As part of a broader gun-safety campaign rollout, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg joined with law enforcement and community partners Thursday to announce her office will distribute free gun safes for residents to use at home and in their vehicles.
“Safely storing firearms is critical to keep them from falling into the hands of criminals or our children,” Ogg said at a news conference hosted by Congregation Beth Israel. “These types of partnerships have let us take action in a very positive way.”
District Attorney’s Office representatives will give away the gun safes in addition to gun locks and safety information they already distribute at various monthly meetings held by the Houston Police Department. Ogg credited Academy Sports + Outdoors for partnering on the latest initiative and thanked Houston City Council Member Edward Pollard for providing funding for the first 1,000 safes.
Sixty-three people have been killed in the first 45 days of this year in Harris County, many by firearms, Ogg said. She noted that in 2022 firearms became the leading cause of death in children younger than 18 nationwide and that houses of worship have been breached. Locally, guns are stolen from vehicles at an alarming rate, the district attorney and other speakers said.
“If you can’t afford a gun safe for your car, we’ve got one for you,” Ogg said. “Lock up your guns. Together we can do this. It is preventable.”
The announcement came as part of a joint effort to reduce the number of unsecured guns in Harris County. In addition to a website, houstongunsafety.org, and gun-safety classes, traditional and digital billboards on freeways and near neighborhoods, in both English and Spanish, are bringing the message of gun safety to area residents. The digital billboards will be up through 2023.
Survivor Marentha Sargent emphasized the preventability of tragedies stemming from gun violence, and Houston City Council Member Abbie Kamin championed the collaborative nature of preventing easy access to the weapons.
Partners of the District Attorney’s Office are Congregation Beth Israel and the Minaret Foundation; Houston Police Department; Harris County Sheriff’s Office; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Houston branch of the FBI; Houston Mayor’s Office; Moms Demand Action; and Clear Channel Outdoor.
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