A California gun violence bill to ban sales of guns, ghost guns, and ammunition on state-owned property is on its way to the assembly floor. But the bill underwent some modifications and will now enact the ban on only one fairground site, the Orange County Fair and Event Center, instead of statewide.
The bill was introduced by State Sen. Dave Min, who said he was disappointed that it was heavily diluted after coming out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee Aug. 26.
“While I’m happy that SB 264 is one step closer to keeping the citizens of Orange County safer from the specter of gun violence, I am extremely disappointed that this bill was derailed by politics as usual,” Min said in a statement. “We are facing a gun violence epidemic, one that is not limited to Orange County but which has enveloped our state and country with tragic and unacceptable results. These are not just statistics, and we cannot simply allow the status quo to be normalized or seen as acceptable.”
If passed through the assembly with a majority vote and signed into law by the governor, the popular “Crossroads” of the West Gun Show will be unable to hold their event at the fairgrounds, which has been running for 25 years.
Min said the bill was “watered down” by the Assembly Appropriations Committee without consulting him, which is within their authority, but it was unclear why they narrowed it to one location instead of statewide. He said the county fairgrounds was likely chosen as the single location because it resides in his district.
However, Min told The Epoch Times he believes that legally owned guns are still the problem when it comes to gun violence.
“[T]he claim that gun shows mostly sell guns to law abiding citizens misses the point,” Min said. “Most guns used in crimes are legally purchased (and then either used by the purchaser, by the purchaser’s friend or family member, or by someone who steals the firearm). Most incidents of gun violence (including the two recent high profile shootings in the city of Orange, which I represent, according to news reports) involve legally purchased guns.”
He continued: “So, it is unsurprising that study after study has concluded that the presence of more guns in a community—legally purchased or not—leads to more gun violence. To the extent that gun shows sell many guns, that meaningfully increases the risk of gun violence in the surrounding communities.”
Min also said that ghost guns—guns built that omit serial numbers to be untraceable—are sold at gun shows, and there is a lack of data on how often they are used in crimes.
“Because these types of firearms are not typically registered, we don’t have data on how often they are used in crimes or in incidents of gun violence, but that lack of data should not be seen as dispositive of anything, particularly given that these types of guns are designed to be untraceable. We know that a large percentage of ghost guns are sold at gun shows, and that these ghost guns are increasingly used in crimes.”
Min vowed to resume his efforts next year in order to accomplish his original goal of removing all gun and ammunition sales on state-owned property.
“I plan on good old community organizing – engaging and mobilizing more stakeholders across the state to show the broad support that exists to eliminate gun shows,” he said.
“At the same time, I expect to benefit from having more time and experience as a state legislator. I’ve been in the State Senate for less than a year, and during a pandemic that has limited my ability to get to know my colleagues, particularly those in the Assembly. I hope and expect that increased experience and familiarity with my colleagues and the processes we use in the Legislature will allow me to navigate this legislation better.”