Alcohol is not a hazard at gun shows

Opinions Columnist | Journalism junior

The Texas Alcoholic Bever­age Commission, more commonly known as the TABC, has proposed a new rule allowing the sale of alco­hol at gun shows. People have voiced their opinions on the potential for disaster. How­ever, it is not as hazardous as they would think.

Some probably think the new rule means a bunch of gun-lovers will be getting drunk and shooting things up, but this is not the case. The TABC would put specific restrictions on firearm usage if there were to be alcohol sold at gun show venues. TABC has also actively sought feed­back from the public regarding the rule.

The TABC’s current gun rule prohibits all sales and complimentary offers of alco­hol during a gun show, includ­ing the time it takes to set up and dismantle the show. The proposed amendment changes these rules, but not by much. With the allowance of alcohol sales, venues would also be required to disable guns, pro­hibit live ammunition at the show and have zero tolerance for the transfer of weapons to people where drinks are being served.

Since weapons would be on display only and no live ammunition would be allowed in the building, no real harm would come of allowing alcohol sales at gun shows. TABC spokeswoman Carolyn Beck told the Texas Tribune on August 11 that with new regulations on weapons in place, alcoholic beverage sales would not cause a significant public safety risk. Essentially, gun shows would become like car shows. You cannot drink and drive, but at car shows the cars are for viewing, not test-driving.

Also, the sale of alcohol would inevitably bring more money and people to the show, just as it does any other event. In the eyes of the gun clubs, who asked the rule be revised, alcohol is money, and for most, that is the goal of such an event.

However, a few gun groups are worried about problems that the new rule may create. Some have said that the new rule would allow room for gun shows to be prohibited at already-licensed venues, while others are concerned that licensed concealed carriers would not be allowed into gun shows. The TABC claims that this was not their intention, and rule specifics remain unclear. However, I feel that these concerns would be ad­dressed by the TABC if the law is passed. The goal of the rule is to provide safe and fair conditions for all who want to attend gun shows.

The new TABC rule would not cause harm to the public or put those at gun shows at risk. The ruling would simply allow those attending to purchase alcohol and enjoy learning about and observing firearms. Nothing more, nothing less.