Skip to comments.Texas gun show pulls plug; refuses to comply with Demsí background checks
Posted on 01/13/2014 4:41:08 AM PST by harpu
A regular gun show that has been a staple of Austin, Texas, since 2010 will end this month because its organizer refuses to obey local Democrats demands for background checks that go beyond state and federal laws.
It is not really my job to infringe on anyones rights, said Todd Beiter, the owner of Saxet Gun Shows, which has hosted gun shows at the Travis County Exposition Center for four years, according to the Austin American-Satesman.
The gun show set for Jan. 25-26 will go on because it has a lease on the site. The show wont be held next year, though, because the contract will not be renewed.
At issue is the Travis County Commission Courts demand that Saxet require background checks for private sales at the gun show.
Federally licensed gun dealers must already perform background checks to make sure potential buyers arent felons prohibited from owning guns but private citizens dont have undergo the screenings. That wasnt good enough for the Travis County Commissioners Court (four Democrats, one Republican), which demanded the 10 percent of guns purchased at the show by private citizens be submitted to a background check, too.
If you use a public facility to sell guns, we really oughta have background checks done. Or dont use the facility, County Judge Sam Biscoe, the commissions chairman, told the American-Statesman.
The Texas State Rifle Association says the Democratic commissioners are going too far. Alice Tripp, a lobbyist for the rifle association, called the background check demand political.
Saxet Gun Shows operate by state and federal law. That has never been in question, Tripp said, according to the American-Statesman. The only person that would be harmed by this county commissioners requirement is Todd Beiter, the owner of Saxet Gun Shows.
The Democrats of Travis County have been on a tear against gun rights along with their liberal fellow travelers in the rest of the country. Last year, they courted a legal fight with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott a leading contender to succeed Gov. Rick Perry when they tried to close the so-called gun-show loophole on background checks.They backed down after Abbott detailed the states position.
If Austin or Travis Co. try to ban gun shows they better be ready for a double-barreled lawsuit, Abbott wrote in a tweet.
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Nice blow to the local economy, rats...
They’ll set up somewhere not far where they are welcome and do just fine.
Hats off to him. Divided we fall.
move it to Round Rock, Georgetown and they’ll come.
still ... chip .. chip
Yep, Williamson County would gladly take their share of the $$$
If WC is like when I lived there any thing in the parking lot will have a “background check” done shortly after parking.
Where are the Texan freepers who regularly express their hatred for me because I live in NY State?
This IS happening in Texas, right?
There will be several cities within 30 miles of Austin that will be bidding for this gun show, so the Democrats will only be depriving themselves of the sales tax revenue. They can always raise taxes on the residents for another bike path.
Travis County Commissioners Court did not renew its contract with Saxet Gun Shows during its Jan. 7 meeting.
Saxet has requested leasing the Travis County Exposition Center for gun shows in 2014 and 2015 using the same terms as in previous years, Judge Samuel Biscoe said.
He added that residents voiced concerns that because not all gun sales at gun shows require background checks, leasing space to gun shows was an inappropriate use of county facilities and a potential public safety risk.
The county wanted to include new terms requiring background checks on all gun sales as part of a new contract. The judge said there were four specific terms the county pitched:
Requiring all gun show sellers to be federal firearms licensees
Requiring unlicensed sellers to undergo federal background check procedures for private transfers
Reducing rent to offset any disadvantages Saxet may face by agreeing to background checks
Trying background checks at the first gun show of the new contract as a pilot project, and then possibly renegotiate the terms depending on the results.
"Saxet has not been receptive to any of the county's proposed new contract terms," he said.
Because of this, Biscoe made a motion to suspend negotiations until Saxet "indicates a willingness to address issues raised by the county." The motion died for lack of a second.
An alternate motion to continue the gun shows also died for lack of a second. That left the county without a contract, but with the matter still pending, Biscoe said.
Prior to the motions, the court heard from supporters and those opposing the gun shows.
Alice Tripp, legislative director for the Texas State Rifle Association, described Saxet Gun Show owner Todd Beiter as an ethical and law-abiding person who pays his bills and gets his insurance.
"We object to any pilot program requirement that the county might add to its contract that would require individual purchasers to get some kind of background check," she said. "This is not covered by state law. This is not required by federal law, and it appears to be an inappropriate manipulation to require it as before extending his contract."
Emily Dietman, membership coordinator for the Texas State Rifle Association, called Saxet a responsible tenant.
"They do everything possible to adhere to the current laws and to protect their patrons that go there to shop for firearms," she said. "They have security going in, they have security going out and they have security in the parking lot. We can't prevent criminals from getting guns. We just can't. So what we want to do is protect people's freedoms."
Liz Foley, south Texas field representative for the National Rifle Association, called Beiter a strong supportor of millions of gun owners and Second Amendment supporters in the region and nationwide.
"Rather than asking someone to go through a test of a potentialnot even a law, but an enforcement at a local levelperhaps we should look at enforcing existing laws," she said. "The criminals are not following them anyway."
Garry Brown, a candidate for the Precinct 2 commissioner's seat, questioned whether Travis County should allow county property and taxpayer dollars to support a system that includes loopholes for high-capacity ammunition magazines and other weapons "that are designed for mass murder [and] certainly not self defense."
Brown said he supports legal and responsible gun ownership and notes that there have been no problems with Saxet in the past.
He cited the tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and in Aurora, Colo. that have pointed out glaring flaws in gun laws and how easy it is for people to have access deadly weapons, he said.
"Travis County should not be in the business of making it easier to get these items. I believe it to be inappropriate," Brown said.
He said the county does not know if sales are taking place in the parking lot during events, and that the risk of an incident was not worth the $100,000 in revenue the events generate for the county.
Resident Ed Scruggs said he could live with gun shows continuing at the Expo Center if the promoter volunteers to require background checks on weapons sales. Without it, he said he would continue to oppose hosting the gun shows there "as a matter of public safety and a community statement of our priorities."
"By law, the county has the authority to negotiate business transactions and cannot be forced to enter into new contracts with vendors," he said. "That's what this is: a new contract. Failing to enter into a new contract does not ban gun shows in Travis County. That is not true. It does not place any additional regulations on shows in private facilities. It does not place an undue burden on consumers. It does not prohibit commercial gun sales anywhere in the county and it does not violate state or federal law. It is strictly a business decision."
Resident David Thomas said Travis County must use its authority to keep citizens safe.
"Background checks do work to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill," he said. "So the county, through its commissioners acting for all of its citizens, must set standards for a gun show to be allowed to do business on public property. Standards take nothing away from anyone's rights."
Enjoying breakfast of crow I suspect.....
The little bit of California tucked into Texas.
Out job is to contain it and neutralize it.
It’s in Austin. That’s not part of the real Texas.
Austin is the home of the university of texas. We tried to quarantine the Leftists there, so they wouldn’t infect the rest of the state. However, San Antonio, with its Communist mayor, and Houston, with its bull dyke mayor, have not escaped. Texas should have closed its borders in 1980.
Williamson County is about 10 miles north and loaded with happy conservatives who’d welcome the show!
There are no “loopholes” at the gun show.
It’s perfectly legal to sell your own gun to someone in a private sale in Texas.
NO...this is Travis County, Austin territory!
This is the same county that prosecuted Tom 'the hammer' Delay and got their conviction over-turned by an adult court.
This is NOT TEXAS! (It's more like Kalifornia!)
This is more about Austin than Travis county, and Austin really isn’t in Texas.
You can see Texas from Austin though.
The place really is a liberal cesspool.
And I certainly do not hate you, in fact I wish you well.
Come on down sometime, I’ll take you to our rifle club.
Austin, TX is like Madison Wi. Both are just a stopping place in the state, full of liberal gun haters and do NOT represent the ENTIRE state.
IMO, move the show someplace else. Rent a huge tent if you have to but, get it done. Show the ba$tards you can live without them.
Cancelling the gunshow is another victory for the AntiGunners. Which do you think they would prefer, background checks at the gun show or NO GUNSHOW?