Friday, November 03, 2023

California Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction to Protect First Amendment and Gun Shows




 A California federal court judge has ordered a preliminary injunction against enforcement of two California statutes. The statutes ban gun shows at the Orange County Fairgrounds and on any state property in California. Gun shows have been very popular in California for decades.

A Crossroads of the West Gun Show scheduled for November of 2020 was canceled due to Covid 19.

Crossroads of the West, an enormous gun show, has held them in Orange county for over 30 years. They held a show there as late as November 2021.

According to gun show owner Bob Templeton,  on this video, the gun show in Orange County contributed over a million dollars to Orange County revenue. According to Tracy Olcott, who is taking over the Crossroads Gun Show from her parents, the show had been held at the Orange County Fairgounds for 35 years. The Court record shows Crossroads has had a gun show at the Orange County Fairgrounds every year it was possible for the past 30 years.Tracy made the case in the video, the proposed legislation is aimed at a particular viewpoint, and at preventing people of like minds from assembling together.  In essence the statues are aimed at destroying the American gun culture.

Senator David Minn spearheaded a measure to ban gun shows at the Orange County Fairground in 2021. The bill passed and became California Penal Code 27575 . A later bill banned gun shows on all California state property in 2022, it became California Penal Code 27573.

B&L Productions, Inc. (doing business as Crossroads of the West) filed suit in federal court, contending the two statues violated their rights under both the First and Second Amendments.

On October 30, 2023, District Judge John W. Holcomb for the Central District of California granted a motion for preliminary injunction. Judge Holcomb found it likely the plaintiffs would prevail, and the courts would strike down the two California statutes. From B&L Productions v Newsom:

The California legislature recently enacted two statutes that effectively ban gun shows at the Orange County Fairgrounds and, more broadly, on state-owned property. Plaintiffs, a group of gun show proprietors and enthusiasts, sued the Governor of California and other state officials and agencies in an effort to invalidate those two state statutes.

Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. Plaintiffs argue that the statutes at issue infringe both their First Amendment freedom-of-speech rights in a public forum and their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. After reviewing the parties’ extensive briefing and conducting a hearing on the motion, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have established that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their constitutional claims and that they have satisfied the other requirements for injunctive relief. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ motion is GRANTED. Defendants are preliminarily ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from enforcing the two state statues at issue.

California politicians have been attempting to shut down California gun shows for at least two decades.  During that period, the hostility of the Ninth Circuit judges has become infamous. During the same two decades, the Supreme Court of the United States has rendered several decisions to restore Second Amendment rights to their proper position as enumerated in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. Those decisions include Heller (2008), McDonald (2010), Caetano (2016), and Bruen (2022). California is one of a few states stubbornly refusing to follow the Supreme Court directions on the Second Amendment.


It seems likely the State of California will appeal the order of preliminary injunction to the Ninth Circuit. If a three judge panel upholds the preliminary injunction, expect the State of California to appeal to an en banc panel of judges, where favorable rulings on the Second Amendment have gone to be killed.

©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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