A federal district court judge in San Diego has issued a preliminary injunction against the Del Mar Fair Board’s attempt to ban gun shows at the San Diego County Fairgrounds in Del Mar, in a case involving the Second Amendment Foundation, California Rifle and Pistol Association, several other groups and individuals.
Federal District Judge Cathy Bencivengo, a 2012 Barack Obama appointee, issued the preliminary injunction, prohibiting the Del Mar Fair Board from enforcing a recently-enacted moratorium on gun shows at the fairgrounds. Plaintiffs in the case consider this a huge victory over a moratorium that took effect back on Jan. 1 and the lawsuit was followed later that month.
Del Mar is a coastal community located a few miles north of San Diego.
SAF and CRPA are joined by B&L Productions, Inc., Crossroads of the West, South Bay Rod and Gun Club, Maximum Wholesale/Ammo Brothers and five private citizens, according to a SAF news release.
SAF is represented by veteran attorney Donald Kilmer, who has won previous lawsuits challenging gun show restrictions in the Golden State. CRPA is represented by attorney Chuck Michel, another veteran of California gun law litigation. The case is supported by the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, according to a CRPA news release.
“Of course we’re delighted with this ruling,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “At a time, and in a state, where law-abiding gun owners seem under constant attack, having a federal judge side with our complaint validates our efforts to protect constitutional and civil rights.”
CRPA is calling this “a major victory,” considering that it comes from a California court.
“This is a huge first victory for those involved in the case,” the group said.
According to the judge’s order, “based on the evidence and argument contained in the briefing, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have established that they are likely to succeed on the merits against the District, that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of the equities tip in their favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.”
The court further said that the 22nd District Agricultural Association “must make available the next available date for a gun show and allow B&L to reserve dates for gun show events (and to hold such events) at the Fairgrounds as the District would any other show promoters who have previously held events at the Fairgrounds. This preliminary injunction will remain in effect until further order of the Court
Gottlieb was especially cheered because SAF has been posting wins elsewhere lately, including a recent decision by the Second District Appellate Court in Illinois that dismissed an effort by the Village of Deerfield to challenge a permanent injunction against the community’s attempted ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “large-capacity magazines.” SAF was joined in that case by the Illinois State Rifle Association—it’s partner in the landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago—on behalf of Deerfield resident Daniel Easterday. Deerfield’s appeal was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, the court ruled.
That case may not be entirely dead, however, because of some issues that may still be pending.
Discovery in the case is to begin immediately and be completed by mid-August. Motions for summary judgment must be filed by Aug. 29, with oppositions by Sept. 12, followed by replies one week later.