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Supervisors approve plans to research ban on guns at county sites

Community members give mixed opinions over proposal

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The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved plans to study a possible ban on gun sales at the county fairgrounds and other county-owned sites.

Supervisor Ken Yeager's motion directs the county counsel to draft an ordinance prohibiting the possession or sale of firearms on property owned or leased by the county, as well as to report to the board about other options for improving public safety by reducing gun violence.

The proposal stemmed from the mass shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, which took the lives of 17 high school students and faculty members.

"Longtime Santa Clara County residents may remember how close we came to our own mass shooting in January 2001 at De Anza College," Yeager said in a statement. "We can't eliminate the threat of mass shootings, but we have a responsibility to do everything we can to reduce the risk of them."

Yeager, who describes himself as an advocate for reasonable gun control, has said that allowing firearms to be sold at the fairgrounds is contrary to the county's missions of promoting the health and well-being of residents.

Community members spoke at Tuesday's meeting to explain their displeasure or appreciation for Yeager's motion.

A few gun rights advocates said they worried about the impacts that prohibiting the possession or sale of firearms on county property may have on the county-owned Field Sports Park gun range in San Jose.

Dave Truslow of the group Pink Pistols said the proposed ban could "be the Trojan horse of one of Santa Clara County's most popular facilities."

On the contrary, other residents thanked the county leaders for looking into the issue.

Novia Dattatri, Hiwad Haiter and Daniel Voskoboynik, Prospect High School seniors and organizers of the San Jose-area March For Our Lives event, spoke in favor of Yeager's proposal, saying it combats the glamorization of firearms in advertisements for gun shows and could help keep guns out of public spaces like schools.

"The gun shows that take place in our county biannually embody the idea that combating gun violence is not a priority to our local government," Haiter said. "Our public spaces and the way we elect to use them reflect the community's values. Using our marquee fairgrounds for shows centered around arms does not make me feel any safer in a time of rampant gun violence."

Supervisor Cindy Chavez noted her support for the proposal, but said the county should be careful not to negatively impact groups and sites that do ensure gun safety.

"When I think about the gun range, I think that's the place where people actually learn how to use a firearm safely," she said.

Supervisor Joe Simitian addressed the worry that he had heard come out of the mouths of some constituents: the actual impact that local government can have on limiting gun violence in comparison to the federal government.

"The fact that others need to step up as well does not in any way suggest that we do not have a role to play," Simitian said. "It reminds me of the old adage, 'Better to light one candle than curse the darkness.' I think this is one of those times."

The information that comes from the county counsel as a result of the motion will help initiate dialogue at Supervisor Dave Cortese's summit on gun violence approved last week. Cortese said the summit is expected to happen in the third week of April.


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6 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 7, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Things are happening fast on this, which is welcomed by me. I emailed our county supervisor, Joe Simitian, urging support of Supervisor Yeager’s proposal. Those of us up in Palo Alto can’t easily attend meetings in San Jose, but I recommend emailing your supervisor on this.

Like this comment
Posted by gun free zones
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Mar 8, 2018 at 10:44 am

[Post removed.]

2 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 8, 2018 at 11:17 am

MVresident2003 is a registered user.

Pulled this from the same article discussion on MVOnline, very informative.
Back around 1998, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Alameda all imposed a ban on gun shows. They all got sued before the ban took effect and all of these bans were struck down by the courts. These pointless bans waste millions in tax payer dollars and accomplish nothing but glorifying politicians for "trying" to "do something". It never seems to matter that all of these proposed gun laws accomplish nothing that benefits the public.

Gun shows are the safest places you can be because everyone knows there are always armed police at the door and wandering around the show. All state and federal laws apply 100% inside all gun shows anywhere in the USA. There is no such thing as a "gun show loophole".

When it comes to firearms, no laws targeted against the ordinary law-abiding gun-owners has ever saved any lives or prevented any violent crimes.

And the ONE GOOD LAW (1968 GCA) that directly targets the known criminals is rarely enforced. According to the Obama Admin, millions of people get prevented from buying guns every year because they "failed" the background check. Any prohibited person trying to buy a gun is committing another new felony (state and fed felony) and should be arrested and prosecuted and sent to prison for 5-15 years.

However, during the Obama years, only a couple dozen of these felons were even arrested and only about 10 were prosecuted.

Here in California the laws against known felons possessing a gun are very rarely enforced unless there is some additional crime the criminal is being charged with. Also, when a person in California fails the background check, the FBI never notifies the local police to go arrest the guy.

Local cops in California don't enforce the law either. When cops find a felon with a gun, they confiscate the gun and try to find some other charge to arrest him for, but if they can't, they just let the guy go.

A gun show ban has been proven unconstitutional several times in the past and will again.

Not that anyone cares about the facts.

Like this comment
Posted by @MVresident2003
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 8, 2018 at 12:25 pm

[Post removed.]

6 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Gun shows are just a scam to get around gun control laws. I agree with banning the shows and allowing gun purchases only at stores where background checks are easier to enforce.

2 people like this
Posted by gun free zones
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Mar 8, 2018 at 12:56 pm

"Gun shows are the safest places you can be because everyone knows there are always armed police at the door and wandering around the show."

Gosh, I think there are a few other places safer than gun shows, and they do not allow the public to carry guns: planes, airports, Republican National Conventions, the White House, etc...

"Here in California the laws against known felons possessing a gun are very rarely enforced" Proof? Links, please. No Brietbart or Infowars trash links, please, just links to studies or proof.

"Local cops in California don't enforce the law either." I, for one, am tired of all these folks bashing our brave first responders with factless claims.

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