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Op-Ed Calls On California Legislature To Not Ban Gun Shows

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Gun shows tend to be a lot of fun. You walk in, and there are wall-to-wall guns. More firearms than you can shake a stick and, and you’re free to walk among them and handle them, to get a feel for what you might like and what you have no interest in. Sometimes, you find some incredible deals.

For people with no interest in gun shows, though, they mean nothing. It doesn’t impact them, either. It’s kind of perfect in that, for those interested, they’re huge, and for those who aren’t, they might as well not even exist.

However, gun shows have been demonized for some time. There’s this perception that tons of criminals walk into shows and walk out with arsenals they can either use or sell to other criminals. It’s so bad that California is considering banning them on state property.

An op-ed, however, asks them not to.

Gun shows are safe, appropriate events that frequently take place across California. Yet many gun control advocates cite dubious statistics about gun shows to justify support for legislation to end gun shows on state property, such as fairgrounds.

Some would have you believe that California gun shows are lawless events where vendors sell guns to violent gangs or without paperwork. Nothing could be further from the truth: California gun shows are more highly regulated than brick-and-mortar gun shops.

No California politician has been able to provide statistics specific to any criminal activity or to any danger at California gun shows. Government should not discriminate against lawful activity because some politicians do not agree with it.

California gun shows are not a place where criminals get guns. Every firearm dealer at a gun show has passed a background check and is licensed with both the state and federal government. Law enforcement officers are stationed across the venue, background checks of buyers must take place, and no one leaves a California gun show with a firearm. There is a 10-day waiting period in California for firearms transactions, and that applies to weapons sold at gun shows, too.

Gun shows are family-friendly events — the kind state fair properties were designed to host.

While I disagree with a lot of the things that happen at California gun shows, the author is 100 percent correct about how little of a chance there is for a criminal to buy a gun there. Between waiting periods and background checks – all gun control measures we’ve been told repeatedly are essential in keeping guns out of criminal hands – there’s no chance of bad guys arming up at gun shows.

The California proposal won’t ban gun shows in the state, thankfully, but it will limit where they can be and, by extension, the size of the shows.

Yet, for California lawmakers, these facts won’t really matter. There’s such a profound anti-gun bias that legislators don’t really care whether the measure will actually do anything, only that people who don’t know any better will believe that it does.

That’s the goal.

It shouldn’t be, though. Not by a longshot. The goal should be about trying to keep criminals disarmed while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens. It’s a tightrope walk, to be sure, but if there’s any doubt, discretion says to lean toward preserving people’s Second Amendment rights.

California legislators don’t even try to walk that tightrope. They gleefully jump on the side of more restrictions all the time.

In the process, they’re failing to actually accomplish anything except making life difficult for the law-abiding. Then they wonder why people are leaving the state and heading for states like Texas.

It’s a mystery.

Sep 22, 2021 6:30 PM ET