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Group pushing for changes in gun show rules

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There are only two more gun shows left at the Travis County Expo Center before a new contract will have to be signed.

"Recently we received a request for a contract for eight shows next year," said County Judge Sam Biscoe.

Biscoe says Todd Beiter, with Saxet Gun Shows, is asking for commissioners to grant him a new contract, with the same conditions.

"With the new contract we believe that we have an opportunity to review some of those terms and decide if we should modify some of those," Biscoe added.

The modifications are being suggested by the Texas Gun Sense advocacy group.

They want future gun show contracts to require organizers to use only federally licensed sellers and, or run background checks on all customers.

Biscoe said, "If he were to require background checks for all of his customers and the other competitors...did not have to comply with the same restrictions, he'd be placed at a competitive disadvantage."

Michael Cargill, with Central Texas Gun Works, said, "You're going to force a black market system where people start doing a gun sale or gun transfer party at home, like a Tupperware party."

Should Beiter, who's been doing business with the county since 2010, take his business elsewhere the county would be out $110,000 in revenue each year.

"Everybody that I've chatted with so far, has pretty much agreed that he does a good job," said Biscoe. "We require four officers, four security officers, during the event and we monitor those and he has been complying."

In December 2012, undercover officers arrested a convicted felon for selling two illegal firearms at a Saxet Gun Show.

This, and the Sandy Hook School shooting prompted initial talks of gun show bans in Travis County last year.

But it was found state law prohibits Travis County from adopting a such regulation.

"Normally, we put new standards in place in order to protect against things that are happening that shouldn't be happening and I don't know that we can make that claim this time," added Biscoe.

Should the deal go through, the first of eight shows would be in March 2014.

Judge Sam Biscoe says he hopes to discuss this with County Commissioners on the 17th of this month and make a final decision before Christmas break.

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