Beer at Gun Shows? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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Years ago in Huntsville, Texas just around the corner from my aunt and uncle's house was a convenience store. The sign for this store was something that cracked up my father and I for many years. It read (in all caps): BEER WINE GAS DRUGS AMMO. It is difficult to imagine anyone could want much more than that except food perhaps, but that seems implied. Still, the idea that you could liquor up, gas up and load up at the same store always gave us a little chuckle.

Wisely, the folks who make the laws in this fine state have seen fit for some time now to do whatever they can to separate guns from liquor. While this may be Texas, even we gun totin' cowpokes understand the danger inherent in mixing those two items. That could change, however.

According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, gun shows may soon be able to sell beer -- something currently prohibited at venues before, during and after such shows -- so long as the guns are not usable and no live ammunition is present. The same would go for historical reenactments with the caveat that only blanks must be used in weapons.

The proposed change, which was announced Friday and is open to public comments for 30 days, would allow locations that are owned or leased by government or nonprofit organizations, and which only show or display guns "occasionally," to to sell alcohol during those events as long as they meet three conditions: There can be no live ammunition in the facility; all guns must be "disabled and not readily convertible for use," and no guns sold can be delivered to buyers on the premises.

The proposed rule would also allow alcohol sales at historical reenactments that involve firearms, as long as the firearms are historically accurate and kept unloaded or loaded with blanks.

But that wasn't the part that piqued my interest.

Commission spokeswoman Carolyn Beck said the proposed rule change was prompted when a gun club approached the commission and asked for a reconsideration of the ban. When the commission took a closer look, she said, it concluded that "if there wasn't going to be any live ammunition, and the guns on display would be disabled, and they didn't transfer weapons to people there where the drinks were, then that wasn't such a big public safety risk."

No, because nothing ever went wrong when guns and alcohol were put in the same room together (signed, old west saloons).

Beck did caution that this would not impact open carry laws which prohibit carrying a firearm into any public place that serves alcohol, something that came up during the state GOP convention.

Of course, this assumes that every rule will be followed and everyone at a show or reenactment will use alcohol responsibly. We can't possibly prevent some jackass from getting hammered before an event and going in guns blazing, but it seems only logical that every effort is made to legally separate guns and beer in any circumstance possible, unless it's an empty can being blown off of a fence railing because that's just entertaining.

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