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Pro-gun activists to take action if gun show ban passes

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Some pro-gun activists say they will vote out their Travis County Commissioners if a gun show ban passes.

Commissioners heard from the public Tuesday on their proposal to ban gun shows on county owned properties. The majority of people who signed up to speak were against a ban on gun shows. They say this is just an overreaction and won't solve any problems.

"Banning gun shows or making them restricted in Travis County is not how to do it," said Don Dahl who is against the gun show ban.

"Are we prepared to look in the eyes of parents and say we did all we could do to prevent gun violence," said Ed Scruggs who is for the ban.

But commissioners heard more from pro-gun advocates, like Jim Phipps, who says he will take action if the gun ban passes.

"We feel very strongly about our Second Amendment, beyond that, that's what I can do, and the ballot box is my weapon and we'll go to the ballot box and I think there are thousands of us in Austin, not 3 or 4," Phipps said.

Travis County Commissioners are considering banning gun shows on county owned property, like at the Travis County Exposition Center. The Expo Center hosted nine gun shows.

Travis County Judge, Sam Biscoe, says there are legal questions to go over, like terminating contracts with the gun show provider. But as far as losing money, one of the big arguments from gun show supporters, Biscoe doesn't sound worried. They get $128,000 a year.

"$128,000 in revenue is a substantial amount of money. The problem is I think if we free up the facility on the dates that are booked now, we probably will have other events out there so I don't know that we will lose that much, we actually could end up gaining additional revenue," Biscoe said.

Texas Land Commissioner, Jerry Patterson, is perhaps the most vocal supporter of guns. He says the county's possible ban is pointless and self-serving for politicians.

"It's the worst thing about politicians, they want to knee jerk and do something so they can say they we did something about gun violence when they did nothing," he said.

Patterson says if politicians wanted to make real change after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, they would tackle real issues, like mental health.

"The shooter in Virginia Tech had been adjudicated mentally incompetent but because of privacy laws, that wasn't available and so that shooter went to a gun dealer and had a background check and was successfully able to purchase firearms when I say he shouldn't have been."

FOX 7 also conducted a text poll Monday night asking viewers; should there be a ban on gun shows at public facilities in Travis County?

We had a huge response, more than the normal amount. 86 percent said no. Only 14 percent said yes.

Judge Biscoe says he anticipates a decision on Tuesday. There is a gun show scheduled at the Travis County Expo Center coming up in a couple of weeks and he says that one may still go on.

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