A federal judge in Orange County, Calif., issued a preliminary injunction on Monday barring California from enforcing its ban on gun shows on state property, including county fairgrounds, Courthouse News reports. g, U.S. District Judge Mark Holcomb wrote that even if California's ban is effective at stopping illegal gun sales, the regulation is "more extensive than is necessary to serve that interest.” "California’s interest in stopping crimes committed with illegal weapons, 'as important as it is, cannot justify' prohibiting the complete sale of lawful firearms at gun shows, especially when those same firearms are available for purchase at regular gun stores," wrote Holcomb, a Donald Trump appointee. The ruling temporarily blocks enforcement of two state laws, both written by Democratic state Senator Dave Min. One barred gun shows from being held on Orange County Fairgrounds starting on Jan. 1, 2022. The second took effect Jan. 1 and banned gun shows on any state-owned property. Min condemned the ruling, calling it "the very essence of federal overreach that conservatives have so long decried."
"Today's injunction, issued by a Trump-appointed activist judge, is an outrageous abuse of judicial authority that will undoubtedly make our commutes less safe," he said. "I am confident this decision will be reversed on appeal, and pray this totally unwarranted injunction does not lead to the deaths of more innocent gun violence victims in the interim." Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, a plaintiff, called the ruling "a huge victory for both the First and Second Amendments.” “We believe the court has sent a clear message to the State of California, Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta that the constitution trumps their personal animus toward gun owners and the Second Amendment," Gottlieb said. Closing the "gun show loophole" has been a goal of Democratic politicians for decades. Because many gun regulations, such as background checks, include a "private sale exemption," gun shows are seen by many as an unregulated marketplace. Many states, including California, require background checks to buy a firearm at a gun show.