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Travis County Ends Bid to Ban Gun Shows at Expo Center

Jillian Schantz Patrick for KUT

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.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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