California Dem Introduces Bill To Ban Gun Shows

Democratis politicians and anti-gun activists in California have been targeting gun shows in the state for several years now; first seeking to ban gun shows from the Cow Palace just outside the San Francisco city limits and then adding the Del Mar Fairgrounds in southern California to their list of gun show-free zones.
Now State Sen. Dave Min, a Democrat from Orange County, has introduced legislation that would ban all gun shows from taking place on state-owned property, calling them a “grave danger” to public safety in California. On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, we discuss why SB 264 isn’t just an attack on the Second Amendment rights of California residents, but also infringes on the rights of free association and public assembly.
Min has made it clear in his public statements that he doesn’t just view gun shows as a problem requiring government intervention. It’s gun ownership itself that really bothers him.

“SB 264 will effectively end the ‘gun show loophole’ and eliminate the sale of ghost guns, straw party sales, gun thefts from careless vendors and other unlicensed conveyances of firearms that all too often occur at gun shows,” Min said. “It also signals decisively that the state of California will not lend its endorsement to the proliferation of more guns into our communities, which are already plagued with gun violence. When kids across the state, including my three children, return to in-person instruction later this year, they’ll once again have to go through the terror of active shooter drills. That’s just wrong.

First off, there is no “gun show loophole” in California (or anywhere else, for that matter). That phrase typically refers to the fact that under federal law (and in many states as well), firearm transfers between private individuals don’t require a background check, while retail sales of firearms by federally licensed gun dealers do.

In California, however, every gun sale must go through a background check and a ten day waiting period. The fact that Min is trying to throw that talking point in his press release is just another piece of evidence proving that this bill is an attempt at anti-gun public relations more than public safety.

Min also objects to the “proliferation of more guns into our communities,” regardless of whether or not those sales take place at a gun show. It sounds to me like he’d be happy to ban all gun sales, but since that law would be ruled unconstitutional, even in California, he’ll make do with trying to block gun shows instead.

Banning gun shows won’t stop active shooter drills either, because gun shows aren’t responsible for them in the first place. Again, every gun show in the state of California abides by every California gun control law that’s already on the books. Min might not realize it, but he’s actually making an argument against the effectiveness of the draconian gun control regime in the state, not an argument in support of preventing gun shows from taking place on state property.

With an anti-gun supermajority in both chambers of the California legislature, if Democratic leadership decides to get behind Min’s bill it’s almost certain to become pass. It’s also guaranteed that if Gov. Gavin Newsom signs SB 264 into law, a number of Second Amendment organizations, gun show promotors, vendors, and customers will be filing suit to prevent the law from taking effect.

As Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, has explained, not only do these gun show bans interfere with the Second Amendment rights of California residents, they’re also an attack on the Second Amendment community itself.

Gun-show attendees encourage others to register to vote, discuss facts about the failure of gun control laws, politicians’ ulterior motives and the social value of firearms ownership where good guys save far more lives with guns than bad guys take with them. They dispute the false claims and manipulated statistics about firearm misuse used to justify gun bans, share opinions about ways to prevent gun violence, and learn how to best protect their families. In short, they organize and engage in the political debate!

Banning safe, legal and fun gun shows where political ideas are exchanged does nothing about the real problems. Criminals — and anyone else — can’t get guns at gun shows. The background check requirement applies to every single gun sale no matter where the sale takes place. Nor can anyone buy what some mischaracterize as a “high-capacity magazine” or a so-called “assault weapon” because sales of these are already banned in California. And every dealer at any gun show must pass a background check and a rigorous licensing process by the Department of Justice. None of that gets publicized. These facts are all conveniently left out of the fear-mongering speeches against the show.

Min’s gun show ban won’t prevent a single criminal from obtaining a firearm in California, but it would chill the exercise of the First and Second Amendment rights of California residents and legal gun owners. I wish I could say that’s enough of a reason to believe that the bill will be defeated. In Sacramento though, going after two civil rights exercised by gun owners is likely to be seen as more of a feature, not a bug in the legislation.

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Dec 02, 2021 7:30 PM ET