The Fairgrounds board members told us to reach out to the governor and our legislators if we want change.
Action #1: Call your legislators!
Minimal script for our state senator: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator Jackson to support SB-281 – a bill that would ban gun shows at the Cow Palace, as well as AB-893 when it comes before you on June 11th in your Public Safety Committee. We would also like her to sponsor new legislation to help us ban gun shows at our Ventura County Fairgrounds. It’s the 21st century and we need to find more positive ways to support our state-owned facilities than with the sale of weaponry.
Minimal script for our assemblymember: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to thank Assemblymember Limón for supporting AB-893, which bans firearm sales at Del Mar Fairgrounds and we hope she will similarly support SB-281 – which bans gun shows at the Cow Palace, when it arrives in the Assembly. We would also like her to sponsor new legislation to ban gun shows at our Ventura County Fairgrounds. It’s the 21st century and we need to find more positive ways to support our state-owned facilities than with the sale of weaponry.
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (SD-19): SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940 email
State Assemblymember Monique Limón (CA-37): SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-3700 email
Not your people?: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.
Action #2: Call the Governor!
The Fair Board is appointed by the governor, and they can be un-appointed.
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Governor Newsom to help us ban gun shows at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Even before the savagery that occurred at the Borderline in Thousand Oaks, we’ve been unhappy that our state-owned facilities are hosting gun shows, at a rate that matches the Cow Palace. Five of the eight members of our Fair Board don’t have the moral courage or interest to stop the shows on their own and have punted this issue to you. In response, please replace them with those who better represent our community standards and who will lead our fairgrounds into the 21st century.
Contact: Governor Gavin Newsom: (916) 445-2841 Email
Action #3: Mark your calendar for June 27th. Then come. They need to see our numbers in real time.
The board plans to hold a special meeting June 27 to release a proposed policy on gun shows put together by an ad hoc committee formed to study the issue.
Despite ever increasing numbers of community protesters, the Ventura County Fair Board voted 5-3 to approve three more Crossroads-of-the-West gun shows at the fairgrounds through the end of the year, the last one occurring one week before Christmas. Dissenting board member Dan Long noted that he’d gone to several gun shows since being appointed to the board in 2012 and had seen a decrease in both the attendance and the size of the shows. He stated that the Cow Palace in Daly City had voted to eliminate the shows, starting Jan. 1 and ended with “Things, I think, are changing.”
Banning gun shows in CA is not new, according to this great article. There are currently two bills in the CA legislature, described in the actions above, for Del Mar Fairgrounds and the Cow Palace in San Francisco. In 1991, Los Angeles County stopped hosting the Great Western Gun Show, one of the nation’s largest, after holding them for 31 years–22 of those at the Fairplex in Pomona.
It is a disappointing that a vote was taken at all, as the board failed to complete and publish their promised analysis of the impact of these shows on the fairgrounds and the community, as it committed to do last fall. Instead, board supporters just threw up their hands and said that the question of allowing gun shows on public property is one that should be decided by the governor and/or legislature.
As we said at the top of this post, “well, OK.”
Next up is a special meeting on June 27th to present the board’s belated policy on gun shows.