gun off their hands.

“Other people may not have that mechanism, you know, a spouse passes away and they suddenly realize, ‘hey, I’m now the owner of two hand guns and a shotgun and I don’t want them in my house,” said Avsec.

He added that selling the gun could leave you uncertain about where they might end up.

Avsec said that when people bring the guns to the event, they will receive a grocery gift card in an amount that varies depending on the type of firearm you bring in.