HOUSTON––The Houston Police Department announced the city would hold its third gun buyback program on June 10, offering Visa gift cards of anywhere from $50 to $200 in exchange for firearms.
Police specified that they would check all guns to ensure they were not stolen or used to commit crimes.
Houston PD described the buyback as “efforts to combat violence crimes by getting guns off the streets.”
Democrat Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said, “This is just the start.”
Citizens pointed out the flaws in Hidalgo’s argument, with one citizen arguing that Hidalgo should focus on locking up criminals, “Lock up the criminals! The guns don’t shoot themselves. A relatively small number of Repeat offenders cause most of the harm. Time to get serious about locking up criminals!”
President of Texas Gun Rights Chris McNutt told Texas Scorecard, “Gun buybacks are a sham and a waste of taxpayer dollars. Criminals aren’t the ones turning in their guns. This is nothing more than a feel-good virtue signal to make law-abiding people feel safer for turning in their own weapons.”
Indeed, according to Second Amendment advocate and Texas attorney Colion Noir:
“On the surface, a voluntary buyback program seems innocent enough except … the only people who bring guns to a voluntary buyback are people we were never worried about in the first place, and they’re usually bringing guns even criminals don’t want.”
As a result, the buyback would only disarm law-abiding citizens at the taxpayer’s expense.
Furthermore, Houston currently has a high crime rate, meaning local residents have a 1 in 81 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime.
As the 2021 National Firearms Survey reported, self-defense gun usage by civilian firearm owners is reaching 1.67 million incidents yearly. Accordingly, if Houstonians were not discouraged from owning firearms through programs such as buybacks, defensive gun use could prevent law-abiding citizens from becoming victims of violent crime.