Will Houston's gun buyback plan help or misfire?

Little Rock, Philly, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, New York City - all communities looking to curb firearm related violence with gun buyback programs.

They are cities that will soon be joined by Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner's $1 million investment aimed at lowering the number of rifles, pistols and shotguns in Bayou City homes.

RELATED: Houston Third Ward residents react to city's new crime fighting plan

Council Member Abbie Kamin, who chairs the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, is a major advocate.

"It's one component of a multi-pronged approach to addressing gun violence. Unfortunately, when you have a lot of unsecured weapons around your home, weapons that are not used frequently, there's a really high risk that those unsecured weapons will end up in the hands of children or others who are not permitted to own them, with devastating results," said Kamin.

Trouble is researchers who gauge the efficacy of trading cash or gift cards for guns have found no evidence the exchanges have made communities safer.

"We find no evidence that GBPs are effective at deterring gun crime either in the short or longer-run…We find no evidence that GBP’s affected fire-arm related suicides or homicides," reported the National Bureau of Economic Research in a study released in July 2021. 

FOX 26 Contributor Bob Price has reported extensively on firearm related issues for Breitbart-Texas.

"It will not make you safer. It's a feel good program that the city wants to do. Take that money and put police officers on the street. Enforce the laws that are on the books. Make people safer, don't make them feel safer," said Price.


But in a nation thoroughly rattled by violent crime, the research has done little to quash local enthusiasm to reduce firearm possession.

"There may be a gun or two or three that may not get into the hands of the wrong people and in the hands of the wrong people, we can see what can happen," said Congressman Al Green, a Houston Democrat. "Doing nothing is the ultimate form of betrayal when there is something that can be done to save lives." 

Houston's gun buyback proposal is set for a hearing before City Council's Public Safety Committee on June 16 with the program slated to launch later this summer.