MEDIA ADVISORY: Second Gun Buyback Event in Alief

MEDIA ADVISORY

Saturday, Oct. 8, 9:00 a.m.

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Others to Host Second Gun Buyback Event in Alief

WHAT: Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congressman Al Green, Houston City Council Member Tiffany Thomas and others will host the second Gun Buyback event in a partnership between the City of Houston and Harris County on Saturday in Alief. 

WHO: Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis
Mayor Sylvester Turner
Congressman Al Green
Council Member Tiffany Thomas

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 8, 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: METRO Westchase Park and Ride | 11050 Harwin Dr., Houston, TX 77046

VISUALS: There will be cars lined up waiting to turn in firearms. Tables of individuals checking in firearms, and representatives from the County’s Holistic Assistance Response Team (HART) will be on site.


Commissioner Ellis Statement:

“Because of lax gun laws in our state, our community is drowning in guns. We may not control gun laws, but we are not powerless to take guns off the street. We have invested record amounts of resources into public safety initiatives that are smart and tough on crime. Yet, as we’ve seen time and time again, we can pass all the great policies in the world, but at the end of the day, we have to get weapons off the street to keep our community safe. I was so proud that our last gun buyback was one of the most successful in the nation, netting nearly 1,000 guns. We’re proud to continue that progress with additional events across Harris County.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement:

“A gun can leave families devastated over what might have been for their loved ones. Guns kill innocent children, teenagers, women, men, and seniors. Over the years, I have advocated for strong buyback programs. I am delighted to collaborate with the City of Houston and Harris County to continue the successful buyback programs. Be safe and not sorry—join Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and Commissioner Ellis at the gun buyback program this Saturday, October 8, 2022, at 8:00 am. Let’s Save Lives!”

Background: 

On Sept. 13, 2022, Harris County approved $1.1 million to hold eight gun buyback events, distributing up to 4,000 gift cards to gun owners who voluntarily surrender their firearms.[1] 

As part of the One Safe Houston Initiative, the City of Houston has allocated $1 million to create a robust Gun Buyback Initiative.[2] This combined investment may represent the single largest financial investment into Gun Buyback Programs in the history of the country. 

On Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon, residents will receive a $50 gift card for every nonfunctioning gun, $100 for a rifle, $150 for a handgun and $200 for an assault rifle. 

In addition to Commissioner Ellis and Mayor Turner, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, Congressman Al Green, Houston City Council Member Tiffany Thomas and other civic leaders will join the event at Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Westchase Park and Ride in Alief. 

This program is part of a broader strategy recently implemented by Harris County to get at the root causes of crime. The County’s Violence Interruption Program works with trusted and trained community messengers to de-escalate local conflicts, provide pathways out of gangs, and provide resources and support in terms of jobs, substance use, health and education.

In addition, the County’s Holistic Assistance Response Team (HART) sends trained first responders to assist people struggling with issues related to mental health, substance use, or homelessness so they can receive the help they need. This also eases the burden on law enforcement by allowing them to focus on serious violent crimes.

The gun buyback also is part of Mayor Turner’s One Safe Houston Initiative, a $53 million investment aimed at crime reduction. The comprehensive violence reduction initiatives link research-based strategies to improve public safety and reduce the harms caused by violent crime.



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