Town Square

Appeal on County Fair's gun show ban goes before 9th Circuit court today

Original post made on Sep 24, 2009

A long-running challenge to Alameda County's ban on gun shows at the annual county fair in Pleasanton will go before a federal appeals court in San Francisco today.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 24, 2009, 6:19 AM


Posted by Second Amendment Sister
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:21 am

I think gun shows should be welcomed back to the area. The people who PURCHASE guns are law abiding citizens that appreciate the sport, have the proper licenses in place, and do not have a criminal record (can’t even be past due on alimony).

I am willing to bet that the fair shooting was done so by people with a criminal past who got the gun illegally and who have no respect for the law. No gun show ban can stop criminal behavior. I think if more of our law abiding citizens had guns, criminals would stay out of Pleasanton.

Posted by g. witherell
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:27 am

Well said.

Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:30 am

Ah, the 2nd Amendment, an enormous can o'worms for the Comments pages.

Unless I miss my guess, these gun shows are exempt from the requirements for five-day waiting periods or background checks for the purchasers. Perhaps the county has the right to restrict this kind of access to weapons. I don't think it is accurate to say that ALL purchasers are law-abiding citizens. But that doesn't matter, law-abiding or not, tens of thousands of Americans die from gunfire every year. The record shows that owners of guns are three times more likely to die from gunfire than non-owners. Like those odds?

Evidently, the Supreme Court has seen fit to ignore the "well regulated militia" clause of the 2nd Amendment (as has the NRA). There is nothing well-regulated about the vast number of gun owners in this country. But, hey, we're a gun-owning citizenry.

Posted by A. Morgan
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:59 am

Precisely my thoughts. It is actually closer to 75% of all crimes committed with a firearm (well over 90% for violent crimes) were obtained illegally & were not registered.

Criminals, or someone who is intending to use a gun for robbery, murder or other illegal purposes will not go through the process to register their firearms with ANY public agency for the simple fact that any crime committed with that gun will be traced back to them.

While we will never be able to protect society in general from a Collumbine-like attack, accidental shooting or crime of passion murder the logic from the gun grabbing crowd would eventually lead to the banning of bows & arrows, knives, baseball bats, box cutters, wine bottles, big get the point.

For someone who has never owned a gun, shot a gun other than in summer camp circa 1977 or had a pickup truck capable of mounting a gun rack in I feel comfortable around legally armed citizens with guns & shows in my town selling guns to it's citizens & a well armed law abiding population in general.

...oh no please tell me I didn't open up the whole gun rights thread now did I?

Posted by Jonna
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm

There are already many gun shops available in the Bay Area where a citizen can legally purchase firearms if they want to--it seems to me that this couple the Nordykes is claiming their right to gun ownership is being threatened, which is not at all true. They are gun show promoters looking for another venue to profit by. I have no problem with law abiding citizens protecting their property and family with guns; however, I'd prefer no gun shows at the fairgrounds.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I don't think gun shows should be allowed in CA. There are enough already in circulation.

Fortunately, I alread have one so I don't have to worry. I'm not in a hurry to use it...I am very patient!

I think that there are too many mean spirited peopled in Plutonia to trust that they hand the responsibility of owning a gun.

Posted by poster boy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I always thought the second amendment was just ensuring the right to wear short-sleeved shirts or tank tops.

Posted by Walt
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Facts: #1 Gun shows in California are required to follow the State's mandatory waiting period for purchasing a firearm. #2 According to the Press the 1998 shooting at the Fairgrounds was done by a gang member who lived in Bay Point, who was shooting at a rival gang member. The shooter is still in prison. #3 Gun shows in California are highly regulated & constantly inspected by undercover law enforcement, much more than gun stores. Opinions: Good guys will buy & use guns legally, whether from a store or from a gun show. Bad guys will obtain a weapon any way that they can & more than likely know that most gun shows are full of off-duty cops who are legally buying ammunition, guns, reloading supplies, clothing, etc...

Posted by Mr. Mr.
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm

I would think that it would be good to bring more people and business to our downtown to have the gun show. The right to bare arms should be kept intact and abide by. The guns are no different than alcohol. It's the people who use them or miss use them that are the problem. In the case of guns they can be used for self protection of body and property in a time of need. It works a whole lot better than 911 in a trained hand. Just like alcohol, everyone should have to take a safety class on how to handle a gun safely. It may save a life if you just know what's right. But for the most of you that will read this you think that 911 is all you need. Think again. Don't take to long or you won't have the right too. We are having your freedoms taken away ever so slowly. Just one mans opinion and I felt it was worth saying.

Mr. Mr. a downtown merchant.

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 25, 2009 at 2:53 am

Walt(Another Pleasanton neighborhood) has, in my opinion, accurate "facts" and opinion.

I would only add - In California, _every private citizen_ legally purchasing a firearm, or transfering a firearm between private parties, _must_ do so through an authorized Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer(FFL)and a waiting period for a background check is mandatory(I'm not sure, but there could be an exception for peace officers)...

A firearm, kitchen knife, baseball bat, motor vehicle, you name it, is only as dangerous/safe as their owner allows them to be...

Place a firearm on a table and as long as it's allowed to rest there untouched, no one will be harmed...

Are there irresponsible firearms owners - of course. I agree some type of reasonable firearms handling and safety training should be required before a firearm can be purchased. This is the case when purchasing a handgun in California. Along with the waiting period, the purchaser must pass a written test and prove to the FFL Dealer he/she has knowledge of how the handgun safely operates - otherwise, no sale...

John, does this "record" you speak of differentiate between peaceful "sporting arms" owners and "drug deals gone bad/turf battles/criminal activities, and the like" owners. Bet it doesn't...

Jonna, what do you have against "profit" from any form of legal private enterprise???

Posted by Scott
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 25, 2009 at 8:28 am

You mention "Sport". How is shooting something that is unaware and unarmed a sport. If I hide in your driveway and wait for you to get out of your car not knowing I am there and then shoot you is that giving you a "Sporting" chance. You are all cowards. Lets dress so they can't see us rub crap that smells like them on us and hide. When they come to get a drink of water or eat from the food we left them we will kill them. That is a sport of true men. Right...... Did you all read about the little kid that just got shot because someone was playing with their parents gun.

Keep gun shows out of Pleasanton. Guns are for the weak and ignorant.

Posted by Bill
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 25, 2009 at 8:40 am

Mr. Downtown,

You say it is the people that miss use guns that are the problem. I agree but, if we did not have them they could not miss use them. The right to bare arms was written a long time ago and has no use in todays world. We now have laws to protect us against those things that we were then trying to defend ourselves against. I am going on 56 and have never in my life had to use a gun or use the "Right to bare arms". Talk to the owner of VBS liquor store. I am very surprised as a merchant you support guns. Maybe when the gun show comes and some idiot gun user comes and holds you up you will think differently.

Posted by Robert M.
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 25, 2009 at 8:59 am know as well as I that our neighborhood is close enough to the freeway to permit easy in-out access to anybody that wants to come into our community, commit crimes & be on their way post haste. We have had at least a half dozen auto break-ins & burglaries this year alone not to mention a steady parade of shady characters coming from the fairgrounds themselves.

You fail to comprehend that, whether you agree or not, that there is a definite culture surrounding the ownership, sporting use of & lifestyle of gun owners in the country. If you so choose to pigeonhole us as red-neck, inbred, cruel killers of innocent animals then you my friend are just as racist & homophobic or prejudiced as any other hate group would think.

By the way, if I did see you lurking in my bushes outside my home, peering into my sons or daughters windows or waiting for me to get out of my car, trust me. I will not give you a sporting chance to try to get away.

Posted by For the record
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 10:05 am

Who is "Miss use" and why are her arms bare?

Folks, it's "misuse" and "right to bear arms".

Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 10:09 am

When anti-gun people like Scott place a sign in their front window that says "I do not believe in firearms, and none are in this home." I can rest easier knowing my home is safer and the bad guys can concentrate on Scott's home, instead.

On another note, for the PETA crowd, this issue is about Gun Shows at the fairgrounds, not the merits of hunting or sport shooting.

Posted by Sarah
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Sep 25, 2009 at 10:14 am

It all boils down to the old axiom, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". The solution does not come in limiting citizens' rights to protect themselves, it comes though better education, better parenting, dealing effectivly with the drug problem, and a more effective criminal justice system.

The data is there - in states that loosened thier gun possession laws, the crime rate went down, not up.

Posted by No Loons
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 10:26 am

The left-wing loons want to take you guns away so it will be easier for them to take over the country and convert it to a "socialist paradise" (talk about an oxymoron).

Most people that want to eliminate guns are left-wing loons (you know its true!)

I'm sure this will provoke another uproar from the loons, but it still doesn't change the facts.

Posted by Kafka-esque
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 11:23 am

Hey Scott, did you hear about the men who saved two children, their mother & themselves when robbers came to their home brandishing a handgun? No? Of course you didn't. Guns saving people doesn't fit your agenda.

So here ya go Scotty boy!

Web Link

Posted by Work in town
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm

No Loons -- You err with your broad generalization: "Most people that want to eliminate guns are left-wing loons (you know its true!)"

That is absolutely not true.

I for one am about as far from left wing as one can get. I generally consider myself center to right-of-center depending on the issue. Right-leaning socially moderate; fiscally conservative.

Yet, I am in favor of stronger & more effective gun-control than what we have now. The wild west frontier life style has long disappeared. And so should the ability for any well-meaning yet untrained, anonymous, or criminal-minded Tom, Dick or Jane to willy nilly acquire and use a firearm.

In every state, 99.9% of drivers are required to be trained, tested and licensed. Every automobile sold in this country is licensed, tracked and in many states must be insured. If we can have such thorough control on vehicles & drivers, why should we not also have an analogous system for guns? I believe that rational gun control is the goal, not outright elimination.

In today's society, the status quo is long outdated. Just look at the tragic gun crime statistics. Crime will never disappear, but we must find a more effective system to control the most common crime weapon-- a gun.

So, I'm a liberal left-wing loon, eh?

Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 12:33 pm

No Loons,
If you are confident in your argument, there is no need to refer to people who disagree with you as "loons."
There's no advantage to making sweeping assumptions about subscribers to any political ideology (see Work in town's post above) - and I am left unsure of the "facts" you are referring to, since you didn't provide any in your post.
BTW, are these left wing loonies taking away *your* guns, but keeping theirs in preparation for the socialist revolution, or is it going to be a peaceful movement? :)

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

There is a word that escapes me at the moment. It is the condition where one expects that a certain contemporary populace, which had a certain historical experience, understands the consequences and lessons of that past experience. To the contrary, the expectation is false since the contemporary populace has not had the experience itself.

In the case of this subject, today's Americans have little inkling of the experiences that lead to the Second Amendment and why it is so important to retain that right. Hint: it had nothing to do with criminals, cowboys, or hunting.

Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Taking away the rights provided under the second amendment is not the issue. This bears repetition. This is not about taking away peoples' right to bear arms. This is a discussion of whether or not the county has the right to prevent gun shows from being held at a county venue.
Next there are going to be people protesting because they can't sell porn at the fair. It is protected under the first amendment, after all...

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ah, but Stay Cool, the discussion already strayed into Second Amendment territory.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Let's not forget, the gun shows were banned not because of a shooting at the fairgrounds during a gun show, but a shooting at the fairgrounds during the Alameda County Fair.

Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:33 pm

You're right. I guess a better way for me to make my point would have been to state that the *argument* is not about taking away people's right to bear arms; in other words, the county banning gun shows at the fair does not impact people's 2nd amendment rights. No one is taking away guns or closing gun shops. Once the debate is allowed to morph into an issue of taking away 2nd amendment rights, the nuances of the issue in terms of the current court case are lost, and people start talking about rednecks and left wing loonies. :~)

Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:38 pm

That's what I thought at first, too, but both this link and the PW article say "at the annual county fair:"
"A long-running challenge to Alameda County's ban on gun shows at the annual county fair in Pleasanton will go before a federal appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday."
Web Link
Either way, it is county property.

Posted by Work-in-town
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:48 pm

I have to agree with Stay Cool & Stacey. This case really has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It's about the county's right to prevent gun shows from being held during the county fair.

The way I see it, the County's restriction has no relationship to the right to bear arms.

Sorry that my earlier post took us off track.

Posted by Mr. Mr.
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 25, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Oh Bill, In God I trust. In the goverment or others, to protect my family, I do not. You have been fortunate to live in a time and place that has given you such comfort to feel the way you do. History has shown me that The 2nd still has a place in our lives. If we loose it we will become servants of our goverment. (if we are not already at this point due to the money we are spending that we do not have, but that's for another thread.) For your answer about some idiot coming in and holding us up, they wouldn't get much but they may get more than they expected. No ones life is worth a hand full of money, yours, mine or an employee. What will you do when we have a emergency and all the police and fire are busy taking care of their own families and the most urgent problems and you are left to fend for yourself? What if someone from out of the area decides that he wants what you have? How will you protect your family or yourself? I hope this never happens but we should never say it will never happen.
Good luck to you. I hope you and I continue to live charmed lives without the fear of others intruding or taking our properties or lives.

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 26, 2009 at 1:20 am


This is not a personal attack but you are a funny person...

You don't know me so how do you know I'm a hunter, or as you suggest, a "coward"...

A little FYI that you might appreciate - The term "sporting arms" can mean more than a hunting firearm. Many types of "sporting arms" are also used to make little round holes in paper targets and break clay targets at our local target range...

Whether I'm a hunter, or not, it's none of your concern, so I suggest you and I simply agree that you'll do what you do and I'll do the same - assuming it's legal... And since I don't know you, or what you do, I won't ever refer to you as a ___________(you probably know a slang word for what you do, so you fill in the blank)...

By the way, you seem to have a great deal of knowledge about hunting, could it be you're a "closet hunter". If so, come on out. You'll probably feel better...:)

Posted by Qwerty
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2009 at 8:50 am

I don't own a gun but I have no problem with others doing so provided they have undergone the appropriate background checks, etc. However, I would not be in support of a gun show at the county fair. I hope that the courts can in fact treat this as a "sensitive area" that can legally allow a ban on firearms.

Are the Nordykes really interested in just trying to make a profit by selling their guns in our neighborhood? This lawsuit has been going on for over 10 years. What have they spent in legal fees to keep this going? It sounds to me as if they are more interested in protesting than anything else.

Posted by Qwerty
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2009 at 9:00 am

One more thing:

In re-reading the article, I missed the fact that the issue refers to the selling of guns at the *annual* county fair rather than at the fairgrounds in general.

I wouldn't be opposed to a gun show at the facility as a *separate* event entirely. Let the nordykes host a show like the goodguys have their car shows. The annual county fair is a family event and guns have no place there, even if purchased legally. I wouldn't feel comfortable toting my family around at a supposed family friendly event if guns sales were also taking place there.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 27, 2009 at 9:31 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The article is an example of journalists who don't know how to communicate. At issue isn't the idea of holding a gun show at the annual county fair. The issue is holding a gun show on county property. The journalist has confused the issue because the shooting at the annual county fair caused Alameda to pass an ordinance banning guns from county property. The question for the court is whether or not a locality can abridge the Second Amendment.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 27, 2009 at 9:36 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"Alameda County passed an ordinance ten years ago prohibiting the carrying of firearms on county property following a shooting at the county fair in 1998 and that included the fairgrounds where the Nordykes had conducted gun shows. The shooting had nothing at all to do with the Nordykes’ gun shows, but at the time Supervisor Mary King, according to court documents, acknowledged that she had been trying to “get rid of gun shows on county property” for about three years. King had used the excuse so many anti-gunners rely upon when trying to nullify the right to bear arms: It was because of a “rash of gun-related violence,” again not connected with the Nordyke gun show."

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 27, 2009 at 9:41 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"During the same period, representatives of the Scottish Caledonian
Games (“the Scottish Games”) inquired about the
effect of the new law on the activities they traditionally held
on the fairgrounds. Those activities include reenactments,
using period firearms loaded with blank ammunition, of historic
battles. After the inquiries, the County amended the

This is from the court opinion: Web Link

Posted by Its Stupid
a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Sep 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm

I laugh at some of the comments above. The same people saying we should not have a gun show cause of the checks are the same that are cool with Illegal's coming over the border and staying in CA even if they are hardcore criminals. But oooh my goodness we cannot let the law abiding citizens defend themselves. The liberal idiots in california would rather you be mugged and murdered rather than you be safe just to make there point. America wake up. BTW I do not own a firearm but understand the right to self protection. Any one come into my place may face a really neat five iron.

Posted by Qwerty
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm

to "it's stupid"

I think you should re-read some of the posts here before you rush to judgement. There are plenty of people who don't have a problem with citizen's defending themselves, but they don't need to purchase weapons at the county fairgrounds. Let them do it at a gun shop. Just because someone is against the notion of hosting a gun show in town doesn't mean they disagree with the second amendment.

Posted by Chris King
a resident of Dublin
on Sep 28, 2009 at 3:10 pm

What many posters are failing to understand, is that these gun shows allow you to find odd stuff, rare stuff you can not get localy.

There IS a 10 day waiting period, and a background check when purchasing a firearm at a gun show. There are a couple of exceptions to the rule, but these exceptions require a FFL Class 3 license or better.

It is proven gun control does little to curb gun related deaths. Gun control (restrictions) has simply restricted my gun rights.

The answer is to get TOUGH on gun related crimes. California is just to damn soft on 1st time criminals.

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2009 at 11:49 pm

No one is saying you people can't bear arms....but rather we don't want them sold here.
There are plenty of other places you can buy them.
Saying a gun show not being held here is a violation of your right to bear arms is like saying because a doctor chooses not to perform abortions (s)he violates your constitutional rights.
Just go somewhere else folks. Bye.