DeSoto’s Gun Surrender Program Takes in Over 250 Weapons

City of DeSoto staff
Photo by Rita Cook

Gun Surrender In DeSoto Major Success

DESOTO – It would be fair to say the DeSoto Police Department, the City of DeSoto and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office’s voluntary gun surrender program was overwhelmingly successful Saturday.

“We took in 270 guns and too much ammo to count,” said DeSoto Police Chief Joe Costa. “We had several hard-sided metal containers with a large amount of ammo in each. Overall, this event was a huge success.”

The program, which is meant to take unwanted and unused firearms out of circulation permanently so they don’t fall into the wrong hands, is particularly a good one according to Dallas District Attorney  John Creuzot, who along with Costa, DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor and other key staff from the city spent from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. taking in the guns and ammunition.

“I think this is great and beyond our expectations for certain,” Creuzot said. “This is our way of trying to get in front of crime. None of these people here are criminals and they wouldn’t commit a crime with their guns, but if the guns are unsecured at home we don’t want to see it fall into the wrong hands.”

police officer by car
Photo credit City of DeSoto

A Variety Of Guns Were Surrendered

Creuzot said those who work in law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office see people wounded by guns in all kinds of benign ways “ but the wounds are there and the death is there so if we can do this to get in front of it then that is what we want to do.”

DeSoto’s Cpl. Pete Schulte, Police Legal Advisor | PIO, Professional Standards Unit said this was the first time an event like this has happened in the area, in the region, for several years and people were coming from all over North Texas bringing unwanted guns.

“We are getting a variety,” Schulte said. “We are getting some older guns that it looks like have been in the family for a longer period of time and some high dollar guns that people just don’t want and we are happy to take them.”

Those who turned in working firearms were also gifted with $100 Wal-Mart Gift Cards and no ID’s were needed or questions asked in order to turn in the guns.

The only problem, if there was one, came when the $100 gift cards ran out.

Photo credit City of DeSoto

City of Desoto & Dallas District Attorney Working Together

“We had over 250 gift cards and we thought that was going to be enough and we ran out,” Schulte explained. “Right now we are trying to get more, but in the mean time we are giving a card from the city and the Dallas County DA that says $100 we owe you if they will come by the PD next week and hand that card over and we will have gift cards.”

The money for the gift cards came from both the City of DeSoto and the Dallas DA’s office.

“We are 50 percent invested in this and providing 50 percent of the money,” Creuzot said.

As for what happens to the guns, Schulte said “We are going to make sure that none are stolen so we can return to people who have had guns stolen and if then we are probably going to destroy many of them and get them out of circulation.”

Mayor Proctor looked on at the event as cars were snaking around Fire Station #2 in DeSoto and summed it up “I am excited about what this event is speaking to in terms of our community. We know that a lot of the guns that are used in some of the most violent crimes are guns that are stolen. To be able to see those in our community and surrounding communities come out is very refreshing and I am excited about what that means.”