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Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) introduced a bill that would make the selling of firearms on the Orange County fair property illegal and it was signed by Governor Gavin Newson in a group of gun-safety bills. This ban will be going into effect after the last gun show on the fairgrounds, this Thanksgiving weekend.
In these gun shows around California, individuals gather together to sell firearms and safes, as well as many other props and collector’s items. In addition to these purchases and sales, representatives from the National Rifle Association, from the US Department of Justice and from the California Rifle and Pistol Association are present to answer questions.
“These were by far the most popular booths at the fairgrounds, the gun shows,” Senator Min said.
Min was concerned with the popularity of these booths within our community, since gun violence rises the more guns are available. Another main point of concern was exposing children to guns at the fairgrounds and those arguing said that gun safety is important and learning from the DOJ and NRA is the best way to do it.
“There’s always someone there who can help explain the legalities and what the government is trying to do as well as new laws,” said Scott Young, a frequent gun show visitor, especially at the OC Fair and around Orange County. “That’s my biggest reason for going.”
Ghost guns, or guns that are unserialized and untraceable, have also been said to have been sold at these gun shows around Orange County. Typically, they come with a few parts and screws of a gun that are supposed to be assembled by the buyer.
“What they are calling a ghost gun at these shows isn’t actually a ghost gun,” Young said. “It is a firearm kit that was built for these shows, which is legal in the United States, to build a gun.”
It is legal to assemble a personal firearm for yourself, however not to be distributed and sold in mass quantities. Semi automatic rifles and shotguns are prohibited from being built, however small handguns are legal to assemble at home.
“There are no ghost guns being sold here,” said Dave Fernandez, promoter of the US Gun Trader Chico Gun Show. “There are kits that you can buy but it takes a certain machine and a level of skill to put together.”
Senator Min said that next year, they are working towards a bill that will make information regarding where guns were purchased public, putting pressure on police to release that evidence. Some argue that gun violence will still persist with being banned and some believe it needs to stop completely for gun violence to subside.
“Two-thirds of guns used in gun violence were originally purchased at one point legally,” Senator Min said.
There are as many as 300 million unserialized, illegally bought guns in the United States, which have statistics that are affected due to the inability to locate or identify a gun that was used.
With the ban on gun shows in Orange County, Senator Dave Min is hopeful that these bans will spread elsewhere in California. Those opposed are hopeful that the state stays educated and up to date on laws. The original ban introduced by Min was supposed to affect all of California, however he mentions that last-minute changes affected the area in which the ban would cover.