Harris County, TX — Harris County Commissioner Lesley Briones, in partnership with Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Mayor Sylvester Turner, announced details of the Houston-area’s fifth gun buyback program during a press conference this week.
The event will be held Saturday, November 18th from 8 a.m. to noon at METRO’s Westchase Park and Ride, 11050 Harwin Drive.
Residents can exchange unwanted guns for gift cards, funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The gift card amounts vary based on the type of firearm:
• $50.00: Non-functioning firearm
• $100.00: Shotgun or Rifle (Hunting)
• $150.00: Revolver
• $150.00: Semi Auto Handgun
• $200.00: Rifle Semi-Auto
All firearms must be unloaded and inside the vehicle’s trunk. Gun locks, provided by Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and up to 400 gun safes, courtesy of the Houston Police Department and Spring Branch Management District, will also be distributed.
This event is made possible with support from: Harris County Precinct 4, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, City of Houston, METRO, Houston Fire Department, Houston Police Department, Asian American Peace Officers Association, and Spring Branch Management District.
Ease of access to firearms by young children and teens is shown to increase instances of self-inflicted injuries and most adolescent shooters accessed guns at a family member’s home.
The best way to minimize these situations is to ensure storage that prevents unauthorized access. Homicides committed with firearms were the primary cause of death for children aged 0 to 17 in Harris County from 2016 to 2021. Firearm-related offenses among youth increased by nearly 40% during that same time.
“As a former judge, mother of three young children, and as someone who has been the victim of crime, I have an unwavering commitment to public safety,” said Commissioner Lesley Briones. “Promoting safe and secure gun storage that is required through child access prevention laws, will help us see lower rates of accidental deaths and youth suicide. This event will not only get guns off our streets but help make our children and community safer.”
“Our previous gun buyback initiatives witnessed high levels of participation, and as the holiday season draws near, we expect an even greater number of individuals to surrender their firearms in exchange for gift cards,” said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. “This collaboration represents yet another measure by which we are committed to ensuring the safety of our communities and reducing the number of firearms on our streets.”
"When the City of Houston and Harris County collaborate, we are able to serve more people and ensure that the positive impacts are widespread. Our collaborative gun buyback programs, launched as part of the One Safe Houston initiative, demonstrate how this important partnership. Every gun taken off the street prevents its use in a crime or accidental shooting. Programs like this gun buyback encourage responsible firearm surrender. Regardless of the reason, we are making our community safer," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
“This is a continuation of our collaboration between METRO, Harris County, and various law enforcement agencies throughout the region, including the METRO Police Department,” said METRO Board Chair Sanjay Ramabhadran. “We are opening our facility for this program to further enhance public safety across the region.”