Gun shows have no place at California fairgrounds
Our state contributes to gun violence by allowing the sale of arms and ammunition on property belonging to taxpayers, a practice SB 264 would stop.
By Dave Min, special for CalMatters
Senator Dave Min, a Democrat from Irvine, represents the 37th Senate District, [email protected]
At this point, it is difficult to keep track of the gun violence that is ravaging our country.
In 2021, there have already been more than 310 mass shootings nationwide and over 17,000 lives lost armed violence. In Orange County 37e Senate District, we have seen two high-profile shootings, including the mass shooting on March 31 at an office complex in Orange, which claimed the lives of four victims, and the shooting on May 21 in Orange which killed a child. 6 years old. Aiden Leos.
No other developed country has levels of gun violence close to those we see in the United States. But we cannot allow this epidemic of gun violence to normalize.
To help solve this problem, I drafted Senate Bill 264, which would end most gun shows in California County Fairgrounds because I think our state needs to take position and withdraw from the sale of firearms. Given research showing that more guns lead to more gun violence, it is morally wrong that our state continues to promote gun violence by allowing the sale of arms and ammunition on property belonging to taxpayers.
Gun shows are essentially flea markets for guns and are a primary mechanism by which unauthorized, unregistered and illegal guns are trafficked into secondary markets. According to research carried out by leading political organizations, gun shows often create an opportunity to circumvent gun safety laws and are a commonplace for straw buying and illegal gun transfers.
Gun shows are also an important channel for the sale of ghost weapons – precursor parts of weapons 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 type pistols and AR-15 style rifles. These phantom weapon parts did not have a serial number and could be purchased for cash and taken right out of the exhibit, without background checks or licensing. These untraceable phantom weapons have become a major concern for law enforcement.
Even though no illegal or unlicensed firearms or phantom weapons have been sold at gun shows, there is still a compelling case for ending such shows on public property. The gun shows are held for one purpose: to sell as much guns and ammunition as possible. And it has been fatal for California communities.
the Harvard Injury Control Research Center brought the research together, and the results are clear: Contrary to the arguments of the National Rifle Association and its cronies, guns do not deter crime or homicide. In fact, more guns means more gun violence of all kinds – homicides, suicides and accidents. This is true whether you are comparing countries, states, counties or households. More guns mean every fight, every incident of domestic violence, every bar fight, every incident of teen bullying is more likely to turn fatal.
While the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, it does not require the state government of California to actively participate in the distribution of arms. We face a moral and economic crisis due to gun violence, and it is high time to get California out of the gun sale. SB 264 is our chance to draw a line in the sand and say loud and clear that the great state of California will no longer profit from the sale of guns and no longer contribute to the never-ending cycle of gun violence.
SB 264 enjoys broad support in the Senate and will then be heard by the Assembly Committee on Public Security July 13. I encourage you to contact your local MP and ask them to vote yes on the bill.