Judge Hidalgo recognizes we can’t address crime without tackling gun violence. Gun violence continues to plague the nation, and Harris County is not immune to such tragedies. The widespread availability of weapons of war has led to needless bloodshed. From her first day in office, Judge Hidalgo has stood with advocates of common-sense gun safety laws, in favor of taking all actions available to protect our schools, families, businesses, and neighborhoods. She has also worked tirelessly with community groups to expand and implement programs promoting the safe storage of guns and evidence-based policies to save lives. Here are some ways in which she has been able to move the needle, even despite Texas laws that allow pretty much anyone to openly carry a gun pretty much anywhere. Some of Judge Hidalgo’s work on gun violence include:
- Tackling Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue. Judge Hidalgo has led an effort in support of a new initiative from the public health department to break the cycle of gun violence in Harris County. The Gun Violence Interruption Program deploys community leaders and safety advocates to work with those involved in gun violence, and provide support to reduce crime.
- Supporting Common-Sense Gun Safety. Judge Hidalgo has worked with the Commissioners Court to protect victims of domestic violence through the “Safe Surrender” program, which keeps weapons away from those charged with domestic violence. Other programs aim to keep gun dealers from unknowingly selling to people convicted of crimes, and encouraging the use of gun locks to keep guns from children.
- Speaking up After Uvalde. After the Uvalde school shooting, Judge Hidalgo called for Governor Abbott to hold a special session addressing gun violence, encouraging the passing of common-sense laws to protect against any further tragedies. Commissioners Court also discussed gun violence and school safety, requesting a report on county youth gun violence and creating the Harris County Safe School Commission. Judge Hidalgo called on the Commissioners Court’s Analyst Office to work with the Justice Administration Department and the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department to prepare a report on youth gun violence in the county from 2015-22 as well as the most effective, evidence-based policy solutions.
To read more about other work Judge Hidalgo has done on gun violence, click here.