HOUSTON — A proposal to allow alcohol sales at guns shows in Texas got a mostly unfavorable reaction at a gun show in Houston on Saturday, with some in attendance calling it a bad idea.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on Friday announced it is considering the proposal, provided that at such events live ammunition isn’t allowed or buyers can’t take possession of their weapons.
Bill Clouse, one of several hundred people who attended the High Caliber Gun & Knife Show in Houston, described himself as a “huge gun supporter” but said he doesn’t believe guns and alcohol are a good combination.
“I don’t think there will be a possibility for trouble. I just personally do not believe you should have alcohol and firearms in the same vicinity, whether you are hunting or at a gun show,” said Clouse, 34, a high school teacher.
Josh Jensen, another person at Saturday’s gun show, also was against the proposal, saying the idea is “just silly to me.”
“You will find people in here who are going to say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a great idea. Why can’t we have a beer at the gun show? Nobody’s got a loaded gun.’ But stupid things happen. It’s just like drinking and driving. Are you going to drink and drive?” said Jensen, 30, who works for a beer distributor.
Under current rules, if a gun show is held at a venue licensed to sell alcohol, drinks sales and consumption are suspended during the time it takes to set up, conduct and dismantle the gun show.
The commission is considering the proposal after getting a request from a Dallas-Fort Worth area gun club to change its rules. It will hold a 30-day public comment period before any change is made.
The Texas State Rifle Association, the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association, said it is still reviewing the proposal.
Crystal Hartt, 47, a ranch owner from the Port Lavaca area who was at the Houston gun show, supported the idea, adding she considered being able to buy alcohol at a gun show the same as buying a beer at a baseball game or a rock concert.
“It’s another event. Why not sell a margarita to go with it?” she said.
Claire Elizabeth, a spokeswoman for the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said Saturday her organization did not know enough about the proposal to comment on its specifics.
“What we do know is that guns and alcohol don’t mix,” she said in an email.
William Light, who was at Saturday’s gun show, said the proposed rules on not being able to take possession of weapons or ammunition if alcohol is sold at guns shows also would make the idea unpopular with many who attend such events.
“Everybody is like us here, they come to buy, sell and trade,” said Light, 52, from the Bryan-College Station area. If they couldn’t do that, that would “make it too much of a hassle.”