by Nancy Zambrano / MYFOXAUSTIN.COM
Dozens of gun rights advocates gather outside the Austin Police Department Headquarters Monday. They blame the department for the possible closing of Austin’s gun show.
It all started after a joint investigation by the ATF and APD found that illegal immigrants and convicted felons were able to buy guns at the North Lamar location.
“Essentially everyday that we were at the gun show we arrested someone with a firearm who couldn’t buy law posses that firearm,” says APD Det. TJ Vineyard.
According to APD in a meeting with HEB, and Austin Marketplace, both who lease the property and rent it out to the gun show, recommendations were made to curb crime.
“There are people who sell a large amount of guns but don’t claim to be dealers,” says Vineyard.
The recommendations included that only gun dealers were allowed to sell firearms, which meant no private sellers. It’s a guideline gun show promoter Darwin Boedeker does not agree with.
“I think they were awful, I think they go against the Second Amendment it’s not right,” says Boedeker.
APD also suggested the promoter provide on-site security to curb gun sales in the parking lot.
Amidst talks of violating a Nuisance Abatement law HEB decided not to allow the event on the property. Monday’s demonstrators including Boedeker say APD is to blame for that decision.
“A lot of strong-arming of HEB where they obviously pressured HEB into making a decision that they didn’t have the full details on,” says Boedeker.
He says most of the arrests made by the ATF involved a different promoter, but APD says the Nuisance Abatement is attached to the property not an individual person.
Many protesters insist shutting down the gun show will only lead to the crime APD is trying to prevent.
“If they shut down these gun shows then what’s going to happen is criminals are going to continue to access guns on the side outside of the gun show,” says John Bush, with Texas For Accountable Government.
Boedeker, the event promoter says he is already looking for a new location to organize another gun show.