This Tuesday, January 7, the Travis County Commissioners Court is scheduled to consider and vote on whether to allow Saxet Gun Shows to continue holding events at the Travis County Expo Center in 2014 and beyond.
Saxet Gun Shows have been held in the Austin area for over twenty years, are well-run and well-attended, and generate over $100,000 in revenue for the county annually. The Saxet Gun Shows are a staple of the gun owning community, and now their future in Austin is seriously threatened.
The Expo Center is the only viable facility in Travis County for these events. Gun control advocates are pushing the Commissioners Court to either refuse to renew the contract with Saxet's promoter to use it, which would effectively ban gun shows in TravisCounty, or require that all transactions at Saxet events be conducted through federal firearm licensed dealers (FFLs). Requirements like these would effectively ban all private gun transfers at these shows.
In other words, if they can't ban gun shows in the Austin area outright, they are demanding that the county impose restrictions on firearms sales at Saxet Gun Shows over and above what is required by both state and federal law.
The Travis County Commissioners Court will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 7, at the following location:
Travis County Administration Building
700 Lavaca Street
Austin, Texas 78701
If you care about the future of gun shows in Austin, please attend this meeting and urge county commissioners to renew the contract with Saxet, with no ineffective gun control strings attached. Talking points are provided below on how and why restrictions on private transfers will do nothing to reduce crime.
Why Oppose Restrictions on Private Firearm Transfers at Gun Shows?
- This is just the first step toward criminalizing ALL private transfers of firearms. No background check legislation will ever be “universal” since criminals simply ignore the law.
- It’s an ineffective crime control proposal. In April of 2013, PoliceOne conducted a national survey of 15,000 active and retired law enforcement officers of all ranks and department sizes on the topics of gun and crime control. Nearly 80 percent said that a prohibition on private non-dealer transfers of firearms between individuals would not reduce violent crime.
- Current laws are not being enforced. According to a 2012 report to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 72,000 people were turned down on a gun purchase in 2010 because they did not clear a background check. Only 44 of those cases – or just .06 percent – were prosecuted. Existing laws are not even being enforced while gun control advocates are calling for expanding background checks to cover private firearms transactions.
- Gun shows aren’t a source of crime guns. A U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of state prison inmates who had used or possessed firearms in the course of committing their crimes found that 79 percent acquired their firearms from “street/illegal sources” or “friends and family.” This includes theft of firearms, black market purchases of stolen firearms and straw purchases. Only 1.7 percent obtained a firearm at a gun show.
- Most importantly, because a January 2013 internal U.S. Department of Justice memorandum summarizing so-called “gun violence” prevention strategies stated that the effectiveness of “universal background checks” depends on “requiring gun registration.”
If you cannot attend this meeting, please call and e-mail the Commissioners Court, using the contact information provided below, and urge each commissioner to renew the contract with Saxet without any ineffective gun control strings attached.
Samuel Brisco (County Judge)
Ron Davis (Precinct 1)
Bruce Todd (Precinct 2)
Gerald Daugherty (Precinct 3)
Margaret Gomez (Precinct 4)