The Second Amendment Foundation and several California plaintiffs yesterday filed a lawsuit in federal district court in San Diego challenging a decision by the Del Mar Fair Board to stop gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds “until staff members develop a policy that could ban the sale and possession of firearms on the property.”
SAF has joined B&L Productions, Inc., Crossroads of the West; the California Rifle & Pistol Association, South Bay Rod & Gun Club, Maximum Wholesale/Ammo Brothers and five private citizens in the legal action. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys C.D.Michel, Anna M. Barvir and Tiffany D. Cheuvront with Michel & Associates in Long Beach and attorney Donald Kilmer in San Jose, according to a SAF news release.
At stake, according to the lawsuit, are First and Second Amendment rights of plaintiffs and the gun owners who attend such shows.
“For more than 30 years,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “Crossroads has operated popular gun shows in California, including at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. These gatherings are more than just an opportunity to exhibit, buy and sell firearms, they are opportunities for like-minded citizens to meet and discuss gun safety, firearms politics and current or proposed firearms laws and regulations.
“But the Del Mar Fair Board has imposed excessive requirements beyond what show promoters and operators must already comply with under the law,” he added. “We believe this was done in an effort to drive out gun shows altogether from the fairgrounds.”
Gun shows have been under attack for years by the gun prohibition lobby, which claims that criminals get their guns at such events without background checks.
But a recently released Justice Department study revealed that this is a false presumption. According to the 20-page report, which updates earlier research done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a 2016 survey of prison inmates found that only 0.8 percent of those who had a gun during the commission of a crime got them at a gun show.
The report is titled “Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016.” It was prepared by Mariel Alper, Ph.D., and Lauren Glaze, BJS Statisticians.
Yesterday’s lawsuit brings the number of legal actions in which SAF is involved to more than 35.
Gottlieb believes the effort to stop gun shows at the fairground “is an attempt to marginalize gun owners and exclude them from the public square.”
Attorneys Michel and Kilmer are veterans of gun rights litigation in California.