As Fort Worth,TX, prepares for its first public debate on whether gun shows should continue in city facilities, City Council members who support the restrictions face the possibility of a costly lawsuit, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Thats because Texas, like many states, has a law preempting firearms and ammunition laws to the state legislature, thus overriding any citys attempt to impose local gun regulations. Restricting the well-attended shows might result in Fort Worth running afoul of state statutes, officials said.
Its a problem, said City Councilwoman Wendy Davis, who favors banning the shows from city facilities. If you interpret that broadly, then we, as a city, would be illegally regulating the sale of arms.
Fort Worth is not alone in grappling with the issue.
In 1993, Houston officials passed an ordinance requiring everyone attending gun shows at city-owned facilities to sign a form disclosing the firearms in their possession, and to either remove the firing pins or install key-operated trigger locks on all firearms brought to the shows. The Houston ordinance was challenged in court by promoters of the gun show there and the city lost.