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ICYMI: Min Calls for a Halt to Gun Shows at OC Fairgrounds

So while I was out at BlackHat in the extreme Las Vegas heat, this announcement popped in my inbox.  My MiFi Jetpack wasn’t working, so checking email was very limited last week to keep hackers away.  That said, I wish I got to this announcement sooner.

in the wake of the mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton last week, SD-37 State Senate candidate Dave Min is calling for a ban of gun shows at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

Here’s his announcement:

In Response to Past Weekend’s Senseless Gun Violence, Immediate Action Needed to Keep Communities Safe

Irvine, Calif. — Dave Min, UC Irvine law professor and candidate for California’s 37th State Senate District, called for the Governor and Legislature to ban gun shows from the Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa.

The Event Center’s governing board continues to approve the use of state-owned land to sell guns and ammunition to the community of Costa Mesa and beyond. The gun show operator, Crossroads of the West, sells thousands of weapons and weapons-related equipment at the annual OC Fair despite allegations of a felony conviction levied against its founder for federal firearms violations. The Event Center is on state land, giving the Governor and Legislature the authority to regulate it.

“The tragic cycle of gun violence that continued this past weekend has to end,” said Dave Min.  “I don’t see freedom when my children come home scared after active shooter drills at school, or when I arrive at the County Fair and am given free tickets to take my family to a gun show.  Instead, I see dollar signs valued over the lives of the innocent.  I see the deliberate perpetuation of a public health crisis that we can stop but refuse to.

“Gun shows like those held by Crossroads of the West exist for the sole purpose of bringing firearms—many of these weapons of war—into our communities. This is putting the profits of gun manufacturers over the lives of real people. I am calling on the governing board of the OC County Fair to end its contract with Crossroads of the West and any other gun show marketers. The next life lost can’t possibly be worth a $278,000 contract. It is well past time to stand up for our children and our community.

“I applaud recent efforts to end gun shows at state-owned fairgrounds in Del Mar and the San Francisco Bay Area. Similarly, in my first 100 days in office, I promise to author legislation for a ban on these gun shows at the OC Fair and Event Center once and for all.  Additionally, I will continue to work with gun safety and violence prevention groups as well as responsible gun owners to advocate for real, on-the-ground action to end these senseless tragedies.”


David Min is a University of California Irvine Law Professor, father of three, and a former economic policy staffer in the United States Senate and for the Center for American Progress. Min began his legal career at the Securities and Exchange Commission to protect the retirement security of seniors, turning down high paying jobs to serve the public interest.  He is a leading expert on banking and housing policy.

California State Senate District 37 is located in Orange County and includes the communities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Foothill Ranch, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park.

Min’s announcement, placed on social media, drew the ire of some of Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley’s staff suggesting this was a politically motivated stunt and that Min should have contacted the city and city staff.  The truth is that while the fairgrounds is based in Costa Mesa, the city has no authority to call for an end to gun shows at the Fairgrounds.  That authority rests with the Governor.

And if it is a political stunt, one wonders if the city values the sales tax generated by these gun shows over the gun show loophole that can place assault weapons and high capacity magazines in the hands of gun enthusiasts who might be the next mass shooter.

Min took this call to stop gun shows at the Fairgrounds for criticism of Mission Viejo Mayor Greg Raths, who is running against Rep. Katie Porter for the CA-45 seat in 2020.  Raths’ gun forum seemed to be more focused on concealed/carry than actual assault weapons bans and other preventative measures.  The new GOP talking point focuses on the mental health of gun owners (and mass shooters), which oddly Foley brought up in her first debate with Min, forgetting that Trump signed an executive order making it easier for mentally ill people to acquire guns and ammo.

If Raths emerges as the GOP candidate to face off against Porter, she’ll wipe the floor with him on this issue.

It’s high time to stop these gun shows from thriving in Orange County.