AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Texas could start allowing alcohol sales at gun shows provided they don’t allow live ammunition or let buyers take possession of their weapons at the events.
“As a show promoter, it just makes sense for business purposes to not have alcohol at the shows. It reduces liability. With alcohol, insurance and security costs go up,” said promoter with the GGA Ennis Gun Show, Dana Wood.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission announced the proposal Friday. It will hold a 30-day public comment period before any change is made.
The proposal also would require that firearms being shown for sale be disabled and not readily convertible for use.
Promoters of two gun shows taking place in DFW this weekend, do not support the proposal.
Under current rules, if a gun show is held at a venue licensed to sell alcohol, drinks sales and consumption are suspended during the time it takes to set up, conduct and dismantle the gun show.
“We got a request from a gun club in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to amend the rules,” said agency spokeswoman Carolyn Beck.
The Texas affiliate of the National Rifle Association said it had nothing to do with the request. The Texas State Rifle Association is still reviewing the proposal, said Alice Tripp, the group’s legislative director. She called it “confusing” and questioned whether gun advocates would want to attend gun shows with such restrictions.
“Does that make any sense? Who would buy a gun at a gun show where you couldn’t take possession of it?” she asked.
Tim Finucane, with Premiere Gun Shows, says he thinks limiting guns at the show would hurt the essence of the event.
The rules in place are fine and protect the public,” said Finucane. Premiere Gun Shows is putting on the Mesquite Rodeo Gun Show this weekend.
Finucane says a group of promoters are headed to Austin to meet with TABC next week.
“Nobody is interested in selling alcohol at a gun show,” according to Tripp.
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