Saxet Gun Shows have been held nearly every month since 2010 at an Austin, Texas-area exposition center, but that’s ending after this month.
Travis County commissioners voted not to renew Saxet’s lease for the county’s expo center, ending weeks of negotiations for shows that would have spanned over the next year, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
The reason? County officials wanted Saxet to require background checks for all firearm sales, including those from private sellers.
Saxet refused, neither side budged, so the show at the expo center is coming to an end.
The American-Statesman reported that background checks would have affected about 10 percent of gun show sales, adding that federally-licensed firearms sellers are already required to run criminal background checks to make sure buyers aren’t felons or otherwise ineligible to buy guns.
But private sales — a person trying to sell a gun from his or her collection — don’t come with the background check requirement, the American-Statesman said. County officials wanted to close the so-called “gun-show loophole” and require background checks for those sales as well.
Todd Beiter, owner of Saxet Gun Shows, told the American-Statesman that neither state nor federal law requires background checks by private sellers, and “it is not really my job to infringe on anyone’s rights.”
TheBlaze contacted Beiter on Wednesday to see if there were plans for future shows in the Austin area, but he has not yet returned the call.
Only one commissioner of the five proposed continuing the Saxet shows and signing the new contract, worth $114,000, the American-Statesman said. But Gerald Daugherty’s view wasn’t shared by the other four.
“If you use a public facility to sell guns, we really oughta have background checks done,” County Judge Sam Biscoe, the chairman of the commissioners, told the American-Statesman after the meeting. “Or don’t use the facility.”
Alice Tripp, lobbyist for the Texas State Rifle Association, called the move “political,” according to the paper. Sexet’s final shows at the expo center are Jan. 25 to 26.
Ever since the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2013, local activists had been attempting to end the Sexet gun shows, the American-Statesman reported, adding that closing the gun-show loophole was a big element that debate.
Last year the county commissioners allowed the Sexet gun shows to keep going on the advice of attorneys who said it would be illegal to ban them from from county facilities, the American-Statesman added.
Biscoe said he expects lawsuits, the American-Statesman said, adding that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said last year via Twitter: “If Austin or Travis Co. try to ban gun shows they better be ready for a double-barreled lawsuit.”
Here’s a report from KEYE-TV in Austin: