Although protective order respondents are required by law to surrender their weapons, mostjurisdictions in Texas lack a formal surrender protocol to enforce the law, leaving deadlyweapons in the hands of potentially dangerous offenders, and risking the safety of survivors, lawenforcement officers, and community members, and disregarding accountability.
Last year, more than one-third of all murders investigated by the Harris County Sheriff’s Officewere related to domestic violence. Additionally, research demonstrates that access to a firearm ina domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will bekilled. Today’s action will allocate $247,000 to fund the expansion, including adding twopositions within the Harris County Sheriff's Office, a vehicle equipped with a gun safe, and gunstorage equipment. The expansion also includes requirements for data tracking and assessment.\
In addition to the Safe Surrender program expansion, Commissioners Court also voted on a nonbinding resolution in support of universal background checks for all firearm sales and, inparticular, all stranger-to-stranger firearm sales and all firearm sales not involving a licensed gundealer.
“A large majority of Texans and of Americans support background checks. It’s time governmentcaught up,” said Hidalgo. “Elected officials at the state and federal level have failed to meet theirobligation to protect us from gun violence. While non-binding, this resolution, coupled with the steps Harris County has taken in recent weeks, sends a clear message that the residents of HarrisCounty will not tolerate inaction when it comes to gun violence.”