“Flea markets for firearms” don’t belong at our fairgrounds. Call your assemblymember today!

Call your assemblymember and ask that they support Sen. Dave Min’s bill SB-264 – “Firearms: state property,” to prevent our state-owned fairgrounds from being rented out as a gun marketplace. This bill passed the Senate (29-9) and is heading into Assembly public safety committee on July 13.

Our own fairgrounds’ Board of Directors reduced the number of shows in 2019 in response to strong community activism, but seems unable to do what some other former host cities have done, such as Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas. They ultimately helped push through AB 893, with permanently prevents Del Mar Fairgrounds from leasing their property to gun shows.

Ventura’s next Crossroads of the West gun show will be in October and there are other gun shows scheduled at fairgrounds and venues throughout the state. Beyond straw sales and theft from vendors, every show is a dispersion point for ghost gun and and precursor parts into our communities. Even Bob Templeton, the head of the family that own Crossroads of the West “has concerns about ghost gun parts being sold at his shows, but he said he’s been threatened with litigation if he didn’t allow those vendors – and he noted there’s another pending state bill that would ban the sale of precursor parts at gun shows.

We agree, Bob, and the best way we can help you with your legal issues is to stop your shows from coming here in the first place.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Assemblymember [___] to know that I strongly support Sen. Min’s SB264. Our state, and my tax dollars, should not in any way be associated with the selling and promotion of firearms, ammunition and untraceable gun parts. Please ask Asm. [___] to encourage his/her colleagues on the Public Safety Committee to vote “YES” on this bill.


State Assemblymember Steve Bennett (CA-37): email, SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-3700
Not your people?: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.

If your assemblymember is on the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, be sure to call them today before tomorrow’s hearing (7/13).

Background from CA Senator Dave Min:

From his Calmatter’s article, (Also Times of San Diego):

In 2021, there already have been over 310 mass shootings nationwide and over 17,000 lives lost to gun violence. In Orange County’s 37th Senate District, we have experienced two high-profile shootings, including the March 31 mass shooting at an office complex in Orange, which took the lives of four victims, and the May 21 road-rage shooting in Orange that killed 6-year-old Aiden Leos.

No other developed country has levels of gun violence remotely close to what we experience in the United States. But we cannot allow this gun violence epidemic to be normalized.

To help address this, I have authored Senate Bill 264, which would effectively end most gun shows at county fairgrounds in California, because I believe our state must take a stand and remove ourselves from the business of selling guns. Given the research showing that more guns lead to more gun violence, it is morally reprehensible for our state to continue to promote gun violence by allowing the sale of guns and ammunition on taxpayer-owned property. 

Gun shows essentially are flea markets for firearms and are a primary mechanism by which unlicensed, unregistered and illegal firearms are trafficked through secondary markets. According to research by leading policy organizations, gun shows often create the opportunity to circumvent gun safety laws and are a common venue for straw purchases and illegal gun transfers. 

Gun shows also are a major conduit for the sale of ghost guns — gun precursor parts designed to be assembled into a firearm. When my staff and I recently visited a gun show, the most popular vendors were those selling ghost-gun kits for Glock-like pistols and AR-15-style rifles. These ghost-gun parts had no serial numbers and could be purchased with cash and carried right out of the gun show, with no background checks or licensing. These untraceable ghost guns have become a top concern for law enforcement.

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…”

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