Texas officials back off gun show ban after AG threatens ‘double-barreled lawsuit’

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 12:16 EDT
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A gun dealer shows off his inventory. Photo: Flickr user paljoakim, creative commons licensed.
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Officials in Travis County, Texas on Tuesday ditched their plans to ban gun shows on county property after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott threatened a “double-barreled lawsuit.”

The decision means that nine gun shows will take place as planned at the Travis County Exposition Center. Commissioners made their determination after an hour-long meeting with county attorneys, according to The Austin American Statesman.

“I take very seriously the idea of abiding by the law,” Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt reportedly said. ”State law prevents this court from doing much of anything on this issue.”

Prior to that, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott warned on Twitter, “If Austin or Travis Co. try to ban gun shows they better be ready for a double-barreled lawsuit.”

Austin officials have not yet decided on a course of action, but the council is expected to consider a resolution calling for tighter federal gun control laws.

Abbott is the leading Republican vying for Texas Governor Rick Perry’s job in 2014, and currently sports a campaign war chest nearing $18 million — roughly three times what Perry has in the bank, according to the Statesman.

It is not yet clear if Perry will seek a fourth term as governor, although he told The Texas Tribune in February that he’s leaning toward another bid.

Photo: Flickr user paljoakim, creative commons licensed.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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