On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, we’re focusing on a California bill to ban gun shows from all state-owned property that could have a big impact not only on the Second Amendment rights of residents, but would chill the First Amendment rights of gun owners as well.
The legislation, known as SB 264, is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee next week, and state Sen. Dave Min is busy stumping for the bill in advance of the expected markup. Min trots out every anti-gun canard that you could think of, including calling gun shows “flea markets for firearms,” despite the fact that every individual purchasing a firearm at a gun show in the state must go through a background check and a ten-day waiting period before they can take possession of their gun.
In targeting gun shows, Min isn’t just aiming at curtailing legal gun purchases but is trying to stop gun owners from gathering together. Gun shows aren’t just places where people can buy a gun (or at least start the process in California), but are valuable recruiting stations for Second Amendment organizations like the California Rifle & Pistol Association and Gun Owners of California. Block gun shows from taking place and anti-gun politicians can make it much harder for these 2A groups to find the members and funds to push back on the state’s unconstitutional attacks on the Second Amendment.
Min makes it clear that his true objection isn’t with gun shows, but with guns and gun ownership in general.
Even if no illegal or unlicensed firearms or ghost guns were sold at gun shows, there still is a compelling case to end these shows on public property. Gun shows are held for one purpose: to sell as many guns and as much ammunition as possible. And this has been deadly for California communities.
… Although the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, it does not require California’s state government to actively take part in distributing guns. We are facing a moral and economic crisis from gun violence, and it is long past time to get California out of the business of selling guns. SB 264 is our chance to draw a line in the sand and to say loudly and clearly that the great state of California will not profit from the sale of guns and contribute to the endless cycle of gun violence any longer.
If Min is serious about ensuring that California will not profit from the sale of guns, he shouldn’t be trying to ban gun shows on state property. He should be trying to repeal the tax on the sales of guns and ammunition. That, after all, brings in far more revenue to the state than renting out a country fairgrounds for a weekend.
Of course it’s more likely that Gavin Newsom would endorse Kaitlyn Jenner for governor than Min and his anti-gun colleagues will truly divest the state from any profits on gun sales. They’re willing to declare war on the Second Amendment and gun ownership, but while they’re fighting their battles they’re still going to accept the tax revenue that comes from Californians exercising their Second Amendment rights.