© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bexar County Joins Alliance Of Groups Trying To Reduce Gun Violence

Flickr user David Trawin (trawin)

An initiative to reduce gun violence in Bexar County kicked off on Monday during a joint news conference of government leaders and community groups at the county courthouse.

The urge to do something was inspired by recent mass shootings, according to county officials.

County Judge Nelson Wolff initiated the call for county and community leaders to take steps to reduce gun violence in the county.

District Attorney Joe Gonzales said his office will aggressively ask judges to issue orders to require no gun possession as a condition in granting bond or probation in certain criminal cases, domestic abuse cases, and for some mentally ill people.

“It’s not a move that we’re trying to take people’s guns away that rightly should possess them. It’s an issue about identifying those individuals that shouldn’t have guns to begin with, those individuals that either have a history of violence or mental health,” he said.

Sheriff Javier Salazar announced plans to pick up unwanted guns or to keep an eye on guns while their owners are away. Send requests to score@bexar.org.

“We’ll have a deputy come out,” he explained. “We’ll collect the guns. We’ll give you a receipt for them, and then we’ll hold them in our property room for safekeeping until you’re ready to accept those guns back again.”

The sheriff said all Bexar County residents should take steps to secure guns.

“Make sure you’re safeguarding those guns from being found by children and used for tragedy, which we’ve seen way too many times. But, additionally, safeguard your guns against criminals. Thousands of guns every year disappear because they are stolen by criminals.”

Salazar said vehicles are at the top of the list of where criminals find guns.

The University Health System Foundation will offer free gun locks at upcoming community events. Around $14,000 worth of free locks is available so far, Wolff said.

According to UHS officials, regional trauma centers treat 350 gunshot victims every year.

Moms Demand Action urged the public to check out their SMART guide found at besmartforkids.org.

SMART stands for Secure guns, Model responsible behavior around guns, Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes, Recognize the role of guns in suicides, and Tell your peers to be SMART.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.