Travis County approves sample contract for gun show

Travis County leaders continued talks with Saxet Gun Shows about hosting gun shows at the Exposition Center in 2014 and 2015.

On Feb. 4, Travis County Commissioners Court approved sending Saxet a sample contract, which includes a requirement for background checks and monitoring of the Expo Center parking lot. The court approved the motion 3–0; commissioners Bruce Todd and Ron Davis were absent.

Judge Samuel Biscoe said that the issue would be back on the court's agenda when they receive a formal response from Saxet.

"I can tell you that the reason that this is on [our agenda] is that representatives from Saxet indicated to me that we were not happy with their [proposed contract] language," Biscoe said. "So they wanted to see our language in a contract so they could decide whether to basically approve it and sign the contract or not."

Saxet Gun Shows is seeking to lease the Expo Center to host gun shows from March 29 until Jan. 25, 2015.

At the Feb. 4 meeting, Frances Schenkkan of Texas Gun Sense commended the court for the contract language.

She said there is a way for private sellers to complete a background check through an existing federal firearms license holder at a gun show. She also asked who would monitor to make sure the contract conditions were being met.

Resident Michael Fossum called the background check provision "a solution in search of a problem."

"Less than 2 percent of guns used in crimes—this is a federal study—are purchased at gun shows," he said.

He said background checks would not have prevented the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn. and Aurora, Colo. Fossum said the county funds would be better spent on addressing gangs, drugs and crime as opposed to legal issues associated with the gun shows.

By Joe Olivieri
Joe covered Southwest Austin news for Community Impact Newspaper from January 2011 to April 2015. His reporting focused on new businesses, development, transportation, industry and Travis County issues. He was named the paper's managing editor in April 2015. Joe hails from New Jersey.


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