AUSTIN, Texas - The Travis County district attorney has announced a new policy, that he says ensures that a person who is at high risk of reoffending doesn't have access to a gun.
"Access to firearms can lead to injury or death, especially for someone facing criminal charges who is experiencing a high amount of stress," says DA Jose Garza. "Starting today our prosecutors will be asking judges to require that people at high risk of reoffending release and surrender their firearms as a condition of bond."
There were gun surrenders before this, and even some cases allowed third-party surrenders such as giving the gun to a family member. However, Garza says this creates a unified county-wide process and allows for much more supervision.
"We have protocols in place to ensure that surrender happens and ensure the firearms are safely stored," Pct. 5 Constable Carlos Lopez said. "Upon arrival, the respondent will park the vehicle and wait for one of our officers to come out and retrieve the firearm. We do not want the weapons being brought in."
The new policy is targeting those accused of any family violence, which Garza says is because those are high-risk cases.
Groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are backing the new policy.
"On average nearly 3,500 Texans die every year from gun violence, with thousands more injured," said Melanie Green with Moms Demand Action. "In this environment, local government has to do everything they can to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them."
If the accused were to not show up to surrender the gun, that would be a violation of the bond conditions, therefore a warrant can be issued.