View Full Version : Alameda County Gun Shows Ban Upheld

04-17-2007, 8:17 PM

04/17/07 7:10 PDT

A federal judge, in a ruling made public today, dismissed a lawsuit that
challenged an Alameda County ordinance that bans guns shows at the
annual county fair in Pleasanton.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved the ordinance in 1999
in the aftermath of a shooting incident at the fair on July 4, 1998,
that resulted in gunshot wounds to eight people.

Two gunshow promoters, Russell and Sallie Nordyke, doing business as TS
Trade Shows, have filed several legal challenges to the ordinance since
it was passed.

Their third amended complaint, filed in federal court in San Francisco,
challenged the ordinance on First Amendment grounds, alleging that it
violates their freedom of expression by making gun shows impossible.

But U.S. District Court Judge Martin Jenkins ruled that the ordinance is
"rationally related to a legitimate government interest" because the
county's interest is to ensure public safety on county property.

Jenkins said the ordinance is related to the county's interests because
it places restrictions on particular individuals who may lawfully
possess a firearm on county property.

Jenkins said that in justifying the need for the ordinance, Alameda
County officials said that firearms were the leading cause of death
among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the county between
July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1997, and that during that same time period
136 juveniles were arrested in Oakland for gun-related offenses.

The Nordykes had alleged that their act of possessing guns at a gun show
serves to convey their firmly-held belief that individuals should have a
protected right under the Second Amendment to bear arms.

According to Jenkins, the Nordykes' gun shows have drawn up to 4,000
people at a time at the county's fairgrounds.

Alameda County's ordinance previously was upheld both by the California
Supreme Court in 2002 and by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003.

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04-17-2007, 8:39 PM
Reading between the lines, the district judge ruled that gun show legislation is only indirectly related to speech. That may not hold even in the 9th Circuit under appellate review.

I'll try to get the decision text from Don Kilmer (who was counsel.)


04-17-2007, 8:56 PM
Ain't over yet.

04-17-2007, 9:07 PM
Ain't even appealed yet.


04-18-2007, 4:27 PM
My GF sent me this story earlier. So what is different between this and the Santa Clara ban that was struck down or overturned?

04-18-2007, 4:29 PM
Eh, "freedom of speech"? Seems to me it'd be more solid to attack it based on pre-emption. Local places aren't supposed to enact their own special ordinances (although they do)

04-18-2007, 4:58 PM
I wonder how much longer they'll be able to afford to pay the legal fees. Don Kilmer isn't cheap, and the Nordykes only have 1 gun show location.

04-18-2007, 8:40 PM
The Santa Clara ban didn't get enacted because they figured out that this case was not over.