Gun Sales Shot Down

On June 11, 2024, the Federal Court of Appeals (9th Circuit) rejected a challenge to a ban on firearm sales at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.


B & L Productions, which produced “Crossroads of the West” gun shows at the Fairgrounds for many years, initially filed suit against the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which controls the Fairgrounds, after it imposed a one-year moratorium on gun shows in 2018. In October 2019, while that lawsuit was underway, California passed AB 893, prohibiting the DAA from allowing the sale of firearms or ammunition on the Fairgrounds.

Activists from NeverAgainCa protest a Crossroads of the West gun show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on March 17, 2018. Photo: Dwight Worden

In its June 11, 2024 decision, the Court held that the sale of firearms or ammunitions, or the contracting for their sale, is the consummation of a business transaction –  “nonexpressive conduct” that is unprotected by the First Amendment. The Court’s written opinion noted that “a ‘celebration of America’s gun culture,’ in the words of one of B & L’s briefs, can still take place on state property, as long as that celebration does not involve contracts for the sale of guns.”


The court also rejected B & L’s assertion that AB 893 violates its rights under the Second Amendment, since AB 893 does not “meaningfully constrain” the right to keep and bear arms. The court’s decision also rejected challenges to other State laws banning firearm sales at the Orange County Fairgrounds, and on all state property.