Houstonians wait in line for hours to turn guns over at 'No questions asked' gun buyback event

Courtney Carpenter Image
Sunday, July 31, 2022
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The buyback event was part of Mayor Turner's One Safe Houston initiative to combat violent crime in the Houston area.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- People waited in line for hours to take part in a 'no questions asked' gun buyback program in Third Ward Saturday morning.

The program is part of the city's One Safe Houston initiative to drive down crime.

SEE PREVIOUS STORY: Houstonians can exchange guns for gift cards at buyback event Saturday

"After Uvalde, he (Mayor Turner) and I both decided we needed to have at least one gun buyback before our children go back to school," said Harris County Pct. 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis.

David Gibson, who said he supports the 2nd amendment, participated in the buyback event with hopes that his unwanted guns don't end up in the wrong hands.

"I don't use them. I don't want them, and I didn't want anybody breaking into my garage and stealing them and have them go to bad use," Gibson said.

Gibson said he has lived in Houston most of his life and calls the crime right now "horrible."

"They drive down the street behind our house and just 'bang, bang, bang, bang' into the air. It's ridiculous," Gibson said.

A million dollars reportedly was set aside as part of the One Safe Houston plan for the event. There has been criticism about if this idea would really work but Mayor Turner and Chief Finner say it is.

SEE ALSO: Houston homicide rate goes up days after mayor states decrease

"I've heard it all. 'Oh it's just going to be junk guns, this and that.' You don't have a solution to problems, please just sit down and let us step up, the people who are going to do the work," Finner said.

"We've taken in ghost guns. We've taken in rifles. Automatics have been taken in, and so the program is working," Turner said.

Representative Jolanda Jones, who said she's lost several members of her family to gun violence and has been shot at herself, said this is personal.

"This safe gun buyback didn't come soon enough to help save people in my family, but there are people who know people who have issues," Jones said.

More people showed up today than officials expected. The Houston Police Department closed down the line after three hours.

Mayor Turner said for the next buyback event, they will double their resources.

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