EXCLUSIVE: Saxet Trade Show gives FOX 7 a tour on final weekend - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

EXCLUSIVE: Saxet Trade Show gives FOX 7 a tour on final weekend

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Saxet -- that's Texas spelled backwards...and it's a popular gun and outdoor product trade show that sets up shop on a rotating basis in cities like San Antonio, Corpus and here in Austin.

As for the Austin show at the Travis County Expo Center -- after this weekend, it's no more.

In order to renew Saxet's contract, the Travis County Commissioners Court wanted to require background checks for all sales at the show.

Gus Cargile created the trade show about 40 years ago. His response to that idea is...how can they?

"A person that's not a licensed dealer can't do a licensed background check. They're not qualified to do it, they don't have the phone, they don't have the numbers, they can't do it. We cannot prohibit 2 people from making a trade. That's against the law," Cargile said.

At this week's commissioner's court meeting, the county turned down a compromise deal from Saxet and decided to just not renew them.

Hilary Rand with the Austin chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America testified.

"No one is suggesting background checks will stop all gun violence in Travis County. But it's simply common sense to block as many illegal sales as possible and to keep guns out of the hands of those dangerous individuals who are already prohibited from purchasing guns under existing federal law," she said.

Michael Cargill with Central Texas Gun Works has a booth at the show. He says forcing the Saxet promoters to do something illegal should be illegal.

"You can do a private sale from one individual to another at [the] H.E.B. parking lot. You can go to the city council, you can go to the Travis County Commissioners Court parking lot and do a private sale from one individual to another. So there's no difference than anywhere else," Cargill said.

Gus Cargile says their contract with Travis County is worth more than 100 Grand. But he feels the county has made more money on the Saxet Trade Show than the Saxet Trade Show has.

"We give over $100,000 a year, right? How many hotel rooms do our people take when they come here for 2 days? 40, 50 rooms? Everybody has to eat here, right? We have to pay sales taxes to the county here, we have to pay sales taxes for every ticket we sell. All of our dealers have to pay sales tax. Everybody's got to buy gasoline, huh? So who's [the] loser?" Cargile said.

The Saxet folks tried to compromise with more gun safety programs and more paperwork showing proof of sales but the county rejected that.

Gus Cargile says they're still looking for a place in and around Travis County.


He says they just need 30,000 square feet, lots of parking and good lighting.

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