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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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February 4, 2014 - 8:56 am

It’s fair to say that liberal Travis County, TX (home to Austin) has an uneasy relationship with guns. If the county could do what it wants, without regard for economics or the enforceable nature of contracts, it would kick the Saxet gun show out of the Travis County Expo Center. The commission tried to do that last year.

Saxet gun shows have been held in the center for about 20 years. But after the Newtown, CT tragedy spurred liberals to go after gun rights again, Travis County’s commission voted to cancel its contract with Saxet last year. State Attorney General Greg Abbott threatened a “double barrel” lawsuit if the county followed through, and the commission quickly backed down. Abbott is very likely to be the state’s next governor.

About a week later, the commission held a vote concerning whether it could ban gun shows. With the probability of a lawsuit in mind, it voted not to ban gun shows or cancel its contract with Saxet.

But the issue didn’t go away. This year, the commission decided just to not vote on renewing the contract with Saxet. But all of the counties surrounding Travis are red. None of them would object to hosting a gun show; in fact, if they have the facilities, they would welcome the economic impact along with supporting the Second Amendment. The spectacular and almost brand new Cedar Park Center, in neighboring and deeply red Williamson County, is already home to the Premiere Gun Show (which used to be held in Austin) and could probably accommodate another one in its schedule without too much fuss.

Today, the Travis County Commission is bringing up the Saxet contract again and may vote on it. With a twist, according to KVUE.

Community groups in Austin raised concern that individual sellers could sell to buyers at the show without the federal checks that are mandated for vendors. The owners of the gun show and attendees point out Saxet hasn’t had any issues in its over 20 years in Central Texas.

Commissioners were considering altering Saxet’s contract to include the checks before they renew, but owners did not agree. During testimony last month, owners offered to post signs encouraging background checks, hoping that would be enough to keep the event at the Expo Center. Commissioners did not take a vote, effectively ending the issue, until now.

Tuesday commissioners plan to vote on the county’s version of the contract with the gun show. Judge Sam Biscoe tells KVUE that version will then be sent to Saxet Gun Show organizers, and those organizers will decide whether to accept that version of the contract.

If both sides can’t agree, the county will have to scramble to find another successful tenant, and quickly, by March.

The gun show brought in over $800,000 last year.

Saxet won’t bend on the background checks question. That would set a bad precedent for them and their competitor shows. The show’s producers are surely aware that other counties and cities could step up to take the show and the dollars that it brings in. Williamson certainly could. The commission wants the $800,000 cash injection that Saxet provides. But the county’s high moonbat population is providing the political pressure to kick the show out of the county. It’ll be interesting to see what the commission does.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
And another way to look at this is now the county has proposed an illegal contract (counties are forbidden by state law from enacting or requiring "background checks") Saxet might sue the country and the individuals that voted for this illegal contract on federal civil rights violations. If Saxet is mad enough, they can unleash some of their money on GOOD lawyers and cut the county off at the knees.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (5)
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I know a lot of people that will make a point to visit Saxet shows more often because of their stand on this issue. The progressive liberal elements in the Austin area do not represent the views of the vast majority of Texas residents.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
And another way to look at this is now the county has proposed an illegal contract (counties are forbidden by state law from enacting or requiring "background checks") Saxet might sue the country and the individuals that voted for this illegal contract on federal civil rights violations. If Saxet is mad enough, they can unleash some of their money on GOOD lawyers and cut the county off at the knees.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
While I too like to make the evil doers suffer, the better revenge (and investment of time and energy) is being so darned successful and happy that it embarrasses them into submission. That means taking all that money (and energy) that you'd use on attorneys and pouring it into advertising and promoting all the wonderful things you're doing for Travis County's neighbors that you're not doing for them any more.

A million bucks lost to the revenuers has already been calculated into the budget and has to be made up somewhere..... make sure everyone knows how bad you feel about that, but you know.... they forced us, what could we do?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
IMHO, Saxet's response to Travis' proposed contract is a press conference announcing their move to a neighboring county and the injection of a million dollars into that county.... Besides, Williamson, I know Hays would also be interested and ready to move quickly to accommodate and support Saxet's move. Toss in some well placed billboards and media and they'll have an even larger show than before.

The contract with Saxet isn't the only concern that Travis officials should have. They might want to review what happened when the Vendors protested the changes to the rules at the Eastern Outdoors Show last year.... a national boycott by 2nd Amendment advocates is painful.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never interfere with your enemy when he is busy defeating himself on your behalf.

Travis County, welcome to the world where your neighbors win and you lose.

No downside from this perspective.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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