County bans gun shows at fairgrounds
‘The county will not allow its properties to be used in the proliferation of this critical public health hazard’
Gun shows, fixtures for generations of hunters and sportsmen looking to check out the latest in firearms, have been effectively banned at the Santa County Clara County fairgrounds.
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved an ordinance that bans the possession and sale of firearms on county property. The ordinance proposed by Supervisor Ken Yeager and approved Tuesday exempts the county- operated Field Sports Park shooting range, as well as peace officers, on- dutymembers of the military, and authorized concealed carry weapon permit holders.
“Gun violence and gun-related injuries and deaths are critical public health concerns,” Yeager said. “This ordinance sends a clear message that the county will not allow its properties or resources to be used in the proliferation of this critical public health hazard.”
Final approval of the ordinance is expected at the board’s June 5th meeting.
The ordinance does not prevent lawful gun owners from possessing or using firearms on private property or from buying guns at licensed vendors
throughout the county, Yeager said.
Yeager argued the ordinance will minimize the risk of gun-related injuries for employees and visitors, and is consistent with the county’s mission to promote public health and safety. Alameda, Los Angeles, and San Mateo counties have adopted similar ordinances that have been upheld by the courts, he said.
Gun shows have been a target of criticism because federal law has more restrictions on firearm sales from licensed dealers than unlicensed dealers like at gun shows. But unlike many other states, Cali- fornia requires gun dealers at gun shows to be federally licensed and that buyers wait 10 days to receive a firearm after purchase.
A law firm representing the National Rifle Association of America and the California Rifle and Pistol Association, which sponsored the county’s most recent gun show Feb. 10 and 11, had written in a letter to the board that the move would be a needless infringement on residents’ rights.
“To date, we are unaware of a single instance of violence or injury occurring at a gun show on Santa Clara County property,” attorney Matthew D. Cubeiro of Long Beach firm Michel and Associates wrote. “Considering the aforementioned restrictions, there is no ‘ gun show loophole’ in California because the transfer of a firearm is prohibited from occurring at a gun show. As a result, any argument that California gun shows are under-regulated lacks any factual support and is without merit.”
But Yeager said Tuesday that “mass shootings seem to have become a weekly occurrence in America, and Santa Clara County residents don’t feel safe anymore.”
“By banning the sale and possession of firearms on county properties, we minimize the chance that gunrelated injuries will occur there,” Yeager said. “Our residents, employees, and visitors will both feel safer and be safer.”
The board has unanimously approved the ban of gun sales and possession on county property, despite having no issues at past fairground events