HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Chief Troy Finner joined My Brother’s Keeper, a program of the Houston Health Department, along with community organizations and elected officials on Wednesday to call for “sensible” legislation in response to gun violence.
Houston community-based organizations including, MBK Houston, have rallied together in a One Voice coalition, a community-based-led non-partisan effort, working alongside policymakers to present alternatives and solutions to create safer communities.
Reform topics included:
- Training and licensing for gun owners
- Universal background checks, elimination of loopholes
- Red Flag laws
- Ban on 3D printed firearms
- Prohibiting the sale of assault weapons to those under 21 years of age
Turner noted as students return to school, high school seniors who are just turning 18 years old can openly carry a handgun in Texas, with no background checks. He said this is making it hard for law enforcement to keep the city safe.
“Our children really deserves much better,” Turner said.
The mayor said a new report Wednesday showed that from June 2020 to June 2021, before the open carry bill was passed, Texas had 40 mass shootings, but from June 2021 to June 2022, Texas saw an increase of 65 mass shootings. During that time, he said 187 people were either killed or injured in mass shootings.
Under One Safe Houston, Turner announced that the city has committed $53 million, coming from the American Rescue Plan funds. He said this will help provide more technology and overtime hours for law enforcement officials. He said the funds will also help One Safe Houston provide crises intervention programs, domestic abuse prevention, youth initiative, mental health and more to prevent crimes involving firearms in the youth.
“It’s not just about law enforcement, it’s about law enforcement, and community and the faith based community all working together to make it happen,” Turner said.
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