In March of 2017, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced plans to establish the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence. The announcement, made at a downtown Houston rally and march that drew thousands of people, was made in solidarity with March for Our Lives, the national student-led gun violence prevention movement.
The mayor, who has a lengthy legislative record advocating for schools and for responsible gun use, is inspired by young people who have organized to educate elected officials and the public about the need to improve school safety and effectively address gun violence issues on school campuses.
In May of 2017, he announced the names of 37 individuals who represent a cross-section of the Houston community to serve on his new Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence. The diverse group includes students, parents, physicians, law enforcement officials, gun-rights advocates, gun violence victims and members of faith-based and civil rights organizations, with Haley Carter as Chair.
Haley is a native Houstonian, MBA, retired United States Marine officer, former Houston Dash soccer player and a 2nd year law student at the University of Houston.
Mayor Turner gave the commission the time and resources it needed to research and submit recommendations. He has asked the commission to provide recommendations before the next school year starts in the fall, and the rest before the start of the 2019 session of the Texas Legislature.
Shortly after a Santa Fe High School student was charged with killing eight classmates and two teachers, the Mayor announced recommendations submitted by the Commission in a report that focuses on making schools and communities safer, increasing public awareness for the safe use and storage of firearms, and relying on technology to prevent campus shootings.
In February, the Mayor and Commission publicly announced their recommendations for the 2019 Legislative Session. They are divided into sections: those requiring legislation, budget amendments, and state administrative action.
The purpose of this website is to provide information to Houstonians, lawmakers, and the media about the Commission, their recommendations, and the legislative status.
A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) study reviewed over 1,500 ATF investigations and determined that approximately 26,000 firearms have been diverted from legal to illegal commerce at gun shows, and that gun shows are a “major trafficking channel.”
States requiring background checks on all handgun sales experience significantly fewer firearm deaths:
- 47% fewer women were shot to death by their intimate partner;
- 47% fewer individuals took their own lives with a firearm;
- 53% fewer police officers shot and killed in the line of duty;
- 48% fewer guns trafficked intrastate.
3D Printed Guns are firearms that can be made anywhere in the world with very inexpensive materials and a 3D printer.
The combination of suicide and access to firearms is particularly dangerous; 90% of attempted suicides by firearm are fatal.
At a Senate hearing Monday, members of a select committee discussed mental health training and security cameras. But they failed to reach consensus on school architecture and metal detectors.
If a “red flag” law existed in Texas, my brother may still be alive. He had a clear pattern of erratic behavior, domestic disputes and post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the military.
Characterizing gun violence as “one of the greatest public health epidemics facing the nation,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo pressed Congress on Wednesday to pass a red flag law and tighten background check requirements this year, adding that saving one life is enough to justify new restrictions.
Hardening means potentially adding vestibules, metal detectors, security cameras and even paying for teachers to train to be armed school marshals.