Texas county gun show shuts down rather than implement background checks

By George Chidi
Saturday, January 11, 2014 18:05 EDT
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Stock photo of dealer with guns and assault rifle (Shutterstock.com)
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A gun show held about once a month near Austin ends in January after county commissioners and the show management failed to come to terms over a county demand for federal background checks on all gun sales.

The Saxet Gun Shows in Travis County have been held in the county’s publicly-owned Exposition Center since 2010. Following the Sandy Hook shootings of 2012, commissioners stipulated that the gun show require all exhibitors and attendees to perform a free federal criminal background check, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

But the show’s management refused. After weeks of negotiations with little movement on either side, county commissioners did not renew a lease for the event.

Most sales at the gun shows already require a background check — all federally-registered gun dealers perform them. The local requirement would have affected bout 10 percent of the sales between private sellers and buyers, the Statesman reported.

Todd Beiter, owner of the Saxet Gun Shows, told the Statesman that “it is not really my job to infringe on anyone’s rights.”

According to Impact News in Austin, the county had offered to offset the $114,000 rental cost for the facility by the amount of financial burden the new background check requirement would have created.

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