San Diego Gun Owners PAC Applauds Federal Judge’s Decision
Del Mar CA— The San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), a countywide political action committee promoting Second Amendment rights, is applauding a recent federal court ruling ordering the continuation of gun shows at the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo recently issued a preliminary injunction in favor of B&L Productions, Inc., operators of the popular Crossroads of the West Gun Show, which has annually drawn hundreds of thousands of people from all parts of San Diego County for decades to Del Mar.
The court ruling said B&L would be “likely to suffer irreparable harm,” following last year’s gun show ban by the 22nd District Agricultural Association, operators of the fairgrounds. The injunction also said a lawsuit against the Del Mar Fairgrounds board of directors is likely to succeed.
“The injunction shows that the judge agrees there is a valid and important case to be made on behalf of California gun owners,” said Michael Schwartz, SDCGO executive director. “For over 30 years San Diego has enjoyed a professional, educational, legal, and responsible gun show at a publicly owned venue. It is unconscionable that a very few people would use the force of government to discriminate against fellow San Diegans simply because they dislike them for exercising their rights.”
The injunction stated: “The District is enjoined from enforcing the policy is adopted on Sept. 11, 2018, pursuant to which it refused to allow any gun show events to be held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds during the 2019 calendar year. The District must make available the next available date for a gun show and allow B&L to reserve dates for gun show events (and to hold such events) at the Fairgrounds as the District would any other show promoters who have previously held events at the Fairgrounds.”
The court decision also included deadlines for future court dates, including Aug. 16 for discovery and Aug. 29 for summary judgment motions, along with a hearing on motions for summary judgment on Sept. 26.
“Although the decision is not final, gun owners are happy with the judge’s decision to stop bans on gun shows while the lawsuit makes its way through the courts,” said Schwartz. “There is nothing reasonable about a total ban.”
The two-day gun show has been held at the publicly owned fairgrounds five times a year for the past 30 years. Last year, an investigation by SDCGO revealed the nine-member fairgrounds board has a bias against gun ownership based on past political contributions to anti-Second Amendment candidates and initiatives.
Additional gun-rights supporters in the recent B&L legal action included the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation. A statement from CRPA said the preliminary injunction means that gun show promoters may now request dates and hold shows while the case continues.
“We’re thankful Judge Bencivengo sees the Constitutional problem with banning these safe, perfectly-legal events and is allowing the show to go on while we continue to fight,” said Tiffany Cheuvront, civil rights attorney for the Crossroads of the West show. “We’re confident that as this case progresses, law-abiding Americans’ civil rights will not be unjustly violated and that we will prevail.”
Cheuvront also said, “These well-funded anti-gun groups are using every myth in the book to push their anti-gun agenda on a legal, safe, and family-friendly event that has been held for years because they simply don’t like guns. This is a huge first victory for those involved in the case including CRPA, Second Amendment Foundation, South Bay Rod and Gun Club and all of the individual plaintiffs.”
A statement from CRPA also said although gun show opponents argue the event should not be allowed on public property because gun shows glorify gun culture, “the reality is that less than 10 percent of the activity at a gun show involves firearms or ammunition. The shows are a modern bazaar, with a wide assortment of food, interesting merchandise, and services available. Only the Del Mar Fairgrounds is large enough to accommodate the show and there are no other suitable public or private venues in the area.”
Founded in 2015, the San Diego County Gun Owners is a registered political action committee (FPPC ID #1379388) and advocacy organization focused on organizing the gun industry and community and protecting the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. With a membership exceeding 1,400 individuals, the PAC provides news and information on new gun laws and Second Amendment advocacy. Its sponsored events include gun safety classes, small gun shows, sporting clay shoots, social gatherings and pistol, rifle and shotgun experiences taught by professional instructors. For more information, visit www.sandiegocountygunowners.com.