HOUSTON - Houston leaders say they will no longer accept 3D-printed firearms, also known as ghost guns, at future gun buyback events after one man allegedly exchanged dozens of them over the weekend.
"We’re going to exclude those next time around," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "This is a program designed for people who want to voluntarily relinquish their guns."
On Saturday, city officials held their first gun buyback event in Houston. The mayor’s office says more than 840 firearms were turned over to the city in exchange for $50, $100, $150, and $200 Visa gift cards.
The gift card amounts were based on the type of firearm, including $50 for non-functioning guns, $100 for shotguns/rifles, $150 per handgun, and $200 for automatic rifles.
FOX 26 was able to find the man who claimed to have exchanged his homemade 3D-printed guns with Houston officials. The man wants to stay anonymous, but says, "The goal was not personal profit, but to send [Houston leaders] a message about spending $1 million tax dollars on something that has no evidence of any effect on crime..."
"You’ll always have people who will try and take advantage of the programs," said Turner. "I was there when that person brought in those guns. The reason we went ahead and did that was we had not said we weren’t going to."
In February, Mayor Turner announced "One Safe Houston." A $53 million federally funded initiative aimed at decreasing crime across Houston. Mayor Turner says $1 million from the initiative will be used for gun buyback events.
"There are some folks who don’t want any guns removed," said Turner. "Well, I don’t want any more children dying."
The anonymous man we spoke with showed us a receipt from the exchange. According to the anonymous man, each gun cost him about $3 to make. On Saturday, he says he exchanged 62 3D-printed guns with Houston leaders and was given $50 per firearm.
The man says his goal is to have the city, "Pay fair prices [at gun buyback events], use private donations rather than tax dollars, and don’t destroy historic guns."
"There needs to be state and federal laws to ban people from manufacturing and producing these ghost guns," said Turner. "They’re just as deadly. All that person did is highlight why there are so many guns on our street."
Turner says Saturday’s gun buyback event was a success, and they are planning for at least two more soon.
"If we can remove a few of these guns that would have been used in a crime, then the initiative is worth it," said Turner.