Guns

Can California Ban Gun Shows From Public Fairgrounds?

A district judge says no, but don't expect the state’s gun-grabbing politicians to give up.

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California may not legally prohibit the Crossroads of the West gun show from taking place on state-owned fairgrounds, a federal judge ruled this week.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo said the First Amendment means a state agency in Southern California may not single out gun shows–which host discussions of gun politics, safety, and how to comply with legal requirements–for a preemptive ban on future events. Bencivengo, an Obama appointee, granted a preliminary injunction on Monday after oral arguments.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association Board of Directors, a government agency with members appointed by the governor of California, voted last fall to suspend gun shows at the fairgrounds. That effectively gave the boot to B&L Productions' Crossroads of the West, which holds gun shows at 15 locations in four western states, and had already reserved dates for 2019 at the Del Mar, California, fairgrounds. B&L Productions filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ban in January.

The California attorney general argued in briefs this spring that the Crossroads of the West's arguments are "barred by legislative, sovereign, and qualified immunity doctrines, and fail as a matter of law to state a constitutional violation." The gun show prohibition is a temporary one, the state argued, so that officials "can give proper attention to important public safety issues" while devising a final policy.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Second Amendment Foundation are backing the lawsuit against the state of California. The California Rifle and Pistol Association, the NRA's state affiliate, is a plaintiff, and is represented by the law firm of Michel & Associates.

The best way to interpret the dispute between the state board and Crossroads of the West is as a symbolic one allowing California government officials to signal their distaste for firearms and their owners: Unlike many other western states, state law prohibits any guns from being sold to members of the public at gun shows. Instead, prospective purchasers may only place an order, which can be fulfilled after the gun show is over, at a different location, after a mandatory 10-day waiting period elapses, and after both state and federal background checks are complete.

Gun shows in California must follow even stricter requirements than those that apply to retail stores selling firearms. Gun shows must possess at least $1 million in liability insurance, provide law enforcement with a list of all firearm vendors, provide the California Department of Justice and local law enforcement agencies with a security plan, and prohibit minors from attending unless they're with their parent, grandparent, or legal guardian. State law also says that vendors may not "engage in activities that incite or encourage hate crimes," they may not "display or possess black powder or offer it for sale," and they may not display ammunition unless it's in "closed original factory boxes or other closed containers."

Because such significant restrictions exist, it's clear that the anti-Second Amendment politicians who control California's government are actually taking aim at gun culture, of which gun shows are a big part. As far back as 1999, this sentiment spawned the Nordyke v. King case, which dealt with prohibitions on gun shows at California's Alameda County fairgrounds, and which bounced through the courts for at least 13 years.

Anti-gun politicians have been forthright about this goal. Last fall, then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, now California's governor, wrote a letter to the 22nd District Agricultural Association asking it to stop allowing the Crossroads of the West show to lease the Del Mar fairgrounds. "Permitting the sale of firearms and ammunition on state-owned property only perpetuates America's gun culture," Newsom wrote.

Newsom's predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, last year vetoed a bill that would have prevented gun shows from taking place at the Cow Palace, a state-owned exhibition hall near San Francisco. AB 893, a bill currently making its way through the California state legislature, would explicitly ban gun shows at the Del Mar fairgrounds. Newsom, who is more hostile to the Second Amendment than Brown, is likely to sign it.

Because state officials who act unconstitutionally don't have to pay their own legal bills, expect California's war on gun culture to continue. "It's a shame that taxpayers have to keep paying for their legislators to engage in political Kabuki theater," says Don Kilmer, a San Jose attorney representing the Second Amendment Foundation.

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  1. A gun show is actually one of the safer places to be in California.

    1. Welcome to the gun show was my nickname in the produce department.

    2. This.

      The gun show prohibition is a temporary one, the state argued, so that officials “can give proper attention to important public safety issues” while devising a final policy.

      Bullshit.

      1. Like the temporary tax on phone service to fund the Vietnam war?

        1. Wasn’t it the Spanish-American war?

          In late April 1898, Congress passed a resolution declaring that a state of war had existed since April 21, 1898, between the United States and Spain. Although the Spanish–American War was short, its financing needs resulted in a federal budget deficit. In the landmark case of Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co. the Supreme Court had nullified the income tax of 1894. Many in Congress felt that tariff increases could create too much disturbance with industry. As a result, the leaders in Congress felt that the revenues required for military expenditures either should come from increases in existing domestic taxes or supplements of new taxes of the same type. Thus, in the War Revenue Act of 1898, an excise tax on telephone service was introduced for the first time in 1898.[2] The tax was repealed in 1902, at the end of the Spanish–American related Philippine–American War.

          It was reinstated and repealed several times before being reinstated during Vietnam War, lasting until 2006. Since then local-only service is still taxed.

      2. As in: temporary until it gets overturned by some court, then we’ll fabricate some OTHER “temporary” rule that does the same thing.

        And these clowns wonder why their SHole state is waist deep in crime and blood…. with nowhere near enough smarts to realise what’s going on, let alone to FIX it.

        Those eedjits holding the reins would confiscate every gun in the state if they thought they could get off with it.

  2. Democrats shoot holes in the Constitution!

  3. Fuck California!

    That is all

    1. Fuck systemd.

      Oh, wrong site.

      1. What the fuck are you doing? You don’t drop shit like that around. Now some weird Linux guy is going to interrupt every conversation about how single threaded boot processes are superior for their consistency over the lack of a speedy finish.

        Those guys have opinions stronger than anyone else here.

  4. Gunz!

    So triggered.

  5. State law also says that vendors may not “engage in activities that incite or encourage hate crimes”

    Oh, FFS! “Redneck Firearms expressly discourages any use of our products against homosexuals or other minorities.”

    1. The practical effect, I suspect, is a ban on novelty shooting targets based on recognizable minorities or other protected groups (which in California includes political affiliation).

      So if you want a target with Obama’s silhouette on it, you’ll have to buy it elsewhere.

  6. I was going to ask if there were any guns in CA left to sell, and then I read that in CA, you can’t buy guns at a gun show.

    1. There are plenty of gun stores in California. That you cant’ buy a gun at a gun store is stupid, but it does NOT mean you can’t buy a gun in California. The snowflake proggies may faint at the idea of guns being sold in California but they sure as hell ARE being sold in California! I drive by a gun store in the center of Silicon Valley every day on my way to work!

      1. And every day, you are photographed going past that gun store.
        There will come a time when you have to justify your interest in those evil-looking gun thingys.

      2. I drive by a gun store in the center of Silicon Valley every day on my way to work!

        There’s one in North Oakland, too, that’s been there forever.

  7. ” . . . and fail as a matter of law to state a constitutional violation. ”
    Uh, this?
    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    A prohibition on even meeting to talk about guns is pretty infringing.

    1. Not that musty old constitution!

      The secret one where abortion is greatest and most protected right of them all, and there is no right to self defense or speech that does not serve the interests of society.

  8. “Permitting the sale of firearms and ammunition on state-owned property only perpetuates America’s gun culture,”

    Technically, it perpetuates everyone’s gun culture without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or nation of origin. Even those not protected by the 14th like minors, trannies, and foreign nationals can go to the gun show (in California?).

  9. The “gun show loophole” is possible one of the biggest lies now being told by the various gun control lobbies.

    1. Oh, that along with the widely believed myth, widely spread in other countries, that “in America a teenager can buy a machine gun on the internet.”

      1. Well, maybe so; but it is illegal.
        Constitutional, but illegal. Magic.

        1. Eggsactly!

          1. My main point that I want to get across to all of my hoplophobic brethren and sisters is that all of these things that you want to be made illegal already are illegal.

            1. No. They want to ban and eliminate all guns everywhere. Really, they do. All those other things were just steps on a path to confiscation, etc.

              1. Of course they do, what you need to understand is that these are the kind of lies that they tell and the the myths that they spread to accomplish what they want.

                Unless you and others can spread the message about the kind of lies they are spreading all of your friends and probably most of your family are going to vote for them to get what they want.

                1. I’ve actually had an old high school acquaintance tell me, with a straight face, “We’re not coming to take your guns, dude,” after about 15 minutes of sperging out about how guns need to be taken away for safety reasons because it’s “common sense.”

                  1. I’ve noticed when debating self-defense with such people that they always eventually come to the argument “…but if nobody had a gun…”. They plainly consider that the desired state of things.

                    1. “but if nobody had a gun…”

                      Bow/arrows
                      baseball bats
                      knives
                      spears
                      rocks
                      clubs

                      It is far easier to destroy than to create. There are more ways for us to kill other humans than you can possibly imagine.

                    2. The last time nobody had a gun, historians called it the Dark Ages.

              2. They want to ban and eliminate all guns everywhere.

                No, they don’t. They want to control people’s behavior everywhere. Look at crossbows. Look at knives and swords. Even in Texas it’s illegal to openly carry a (sheathed) 6″ knife into bars, casinos, schools, and churches *statutorily*. Look at brass knuckles. Brass knuckles are nothing more than a paperweight until they’re enclosed in a hand. Even then, they’re only effective within the person’s reach. They don’t want to control guns, they want to effectively prevent people from swinging clenched fists. And there are, of course, further ends to which controlling behavior is only a means but, without effective controls on behavior those are more varied and nebulous.

      2. People around the world incorrectly assume that this is a free country and are horrified by the idea.

      3. “Oh, that along with the widely believed myth, widely spread in other countries, that “in America a teenager can buy a machine gun on the internet.””

        Technically, that was true when I was a teenager, except substitute “ad in the back of a magazine” for “internet”.

        And it didn’t work out that bad.

        One of the more annoying things about the war on gun ownership is the way that they outlaw some formerly normal practice, and if anybody suggests repealing the law, declare doing so would result in endless horror.

        1. You must be really old then.

          It’s true that until 1968 you could purchase guns by mail order. Sears had their own line of rifles and shotguns just like the had for tools and home appliances.

          That ended largely because Lee Oswald bought an Italian wr surplus rifle by mail and the used it to assassinate an idolized US president.

          But, machine guns? They have been much tightly restricted since the 1930s.

          1. Fair enough, I was wrong about the machine guns, they were a bit before my time. But I definitely could have bought one of those 20mm anti-tank guns mail order.

            Had the money, too, with the dumpster diving I did in the local industrial park. But, no, I had to blow it on comic books.

            1. The prices.

              Takes me back.

            2. Yes, that antitank rifle was every criminals dream. A gun so long and heavy that even Andre the Giant couldn’t conceal it under a trench coat. A gun that was so loud, when you fired it every cop in 5 miles would come running. And cartridges that cost about a day’s pay each.

  10. First prosecution in UK for possession of 3-D printed gun:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/19/london-student-convicted-for-making-gun-using-3d-printer-tendai-muswere

    Per as usual this racist/bigoted publication cant get the facts right:

    “Problems arise around tracing 3D-printed guns and although possession of such weapons is illegal in the US and the UK, enforcing the law is difficult because it is not necessarily known who is making them.”

  11. “Permitting the sale of firearms and ammunition on state-owned property only perpetuates America’s gun culture,” Newsom wrote.

    “State owned property”, being the people’s property, the “people” whose “right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”, those people?
    (Side note, Gavy wrote that while surrounded by taxpayer funded armed security guards.)

    1. Any politician who acts contrary to the Second Amendment should forfeit all taxpayer-funded special protection.

  12. Well, I’ve been told many times by denizens of these forums that public property is actually collectively owned by the people, and that the government has a duty to enact the will of the people regarding how that public property is put to use.

    That is why, for example, it’s right and proper to kick illegal immigrants off of public roads, because the public roads belong to the people, and the people elect representatives who pass laws to keep illegal immigrants off the roads.

    So I suppose the politicians of California are simply embracing the same rationale: public fairgrounds are collectively owned by the people of the state of California, and those people elect representatives to enact their will to keep guns off the public fairgrounds.

    Of course, a better interpretation of public property is that it is not collectively owned, but rather owned by the state, in trust, as long as the state is executing its primary mission to protect the liberty of all people. So the state may not use public property to infringe upon the liberty of the people, even if a majority of the people wants the state to do so, because that would be violating the larger duty that the people placed in it.

    This would provide a philosophical rationale of why it is wrong for the state to restrict public use of the fairgrounds from their use by gun shows.

    Of course, it would also provide a philosophical rationale of why it is wrong for the state to restrict public use of roads from their use by illegal immigrants.

    1. Does it really? People that are illegally in the country should not have all the protections that citizens do. I know prog retards in government have decided they should have lots of rights of citizens, but they’re wrong IMO. There is an ancient tradition of citizens/subjects of one country not having the rights afforded to those in another country where they may be physically present.

  13. […] Can California Ban Gun Shows From Public Fairgrounds? Reason […]

  14. Did King George give up just because extremists the like of Patrick Henry insisted on arming the militia riffraff? No! California is following a proud British tradition–just not to the point of having gun-free Bobbies enforcing laws enacted to protect individual rights. That way lies madness!

  15. It’s easy to see why gun shows in Nevada and Arizona are so well attended by California residents – since the rules for buying and selling firearms in California are a bad joke.

  16. […] The California attorney general argued in briefs this spring that the Crossroads of the West’s arguments are “barred by legislative, sovereign, and qualified immunity doctrines, and fail as a matter of law to state a constitutional violation.” The gun show prohibition is a temporary one, the state argued, so that officials “can give proper attention to important public safety issues” while devising a final policy. Read More > at Reason […]

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