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Travis County Ends Bid to Ban Gun Shows at Expo Center

Jillian Schantz Patrick for KUT News

Travis County commissioners have opted against halting gun shows at the Travis County Expo Center.

The commissioners court was set to discuss the possibility of banning gun shows at the County Expo Center today. But after consulting with legal counsel behind closed doors, commissioners unanimously approved a different motion.

County Judge Sam Biscoe proposed that the county honor all existing gun shows at the expo center, but ask the director of the center to liaison with the court about  future shows, especially events including “any licenses involving any usually high safety risks.”

It’s unsure what ability the county would have had to regulate gun shows. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had threatened legal action against the county if commissioners banned gun shows on county property. In a statement today, he said “Travis County Commissioners did the right thing by following the law and continuing to allow gun shows on county property. The City of Austin should do the same. “

The Austin City Council’s Health and Human Services committee is set to discuss gun shows at the expo center later today, and whether the city has authority to prohibit them – although that discussion will take place behind closed doors in a legal briefing to council members. While the center is owned and operated by the county, it sits on city land.

The meeting is scheduled at 3 p.m. today.

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