Harris County Commissioner Ellis, Houston Mayor Turner, Sheriff Gonzalez announce Houston’s 3rd gun buyback scheduled this month

Previous 2 gun buybacks resulted in over 2,000 guns turned in to law enforcement

Harris County Commissioner Ellis, Houston Mayor Turner, Sheriff Gonzalez to announce Houston’s 3rd gun buyback scheduled this month_copy

HOUSTON – How much is a gun worth? Harris County and the City of Houston say it’s between $50 and $200.

That is the range the two will be offering in a couple of weekends at Deussen Park as the county and city collaborate on a third gun buyback program after having two last year.

“We collected over 2,000 guns. Those are 2,000 guns that will never be used in a crime, an accident, or a suicide,” said County Commissioner Rodney Ellis.

Those totals from the previous two gun buybacks combined surprised some officials.

“I was surprised, pleasantly surprised,” said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

Commissioner Ellis touted one of the buybacks as the most successful in U.S. history with over 1,200 guns surrendered.

Federal relief dollars from the pandemic is funding the buyback program, which critics and studies have shown can have little to no impact.

But Eillis’s take?

“If it’s just one person. If you just save one life, it was well worth getting that gun off the street and stopping this culture,” said Ellis.

Another official agreed with Ellis.

“Certainly, I think it makes a difference to someone whose life was preserved,” said Council Member Carolyn Evans-Shabazz of District D.

In recent years, the culture of gun violence in Houston has seen homicides surge to nearly 500.

Although the total numbers were down in 2022 from the previous year, they still remain higher than in the years leading up to the pandemic.

“It takes time for things to actually show that they have been successful,” said Evans-Shabazz.

The gun buybacks were first announced one year ago by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner when he unveiled his One Safe Houston initiative. The mayor has continued the program past the date originally announced, revealing on Monday that the budget is now up to $63 million from the initial announcement of $44 million.

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