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Guns, Speech & Right to Assemble: California Bans Gun Shows



Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble …

Time was, the people who hated the Second Amendment used to at least pretend that they liked the First one. Not so much these days, as states like California are so determined to infringe the Second Amendment that they’re more than happy to rip up the First Amendment to do it. From making it illegal to run gun advertisements (freedom of the press), to banning gun shows on public property (freedom of assembly), America’s anti-gunners are champing at the bit to shred the entire Bill of Rights if it means they can get their grubby little hands on your shooting irons. It’s sad that the only way to get Cali to respect its citizens is to sue the state on a daily basis, but here we all are … and here’s the Second Amendment Foundation with the dirty details.


The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit challenging California’s Senate Bill 264, a ban on gun shows held on public property that was passed and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Joining SAF are the California Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. B&L Productions, Inc., d/b/a Crossroads of the West; Gerald Clark; Eric Johnson; Chad Littrell; Jan Steven Merson; Inc; Asian Pacific American Gun Owners Association; and the Second Amendment Law Center, Inc. The case is known as B&L Productions v. Newsom.

SAF is represented by noted civil rights attorney Donald Kilmer, who successfully represented SAF in overturning the ban on gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County, where the defendants were ordered to pay plaintiffs close to half-million dollars in combined damages and attorney fees

Named as defendants in this case are California Gov. Gavin Newsom in his official capacity as Governor of the State of California, Attorney General Robert Bonta in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California, Karen Ross, in her official capacity as Secretary of California Department of Food & Agriculture, and Todd Spitzer, in his personal and official capacity as District Attorney of Orange County. The 55-page federal complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

“The state has been regulating gun show operations almost out of existence, and more restrictive than brick-and-mortar retail gun shops or even internet sales,” explained SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “Now the California Senate Bill 256 ban amounts to a total deprivation of rights under the color of law, including the First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of assembly, and the 14th Amendment’s equal protection under the law.

“This lawsuit follows our successful action against the Del Mar Fairgrounds,” he added, “but the regulatory ban regime now in place in California applies to any gun show on public property, anywhere in the state. What is alarming to us is that Crossroads of the West has followed the rules, and so have vendors at their gun shows. Yet, the state is prohibiting constitutionally protected activities that are common all over the country, and are already highly regulated. “Like it or not,” Gottlieb observed, “gun shows are public forums where like-minded people can meet and discuss various issues, engage in firearm sales and purchases, learn about gun safety and enjoy the camaraderie inherent at such events. Obviously, the defendants don’t like that, but they simply cannot violate constitutional rights to satisfy a personal disdain.”


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