Judge Blocks California County’s Gun Show Ban, Citing Rights Violation

(ReliableNews.org) – In 2021, California State Senator Dave Min introduced Senate Bill 264, halting gun shows at the Orange County Fair and Event Center and prohibiting the sale of firearms and ammunition at the venue. The Orange County Fairground Board had approved four gun shows for that year — a move Min found “grossly irresponsible.” Min’s legislation passed.

The following year, the same lawmaker introduced another bill — SB 915. That legislation would stop people from selling guns and ammunition on state property in the Golden State entirely. His reasoning was to help close the “gun show loophole” and keep weapons out of “family-friendly venues.” That measure passed as well, and both went into effect in January. On October 30, a federal judge blocked both state laws.

What Happened?

US District Judge John Holcomb halted both state laws stating California’s effort to stop “crimes committed with illegal weapons” does not justify stopping the lawful sale of “firearms at gun shows.” The judge said those same weapons are sold at gun stores, so it didn’t make sense for the laws to remain in place. Holcomb reasoned that those who purchase arms at gun shows already don’t receive them right away. They have to go to an actual gun store to pick up their purchase after a waiting period and a background check.

The judge also concluded that SB 264 and SB 915 are unconstitutional violations of the First Amendment. Holcomb said they infringe on “commercial speech” on government property. The judge also agreed with the plaintiff that the laws violate the Fourteenth Amendment regarding equal protection. He also said there is “no historical basis” as to why the ban went through in 2022.


Senator Min immediately reacted to the judge’s move on social media. He called Holcomb a “Trump-appointed activist judge” who was abusing his position and making “communities less safe.” He said the bills he introduced that were signed into law were helping to prevent the unchecked “flow of firearms — including ghost guns” into California neighborhoods. The lawmaker said he was confident Holcomb’s decision would be overturned on appeal. Min said he hoped no one would lose their lives as a result of the judge’s decision in the meantime.

According to Fox News, California Attorney General Rob Bonta requested the judge leave the laws in effect for 10 days, giving him time to appeal the ruling. However, Holcomb refused, stating he wasn’t convinced that his ruling posed any danger to the public while the issue makes its way through the courts.

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