(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Steve Bennett (D-Ventura) and Senator Monique Limon announced legislation today to restrict gun sales at the Ventura County Fairground. They were joined at the press conference by Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) who announced legislation to end gun sales at all county fairgrounds across the state.
According to a report published by UC Davis, gun shows have been identified as a source for illegally trafficked firearms. Additionally, a report published at the Center for American Progress notes that gun shows have received criticism as being "the critical moment in the chain of custody for many guns, the point at which they move from the somewhat-regulated legal market to the shadowy, no-questions-asked illegal market." And, according to American Academy of Pediatrics California, "Gun violence is among the greatest public health crises facing children and youth. Nearly 7,000 children younger than 18 are killed or wounded by gunshots each year. Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 17, outpaced only by death from car crashes and drownings and illnesses like cancer.
"Unfortunately, the United States experiences far more gun violence per person than virtually every other modern industrialized country in the world," Said Bennett, "and what accounts for this? The United States has one of the most pervasive gun cultures in the world supported by a powerful gun lobby. Gun shows at the Fairgrounds enhance this and it is time for each of us to play a role in changing this culture."
"State property does not need to be in the business of facilitating the sale of dangerous firearms," said Senator Limn, "this legislation is an important step forward to enhance public safety and reflects the direction that the County of Ventura, City of Ventura, and City Oxnard have asked the state to take."
"Our county fairgrounds are supposed to be family-friendly venues, long associated with events like county fairs. Instead, these venues have become most well-known for hosting gun shows. This needs to change," noted Senator Min, "and I am proud to support legislation led by Senator Limón and Assemblymember Bennett to finally get the Ventura County Fairgrounds out of the business of government-sponsored gun shows. While the Second Amendment allows for the well-regulated sales and purchase of firearms, the Constitution does not require that taxpayer-owned properties be used to facilitate those transactions."
Rose Ann Sharp, Founder of NeverAgainCA, noted, "Gun manufacturers are driven to make a profit from the sale of guns. This legislation is driven by data that shows the more guns there are in a community, the more gun violence there is."
"The California gun show loophole allows people who can’t pass background checks to buy unserialized and untraceable ghost guns - guns which are flooding our communities and fueling our gun violence epidemic. Ghost guns are increasingly recovered from crime scenes - a growing problem for law-enforcement and the weapon of choice for criminals. This gun violence is a serious drain on our state's economy, costing California taxpayers $18.3 billion a year. We should treat gun-shows as we would any other failing business and recognize the massive human and fiscal price to our state far outweighs the profits. California taxpayers cannot afford to continue subsidizing the massive costs of gun violence in our communities — we must end gun shows on state-owned land." Noted Piper Benom, Co-Chair, Gun Safety Working Action Group, Women for American Values and Ethics.
AB 1769 builds off efforts in other counties to restrict gun sales. In 2021, SB 264 (Min) was signed into law to prohibit gun sales at Orange County Fairground. And in 2018, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 893 (Gloria) which ended gun shows at the Del Mar State Fairground.
Contact: Arwen Chenery (Bennett)
February 1, 2022 Arwen.Chenery@asm.ca.gov
Jimmy Wittrock (Limón)
Kelly Jones (Min)