An Orange County supervisor is speaking out against a proposed bill that would prevent gun sales at the Costa Mesa fairgrounds.
The state Senate bill—being pushed by Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine)—would ban firearm and ammunition sales on public property throughout California, effectively ending gun shows.
Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner called the proposed legislature a “bad idea,” saying it wouldn’t help reduce gun-related crime.
“There is to my mind very little legitimate science or study behind the idea that gun shows are in particular a source of some of the tragedies that we have seen around the country in the last few years,” Wagner told The Epoch Times on Feb. 11. “I think it is just sort of a mindless ‘guns are bad and let’s ban them when we can’ approach.”
The Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa has hosted the annual Crossroads of the West Gun Show for the past 25 years. This bill would halt the show’s return, and any of its kind throughout the state.
Min said in a Jan. 28 statement that the bill is an effort to stop the sale of illegal guns, guns sold to buyers without a background check, and gun thefts from careless vendors.
“Our county fairgrounds are supposed to be family-friendly venues, long associated with wholesome events like county fairs, 4-H events, rodeos and music festivals,” Min said. “But instead, in recent years, they’ve become most well-known for gun shows. That needs to change, and this bill would accomplish that change.
“While the Second Amendment allows for the well-regulated sales and purchase of firearms, it does not require that taxpayer-owned properties be used to facilitate those transactions.”
But Orange County’s District 3 supervisor says banning guns doesn’t address the true issue.
“It also isn’t going to solve the problem because those who won’t obey the laws against shooting people aren’t going to obey the laws against having guns and those who will obey the laws can be counted on to responsibly use, store, and learn their weapons.” Wagner said.
He said he believes a prohibition on gun shows is part of a larger effort from the Democratic platform to ban guns entirely.
“It is straight from the Democrat’s ‘ban guns, guns are bad’ playbook. The Second Amendment seems to be foreign territory to a lot of my friends and former friends up in Sacramento,” he said.
He said registered gun owners have a right to have firearms. He recommends they take a course to learn how to use the firearm, and store it responsibly.
“Responsible gun ownership is not only a fundamental right in this country but at the end of the day, we’re watching an increase in crime; and we’re watching Sacramento make it more and more difficult to put people who belong in jail, in jail, and keep them in jail. I think that it’s inevitable that folks begin to fear for their safety, and want to protect themselves and their families.”
The bill states that “gun shows bring grave danger to a community,” citing gun-related tragedies that have occurred at gun shows from vendors accused of trafficking illegal firearms, those prohibited to buy firearms, and illegal importation of large-capacity magazines.
It also sends the message that California won’t endorse the proliferation of more guns into local communities, Min said.
“When kids across the state, including my three children, return to in-person instruction later this year, they’ll once again have to go through the terror of active shooter drills,” Min said. “That’s just wrong.”