As part of a series of six gun safety initiatives, the sheriff’s office in Texas’ Bexar County announced on Monday that it is willing to temporarily store firearms for gun owners.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said the program is intended for situations in which residents may be traveling for an extended period of time, have listed a home for sale or are expecting house guests, ABC affiliate KSAT reported.
“We’ll have a deputy come out. 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,” Salazar said, although he conceded he doesn’t expect many gun owners to take the county up on the offer.
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Officials will crosscheck every weapon against sheriff’s office databases to ensure it hasn’t been used to commit a crime, Salazar said.
Other gun safety initiatives announced Monday include purchasing 14,000 gun locks for the community and education initiatives aimed at gun owners and non-gun owners.
Meanwhile, Judge Nelson Wolff said Bexar County would no longer be hosting gun shows at Freeman Coliseum, a local venue where such events took place in the past.
Local leaders cited troubling statistics as the rationale behind their efforts to improve gun safety in the community.
Texas leads the nation in unintentional shootings by children, the Houston Chronicle reported in July. In an April press conference, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus revealed that 3,881 guns were stolen from vehicles in San Antonio between 2016 and 2018.
The gun debate heats up
The occurrence of several mass shootings in the past few months have intensified an already heated national gun debate.
Gun rights advocates have pushed back in the face of renewed calls for increased restrictions on the purchase of firearms from proponents of gun control.
Proposals such as “red flag” laws and “mandatory buyback” programs have met with stiff resistance.
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Many pro-gun advocates are frustrated by what they see as their opponents’ ignorance of how firearms actually work. Liberal discomfort and unfamiliarity with guns leads to hysteria and misinformation, they argue.