Premier Gun Shows on Alcohol at Gun Shows

Posted: August 26, 2014 in Show News
Tags: , , ,

I personally do not care for the idea of allowing alcohol sales at gun shows, especially since some of the language seems to be designed to place arbitrary restrictions on gun shows because of alcohol sales at the same complex or nearby buildings.  But then, no one really cares what I think.  The thoughts and opinions of promoters, however, are an important voice in the discussion.  I had a chance to talk briefly with Michelle at the recent Ft. Worth gun show and she and Tim were happy to release this statement on the topic.

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“Premier Gun Shows, LLC is a producer of gun and knife shows across the state of Texas doing shows in Fort Worth,  Mesquite, Cedar Park, Waco, San Antonio, Houston, Pasadena and The Woodlands.  Our shows are held in both public and private exhibit halls and event centers.  Premier Gun Shows does over 40 shows per year and has been producing shows in Texas for over 42 years.  Some locations comprise a single building where no alcohol is sold and others are on large publically owned complexes where many different events may be held in separate buildings or halls across the complex.  Alcohol is never sold within the confines of the show.  The shows are held in spaces where access is controlled into the event and admission is charged.  We do not operate concessions, the concessions are operated by companies e.g. Aramark, who are responsible for the entire complex and contract with the public entity who owns the location.

A reading of the proposed language regarding additional restrictions on firearms sales is concerning as to the possible interpretations and implications on the business operation of the show. In Fort Worth for example, the Original Fort Worth Gun Show is held at the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall at the Will Rogers Memorial Center and is owned by the City of Fort Worth.  The exhibit hall is a separate and self-contained venue in the complex with controlled access and no alcohol is sold within the building during a show.  WRMC may host other concurrent events on a show weekend in separate and distinct buildings with separate entrances that are well separated.  Similar set-ups occur at convention centers in Houston at the George R Brown Convention Center, Pasadena, Mesquite, Waco and San Antonio.

The proposed rules regarding the condition of guns and sale of ammunition as interpreted, would not be feasible and would impose burdens on the gun show, vendors and patrons that are not necessary for public safety.  Since gun shows are held in distinct, controlled entry areas, and no alcohol is sold, they should be exempt from these new requirements and continue to operate under the current rules.  Restrictions of shows because of an event selling beer “three buildings and a half a mile across the complex” are onerous and deprive the public of a lawful and constitutionally protected activity. There is no evidence that the rules as currently written and enforced are not serving the intended purpose.  Our objective is to have safe and family friendly events and the sale of alcohol would run counter to that.”

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If you are a promoter and would like to guest post on this topic, please contact me at txgunshowreview [at] gmail [dot] com.  Thank you.

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