AUSTIN -- The Saxet Gun Show will not sign a new contract with Travis County. Show organizers said they would never agree to anything that goes above and beyond what is required by state and federal law.
After an ongoing debate between Saxet Gun Show owner Gus Cargile and commissioners at the end of last month ended without a vote on whether or not to continue the show's contract, it seemed the show would have to find a new location. The issue is over background checks.
Criticism of gun shows and the lack of checks mandated for individual sellers who attend rose nationwide following mass shootings like the ones at the Colorado movie theater and the Connecticut elementary school.
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 voted on the county's version of the contract with the gun show. Judge Sam Biscoe told KVUE that version was sent to Saxet Gun Show organizers. Those organizers decided to not renew the contract.
KVUE News is told this contract required:
- Background checks to be provided
- Background checks to be monitored
- Increased security in the parking lots to prohibit sales outside the show
- Ninety percent of all sales personel must be federally licensed
Gun show organizers say the above provision is always the case, but the county wanted it required in writing.
The gun show brought in over $800,000 last year.