On January 7, following the inaction of the Travis County Commissioners Court on renewing a contract with SAXET Gun Shows, local media began reporting that SAXET was finished in Austin. Despite these reports, the gun show promoter has continued to attempt to negotiate a contract with Travis County without imposing additional restrictions on private transfers that exceed the requirements of state and federal law. Once again, this issue will be before the Commissioners at their meeting this Tuesday, January 21. Using the contact information provided below, it is imperative that you call and email members of the Commissioners Court before 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday and politely urge them to allow gun shows to continue in Austin.
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 on Tuesday, please call and email the Commissioners Court, using the contact information provided below, and urge each county 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)