BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and two California gun rights groups have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s restrictive regulatory scheme covering the sale of firearms and ammunition as it applies to gun show operations in the state.
Joining SAF are the California Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., South Bay Rod and Gun Club, Inc., B&L Productions, Inc./Crossroads of the West, Captain Jon’s Lockers, LLC; L.A.X. Firing Range, Inc./LAX Ammo and six private citizens. 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 over a half-million dollars.
Named as defendants in this case are California Gov. Gavin Newsom in his official and personal capacity, Attorney General Robert Bonta, California Department of Food & Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, San Diego County District Attorney Stephan Summer, San Diego County Counsel Thomas Montgomery, the 22nd District Agricultural Association and Does 1-50. The 57-page federal complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
“Boiled down to the basics,” explained SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “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. This amounts to deprivation of rights under color of local 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 regime now in place in California applies to any gun show, 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 attempting to prohibit constitutionally protected activities that are perfectly legal, 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.”