Irvine Senator David Min was run in a 5 km race at the Orange County Fairgrounds on August 5, 2019. For OC residents, this was a typical fairground day filled with fried foods and entertainment, but across the country in Dayton, Ohio , a consecutive mass shooting had claimed the life of nine more victims and 27 injured.
As Min finished the race, he and other participants received promotional flyers, according to the OC Register. One of these leaflets was for the Western Gun Show Hub, an annual gun show that takes place during the OC Fair. This experience inspired Min with the pen B-264 Firearms: OC’s Exhibition and Event Center, a bill that would ban gun shows and the sale of guns and gun parts at the OC Fair and Event Center.
An important part of the bill deals with the sale of “Ghost weapons”. At these gun shows, some stalls sell gun parts that can be purchased separately and built into a gun without a serial number and owner’s background check. This is currently legal under federal law.
This the bill is passed the State Assembly Public Safety Committee, and is currently awaiting the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom, who has until October 10 to sign the bill.
âWe are facing tragic and unacceptable levels of gun violence in our state. These are not just statistics, and we cannot just accept the status quo as normal, âMin said in a statement. Press release. âCalifornia must stop perpetuating gun violence. “
While our editorial board fully supports gun safety and common sense legislation to protect people from mass shootings ravage the country, we believe this bill will simply amount to a publicity stunt that will bring no lasting change and do nothing to address the problem of gun violence in our society.
For starters, this law will only affect gun shows in Orange County on state property. According to Crossroads of the West Gun Shows website, they organize gun shows in San Bernardino, Ontario and Ventura. These shows will not be affected by the bill, as they are not held on state owned property. How will this bill be effective in reducing the number of guns in OC when interested buyers can drive less than an hour to the same show?
Additionally, according to Crossroads of the West Gun Shows website, the gun shows in California are not a âfree for everyone where anyone can buy anythingâ. Gun shows must follow the same laws as gun shops. Anyone attempting to purchase a gun must pass a background check by the US Department of Justice, and it is a crime for a “prohibited person” to even attempt to purchase a gun. The same 10-day waiting period to pick up purchased guns also applies to gun shows, meaning people don’t go out on the same day with guns.
Another reason why this will do little to solve the problem of gun violence is a provision in the bill that grants an exemption prohibition on any seller who enters into a contract with the OC Fair and Event Center before January 1, 2022. According to report by Voice of OC, OC Fair officials could rush to approve a contract before that deadline, which would allow Crossroads of the West Gun Shows to continue hosting these shows for a predetermined amount of time after the ban.
OC voice also reported that Crossroads of the West Gun Shows “acknowledged previous board conversations regarding the precursor parts of firearms used to make” phantom weapons “, and proposed to consider eliminating these exhibitors from its shows 2022 if approved “for a contract.
The OC register reported that regular participants in these shows include the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Ministry of Justice, as well as local law enforcement agencies. If the goal is to regulate firearms more effectively, what better place is there to do so on state property where local, state and federal authorities are present? Certainly that provides more oversight than letting these regulations be enforced by privately owned gun stores.
Finally, according to the The San Diego Union Tribune Interview with Bob Templeton, founder of the Crossroads of the West Gun Shows, in the show’s 25-year history at the OC Fair and Event Center, there have been “no serious law enforcement issues or weapon related to the show that was used in crimes. ”
It appears that this bill is simply creating a straw man opponent, with a twisted premise to make it appear that our state lawmakers are grappling with the problem of gun violence – when in reality this bill will probably have no impact on this issue in the future. Why not focus on federal laws that allow loopholes like phantom weapons and passing laws that actually reduce gun violence? Why not focus on solving the fundamental problems of gun violence, such as mental health issues? Why not use the $ 6 million in profits OC has seen the last 25 years of these gun shows to fund smart gun technology Who uses biometrics to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands?
For these reasons, our editorial staff oppose this bill proposed by Senator Min. We fully support gun safety and regulation in our state, country and community, but we would like the state’s resources and energy to be focused on solutions that will have more impact on the crisis. gun violence.