HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner’s One Safe Houston initiative will hold a Gun Buyback program at the end of the month.
In partnership with Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, the “no-questions-asked” buyback program will take place at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church on Saturday, July 30 from 8 a.m. to noon. The program is aimed to reduce the number of guns on the streets, according to a news release.
The program is not limited to City of Houston residents, so residency will not be checked. “At the end of the day, more than anything else we got to do as much as we can to get these dangerous weapons off the street so we can help keep community safe,” Commissioner Ellis said.
According to Houston Police, there were 3,700 reported stolen guns last year. On the same pace, 10 guns a day are stolen from vehicles in the city of Houston.
“There’s no convicted felon gonna walk up with a handgun and hand it over to a police officer. it’s just not going to happen,” said Doug Griffith, President of the Houston Police Officer’s Union.
Griffith said there’s a lot involved here. From properly securing and testing the guns to locking them down in HPD’s property room, Griffith said he’s not convinced this buy back program will work the way the city and county want it to. “We know people leave them in their cars. we know that sometimes it’s neglect , other times it’s just that they forget. its gonna happen. that’ s the nature of the beast when you are living in the big city. but we have to do something to educate people more than just buying back guns,” Griffith said.
Those who turn in their firearms will receive a gift card worth between $50 to $200, depending on the condition and the type. All guns must be unloaded prior to arriving on site.