HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner announced details late last month about an upcoming gun buyback event, part of the city’s One Safe Houston Initiative.
The gun buyback will take place Saturday, Oct. 8 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Metro Westchase Park & Ride, located at 11050 Harwin Dr. in Alief. It offers gift cards valued between $50 and $200 to those who turn in weapons, depending on the type of firearm and its condition.
“Our goal is the same for the second event as it was for the first, and that is to get guns off the street,” said Turner. “The guns turned in will never be stolen or used in the commission of a crime, suicide, or an accidental shooting by a child.”
Houston’s first gun buyback event in July drew long lines and resulted in the collection of nearly 800 guns. The city gave out more than $90,000 in gift cards paid through federal grants from the American Rescue Plan. Mayor Turner called the event a success despite questions about the inclusion of 3D-printed guns, commonly referred to as “ghost guns.” Critics on social media claimed someone received more than $3,000 in gift cards for turning in guns they’d manufactured for profit.
Mayor Turner says the next gun buyback event will not accept 3D-printed guns.
The Houston City Council has approved a $539,000 federal grant to buy gift cards for future gun buyback events. A 2021 National Bureau of Economic Research study looked at hundreds of similar programs between 1991 and 2015 and found no evidence buyback programs deter gun crimes.