SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – A Santa Clara County supervisor wants to ban gun shows from the public fairgrounds.
Twice a year, the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds hosts gun shows. But that will all come to an end if Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager gets his way.
“Our real mission is the health and safety of the public,” Yeager said. “My feeling is that the county really shouldn’t be involved in, sort of if you will, the promotion of guns.”
His proposal, to ban guns on all county property, comes in response to the deadly Parkland, Florida school shooting.
If passed, the ordinance would not only ban gun sales on county owned and leased property but will also make it illegal for anyone, except for law enforcement and those with a concealed carry permit, to have a gun on county land.
But Donald Kilmer, a civil rights attorney who has made a career defending the 2nd Amendment, believes the proposal is unlikely to go anywhere.
“Don’t unnecessarily spend taxpayer money on having to fight a case that you know you’ll lose,” Kilmer said. “I’ve litigated this issue twice, once against Santa Clara County and won and once against Alameda County and won. I don’t understand why there’s no institutional memory here.”
He says nearly 20 years ago a federal court struck down Santa Clara’s ordinance banning gun shows at its fairgrounds.
Kilmer said, “It’s pretty clear that the county can’t engage in selective enforcement or enforce selective abridgment of Constitutional rights on county property.”
But Supervisor Yeager doesn’t believe the proposal will be shot down this time around, in today’s climate.
“I think many people are concerned about the culture of guns in our society and I have certainly received far more emails and phone calls in support of the ban at the fairgrounds,” Yeager said. “I think everyone is just sort of struggling with the issue, they’re worried about gun violence and I think the last thing they want to see is big billboards and placards all over town promoting gun shows.”
The county only makes $6,000 per gun show so Yeager says the financial impact to the county is minimal.