Now, this is news: Elected officials recognizing that there limits on their power, and acting accordingly. Travis County, the central Texas county named for the commander who died at the Alamo to free Texas from tyranny, was all set to vote on a ban that would have kicked gun shows out of its publicly owned venues. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott pointedly told the county that such a ban would be illegal. He promised them a “double-barreled lawsuit” if they voted for the ban anyway.
And just like that, the county has decided that the ban isn’t such a good idea.
Travis County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to reverse course on a proposal that would have banned gun shows from county facilities.
Commissioners also agreed to honor an existing contract for nine more gun shows at the Exposition Center.
“I take very seriously the idea of abiding by the law. State law prevents this court from doing much of anything on this issue,” Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt said.
Abbott really deserves a great deal of credit on this. His lawsuit threat, which he backed up by pointing to state law and relevant cases, knocked this idea down very quickly.
The commissioners’ may find another way to work mischief, though:
Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe said county staffers would bring any other proposed events at the Expo Center with “unusually high safety risks” for commissioners’ approval. Previously, county staffers would not need to seek commissioners’ approval for events at the Expo Center.
I’ve been to a couple of these gun shows in Travis County. They do not pose an “unusually high safety risk.” The whole place is, literally, armed. And very polite.