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New legislation would ban gun shows on all state-owned fairgrounds

Critics of this proposed bill say that if this statewide ban does pass, it will be challenged in court.

DEL MAR, Calif — The current ban on gun shows on the Del Mar fairgrounds in San Diego County could possibly be extended to the entire state, with the introduction of new legislations which would prohibit these popular shows at all 73 state-owned fairgrounds. 

Gun rights groups, though, say this move violates their constitutional rights. 

"Here in California, we are here to say enough is enough," said State Senator Dave Min, who introduced this new statewide bill this week, after passing legislation last year to ban gun shows at the Orange County Fair. "The state of California should not be profiting off the sale of guns: this is blood money."

The San Diego-based gun control advocacy group Never Again CA, which successfully fought to ban gun shows on the Del Mar fairgrounds, is battling for this new expanded ban as well.

"Our state does not belong in the business of adding to the proliferation of guns and making a profit for the sale of these guns on state-owned property," said Rose Ann Sharp, founder of Never Again CA

Proponents of the ban said that guns shows are a popular supplier of untraceable 'ghost gun' parts, as well as a common venue for "straw purchases' of firearms, which they say eventually end up in the wrong hands.

Gun rights groups, though, adamantly refute those claims. 

"There is zero proof that these gun shows are a hotbed of straw purchases," said Michael Schwartz, executive director of San Diego County Gun Owners PAC.

"All the same laws and regulations apply at a gun show that apply anywhere else, including a gun store," said Schwartz. "There's absolutely no reason to believe that there's any more illegal activity, there's certainly no dangerous activity, that goes on at a gun show."

Schwartz also said that if this proposed ban does pass, it will be challenged in court.

"This is a Second Amendment violation, but it's also a First Amendment violation," he told CBS 8. "The government's role is supposed to protect the rights of the minority, and gun owners are certainly a minority here in California, and giving them a place to exercise their right is the exact role of the government."

State Senator Min did not share that view.

"While there's certainly a Second Amendment right to bear arms, there is nothing in the Constitution that would imply that the state of California has to use our property to sell guns," Min countered.

Barring any legal action, if passed this session by the state legislature and signed by Governor Newsom, this new legislation would take effect in January of next year.

WATCH RELATED: Ghost gun ban in city of San Diego goes into effect (October 2021)


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