Mayor Sylvester Turner alongside Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee and the Houston Police Department held the city’s first gun buyback event July 30 as part of Turner’s One Safe Houston plan.

According to a July 30 press release, the event, which was held at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, collected 845 firearms and gave out nearly $100,000 in gift cards. The event began at 8 a.m. and was expected to run until noon, but due to the response, it ran until almost 7 p.m., officials said.

“I did not know what to expect, and the turnout was overwhelming," Turner said. "The turnout demonstrates there are too many guns on our streets, and people want to get them out of their possession. The gun buyback is not the only solution, but we can and will make our streets safer and help reduce gun violence."

Early in the day, cars were turned away due to “demand and long lines,” the release said, but over 150 people were given priority vouchers for the next gun buyback event, a date for which has not yet been announced.

As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, the gun buyback event was a $1 million effort that was created to take unwanted guns and stop guns from getting caught up in illegal trading and in the hands of criminals, curious teenagers and children. During the event, gift cards ranging from $50-$200 were given out depending on the type of gun and its condition.

"I am so proud of our city,” HPD Chief Troy Finner said in the release. “People can say what they want, but time and again, Houstonians step up with common sense and love. I knew there would be a lot of people, but even I did not think there would be this many people the first time.”