Guns, most people seem to agree, should be handled carefully. Drunks, most people seem to agree, are not generally known for their powers of caution. But at least one DFW gun club has decided that, hey, you know what would be a nice addition to Texas gun shows? Booze.
Alcohol sales are currently prohibited at Texas gun shows. But the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission announced Friday it would consider changing an internal administrative rule to allow the sale of beverages at gun shows, in response to the gun club's request. Carolyn Beck, a spokeswoman for the TABC, said she was unaware which group made the request.
Critics are decrying the TABC for the proposed rule change. But when the TABC receives a rule request, it is generally required to respond, Beck says. "As an agency, when we got the request, what we thought was how can we draft a proposed rule that would mitigate the danger that seems inherent," Beck says.
A list of caveats would accompany the rule change: No alcohol may be sold where live ammunition is present. Firearms must be disabled. Sold firearms cannot be directly delivered within the building where alcohol is sold.
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Alice Tripp, the legislative director for the Texas State Rifle Association, told the Associated Press that even from the point of view of gun rights supporters, the initiative seems strange. "Does that make any sense? Who would buy a gun at a gun show where you couldn't take possession of it?" she said. "Nobody is interested in selling alcohol at a gun show."
Whether or not the majority of Texans agree to sell booze at gun shows, the TABC cannot avoid addressing the most request. "Some people are saying that alcohol at gun shows is not acceptable," Beck says. "But I want those people to understand that there will be restrictions in place to mitigate some of the perceived problems."
The TABC is open to receiving public feedback and comments for the next few weeks. After the period of public input on the initiative has passed, the rule change will go before the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Committee for a vote.
"There's been an explosion of misinformation," Beck says, pun unintended (we think). "But we hope that we can come up with something that folks are comfortable with on both sides."