Alcohol at gun shows? TABC wants your opinion

Guns at the Saxet gun show
Guns at the Saxet gun show

AUSTIN (KXAN) — People have less than a month to voice their opinion on a possible rule change that would allow alcohol at gun shows. Earlier this month, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission proposed altering the law after it received a request from a gun club in Dallas-Forth Worth.

Currently, alcohol sales and consumption are not allowed during gun shows at TABC-licensed venues. The new proposal would allow booze at places owned or leased by government or nonprofit entities.

Allowing alcohol sales at the event would come with certain stipulations, including:

  • a requirement that prohibits live ammunition in the building or the facility where the licensed premises is located;
  • a requirement that firearms be disabled and not readily convertible for use; and
  • a requirement that prohibits the delivery of any firearm inside the building or facility where the licensed premises is located.

Several gun show owners are not on board with the idea.

“Current regulations are fine. We have no interest in having alcohol sales at our show.  Just don’t think it’s necessary.  It would change how gun shows would operate,” said Tim Finucane, owner of Premier Gun Show.

The owner of Liberty Gun Shows echoed Finucane and said,  “We feel it’s a bad idea. Guns and alcohol don’t make a good combination. It’s a basic safety issue. People make rash decisions when they are intoxicated, and it’s just not a good idea.”

Earlier this month, TABC spokeswoman Carolyn Beck said there is an impression that the new rules could tie up gun shows and make it impossible to have one. The agency said that’s not true and that gun shows would have to just abide by the restrictions.

“We’re really trying to loosen the restrictions on alcohol sales in order to assist a particular gun club,” said Beck. “It’s unfortunate that’s the first impression most people are getting about the rule.”

Public hearing on alcohol sales at gun shows:

  • Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission at 5806 Mesa Drive
  • Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

People have until Sept. 8 to voice their opinions, and comments about the proposed change can also be submitted online. Read the full proposal.

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