DA Kim Ogg raised a red flag on accepting guns with no questions asked after the last buyout event, so the mayor agreed to make at least one change next time.
HOUSTON – The City of Houston will soon welcome another arms buyback event. Mayor Sylvester Turner will release the details this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. and we will stream them live here on our Youtube channel and on our app.
The first buyback program in July was a great success with 845 weapons collected. Turner said they donated nearly $100,000 in gift cards to the people who gave them. At one point, the line of cars stretched two miles.
Editor’s note: The video above originally aired on August 1.
Even so, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg raised a red flag to accept arms no questions asked, so the mayor agreed to make at least one change next time. In August, he said the city would no longer accept so-called “ghost guns”, or privately made firearms, which are made on a 3D printer.
“Community response has been robust, and we’ve also learned that in future gun buybacks, we will need to establish guidelines around privately manufactured firearms,” Turner said in August. “This program was not designed to establish a place of profitability for PMFs, but rather to remove unwanted firearms from the streets of Houston that could become firearms.”
In a July 28 letter obtained by KHOU 11, Ogg also said the policy grants “anonymity and immunity to anyone who turns in a weapon.”
His office said there could be a number of unintended consequences, such as the destruction of chain of custody evidence.
“It’s extremely important on a number of different legal issues and also to be able to solve the crime,” first assistant DA David Mitcham told us in August. “Someone turns in a firearm linked to a crime and there’s no way to follow up on an investigation because identification wasn’t sought each time they turned in the gun.”
Turner then said he was doing what he could with the One Safe Houston initiative to help address gun violence in Houston.
“There are far too many guns on the streets killing people. In fact, gun violence is the number one killer of our children in this country,” Turner said. “Anything we could do to get these unwanted guns off the streets and out of the hands of those with a criminal mindset is a plus.”
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Friday that the county will host up to eight buyout events this year.