And people aren’t fighting it for the reason you’d think
By Wells Dunbar for Texas Standard
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is considering allowing alcohol sales at gun shows.
The TABC’s proposed rule change – prompted by a request from one Dallas-Fort Worth area gun show – has moved beyond Texas and into the national news. It’s practically an early Christmas gift to The Daily Show’s writing staff.
But behind the headlines and Darwin Awards jokes on Twitter, there doesn’t appear to be broad support for the changes – at least as they’re currently written.
The TABC has an overview of the proposed changes in a press release on its website:
Under current rules, if a gun show is held at a TABC-licensed venue, alcohol service and consumption must be suspended during the gun show including time required for set-up and dismantling of the gun show.
TABC is proposing changes that would allow alcohol service to continue throughout the gun show if certain requirements are met. Under the proposed change, there must be a written agreement approved by the commission 30 days prior to the gun show and the agreement includes the following:
(A) a requirement that prohibits live ammunition in the building or the facility where the licensed premises is located; (B) a requirement that firearms be disabled and not readily convertible for use; and (C) a requirement that prohibits the delivery of any firearm inside the building or facility where the licensed premises is located.
The Texas Tribune is reporting on what it calls “an unexpected uproar” from gun rights advocates over the rules change – specifically at additional language in the proposal they feel could have “calamitous unintended consequences for the industry”:
The current language, for example, says that a private, for-profit facility that is licensed by the commission to sell alcohol cannot hold a gun show or host an event that sells a firearm – even if it’s not selling alcohol at the event.
[TABC] spokeswoman Carolyn Beck said that “was an unintentional oversight on our part because we were so focused on trying to come up with something that would work for the gun show” that asked for reconsideration of the current ban.
While opponents primarily oppose the change due to any unintended, detrimental effects, there doesn’t seem to be much support behind the change’s primary mission: allowing drinking at gun shows. The AP writes it “got a mostly unfavorable reaction at a gun show in Houston on Saturday, with some in attendance calling it a bad idea.”
Still, as the request was made by a gun club, the controversy is a reminder that while Texas gun culture shows no signs of slowing, no one group absolutely defines it – as the NRA learned when it waded into Texas’ open carry debate.