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Federal Judge Blocks Attempt to Ban Gun Show


- June 20th, 2019
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A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against a California board’s attempt to block gun shows from a fair ground in Del Mar, California. The Del Mar Fair board wants to stop gun shows from using the fairgrounds.

Federal District Judge Cathy Bencivengo issued a verbal order from the bench preventing the Del Mar Fair Board from enforcing a moratorium they recently adopted on gun shows at their fairgrounds. The case was filed by a coalition of gun-rights groups after the board passed the ban in January.

I have been to the “gun shows” at Del Mar. The event should be renamed “The Knife and Beef Jerky show” because there are not many guns for sale but plenty of knives, beef jerky and crystals. That’s California for you.

The Second Amendment Foundation, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, and California Rifle and Pistol Assocation joined a number of gun dealers and clubs as well as five private citizens to challenge the board in court. They said the ban on gun shows at the location is a violation of their Second Amendment rights. Judge Bencivengo agreed there was enough of a case to block the ban pending further litigation.

“Of course, we’re delighted with this ruling,” Alan M. Gottlieb, Second Amendment Foundation executive vice president, said. “At a time, and in a state, where law-abiding gun owners seem under constant attack, having a federal judge side with our complaint validates our efforts to protect constitutional and civil rights.”

But even if the pro-2A groups win this battle, the state is coming for them. “The communities around the Del Mar Fairgrounds have been clear: They do not want these gun shows taking place on this state-owned land,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D., San Diego), one of the bill’s cosponsors, told KPBS earlier this year. “With this bill, we are demonstrating that we value people over guns and are putting public safety first.”

Gonzalez’ bill passed the California Assembly in April and passed the Senate Public Safety Committee a few weeks ago. I have no doubt the governor will sign the bill.

What is the purpose of banning gun shows? Does it increase public safety? Are guns purchased at gun shows more likely to be used in criminal conduct? Don’t expect any answers to these questions from the anti-2A crowd.

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