The City of Austin in a feel-good move announced they would prevail upon Travis County commissioners to cancel the gun show's contract for use of the county-owned Exposition Center, east of Austin.:
Link Here for Travis County
Item 22 listed on this morning's commissioner's court agenda reads as follows:
22. Consider and take appropriate action on request to cease leasing Travis County Exposition Center and other County-owned facilities for gun shows. (This item may be discussed in Executive Session pursuant to Gov't Code Ann. 551.071, Consultation with Attorney)
Background and History on Gun Shows
Texans love their gun shows. Until the mid-80's gun shows were a venue soley for private seller and the collector's clubs across the country. Anyone holding a federal firearm license was limited to doing business at the address on their license. Congress was successfully lobbied by licensees wanting to “even the playing field” and today's gun shows developed.
In 1999 Todd Beiter was the only promoter who answered the call to come to Austin during the legislative session to work with TSRA and fight down Rep. Debra Danburg's attempt at a statewide Gun-Show-Loophole bill. The legislature was out to level the playing field some more and this time the private seller would be out the door.
Beiter testified in House Public Safety Committee and explained the laws covering private sales and those covering the sale of a firearm by an FFL. He also explained the safety precautions taken at the door of his gun show, including the number of off-duty police officers who check and cable firearms brought in for sale by both the vendors and the general public.
At the end of the day, the House committee voted and the Democratic majority defeated Rep. Danburg's bill. This was a giant win for Texas gun owners and the outcome could have been different if Todd Beiter had not come to Austin.
Now We Need to Stop Travis County
The Contract: Todd Beiter has a contract with Travis County for the use of the facility until January 2014. He pays a great deal of money to Travis County. The county does not want to lose a good tenant. Remember it's pressure from the City of Austin.
The Federal Court Ruling: In 2000, Todd Bean, owner of High Caliber Gun and Knife Show was handed a list of requirements by the City of Houston. High Caliber contracted to use Houston-owned property. The list included, among other things, a requirement to register attendees and another to remove the firing pins from firearms.
There was a legal challenge and the case went to federal court. NRA's general counsel, Bob Dowlut, wrote an amicus brief in support of High Caliber. Bean prevailed against Houston. The language of the ruling was unusually broad and likely applies to Saxet.
Todd Beiter runs a safe, legal business, takes care of the public, the facility, his vendors, and Todd is a good tenant. The attempt to break his contract comes from the City of Austin and “feel-good” city politics. The city motto is “Keep Austin Weird”
No vote was taken today. We have time to Act.
Todd Beiter and Saxet Shows need our help. This is more than a problem with the City of Austin, it's more than Travis County, more than Central Texas. Do not let this happen to a friend. Do not let this happen in Texas.
Contact Travis County and urge them not to attempt to break this valid contract. Not all have an email address. Make the call and urge friends to do the same.
Contact Information for Travis County
Commissioner Precinct 1
Commissioner Precinct 2
Commissioner Precinct 3
Commissioner Precinct 4
As gun bills are filed in the Texas Legislature, watch for posts and updates. Also read bill text Texas Legislature On Line
The Texas Legislature gaveled into session today. TSRA looks forward to working with all new and returning House and Senate members with Speak Straus and with Lt. Governor Dewhurst.
Never has gun-ownership been at risk as it is today. Please act quickly!
Keep the faith,Sincerely, Alice Tripp
Texas State Rifle Association
The Mission of the Texas State Rifle Association is to protect and defend the inalienable rights of the individual Texan to acquire, possess, transport, carry, transfer ownership and enjoy the right to lawful use of firearms for self preservation, for the defense of family and property and the common defense of the Republic and the individual liberties of the people. Visit: www.TSRA.com