Darwin Boedeker is the Texas Gun Shows (TGS) promoter. In a phone interview, he said that last Thursday, January 14, there was a meeting with Austin PD (APD), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the building lessee (HEB) and Andrew Perkel of Austin Market Place, who subleases the building from HEB and supports TGS.
At the meeting, Boedeker said the APD read off a “long list” of nuisance violations to the HEB representative. When Boedeker told everybody that these activities happened while another promoter hosted the gun show at that location–TGS began hosting shows November 2009–nobody else knew this.
Boedeker claimed that ATF and APD “intimidated” HEB into instituting a requirement that only dealers with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) can sell guns. Boedeker said APD invited the HEB representative “knowing he would crack.” That left two choices: cancel last weekend’s show on one day’s notice, or abide by FFL rule. Boedeker said that attendance was “horrible” last weekend, with 50 empty vendor tables and low attendance. He also said that 90% of those complaining about the new rule thought TGS was to blame.
Yes the ATF used it’s weight in an attempt to force a Texas gun show to ban private sales at the event. I guess this adds further credence to the ironic statement, “It’s OK I’m with the government; I’m here to help.”