Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Votes to Draft Gun Ban Ordinance

Santa Clara County supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to draft an ordinance that would ban having or selling guns on county property, which essentially would end gun shows at the county fairgrounds.

Twice a year, on average, guns flood the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose for a gun show. County Supervisor Ken Yeager wants to put a stop to it.

"All of us are trying to figure out ways that we can lower the level [of] guns and gun violence," Yeager said. 

Yeager said something must be done after the most recent mass shooting to keep more guns off of South Bay streets. He also stated that the last gun show in early February only brought in about $6,000 for the county.

Twice a year, on average, guns flood the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds for a gun show, now County Supervisor, Ken Yeager, wants to ban those events. Ian Cull reports.

"The primary mission of the county is the health and welfare of our residents," he said. "It seems to me it's very counterproductive to have something like a gun show where you can buy and sell guns at a county facility."

Reaction to the board's decision was mixed. At least seven people spoke out against the proposed ban, saying it would take away Second Amendment rights and do little to stop gun violence.

"It's all legal at the gun shows, and frankly, if you ban it there, where will it go? The black market," county resident Mark Hinkle said. "So it will have a negative impact on gun safety and gun violence."

Ban supporters, meanwhile, say every little bit helps.

"Anything we can do to reduce the prevalence of guns will help keep our community safe," Palo Alto resident Stacey Ashlund said.

The Bay Area hosts a number of gun shows annually. The Cow Palace, which is on state land in Daly City, hosts several a year despite the efforts of San Mateo County Supervisors, and the next gun show is in April.

Allen Stevens of San Jose said he’d rather see gun sales and shows be regulated than stopped.

"If you're a registered gun owner, if you're doing everything properly through the requirements in order to own a firearm, I don't see what the problem is," Stevens said.

Several people also voiced concerns that the Metcalf shooting range at Field Sports Park in Coyote Valley, which is on county property, may shut down if people are no longer allowed to possess guns there.

A UC Berkeley report from last year indicated there was a roughly 70 percent spike in gun violence in California communities within driving distance of Nevada following gun shows in the Silver State. There was no similar impact after California gun shows. 

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