Posted: 3/30/2001 11:45:56 AM EDT
yaroslavsky is real scum. I hope he gets booted out of office over this.
by Dave Workman
A federal district court judge in Los Angeles has denied a motion by attorneys for Los Angeles County to postpone prosecution of a civil lawsuit brought against the
county and unidentified members of the board of supervisors by Great Western Shows Inc. (GWS).
GWS has operated huge gun shows at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona for several years, but the county has allegedly attempted to stop that by
making a “secret deal” with fairground management to keep the gun show out, in exchange for $2.7 million. That’s the amount of estimated lost revenue over a
six-year period, from parking fees and concessions if the gun shows were to continue operating.
“Denial of the motion means the claims for punitive damages against the supervisors raised by GWS…will proceed toward trial and the county will be forced to
provide GWS with documentation of its actions,” said attorney Chuck Michel, a spokesperson for the California Rifle and Pistol Association, who has been
following this case.
It’s the second legal action taken by GWS, which seeks punitive damages over passage of an ordinance banning gun shows at the fairgrounds. GWS is operated by
Michel told Gun Week that Judge Morrow’s decision paves the way for GWS to gain access to all documents that could show proof that the board of supervisors
interfered with contracts between the fairgrounds and the gun show operator. He said gun show fans throughout California are watching this case closely, though the
news media have virtually ignored it.
“They’ve tried to ban gun shows in California for years,” Michel said. “The first thing they tried to do was get the managers of county or state property where a gun
show was held…to stick a clause in their contract that they wouldn’t allow gun shows. The 9th Circuit Court said counties can’t stick that clause in a contract
because a gun show is a form of free speech.”
Michel said that did not stop anti-gun politicians, however.
“As a result of that (federal) decision,” he recalled, “they went back to the drawing board, and decided to make it illegal to sell guns on county property.”
Michel said GWS alleges that the county met secretly with the Los Angeles County Fair Association to “cut a deal” in which the fairgrounds management agreed to
not allow the gun shows in return for the $2.7 million payment.
This is where, Michel asserted, Los Angeles County and the three supervisors ran afoul of the 1997 court decision. In that case, the Circuit Court held that such
modifications of a lease contract to prohibit a gun show are an unconstitutional violation of the promoter’s First Amendment rights.
The original GWS lawsuit was filed after the county passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale of guns on county-owned property. The ordinance was designed as an
“end-run” around the 1997 decision. The 9th Circuit has referred that lawsuit to the California Supreme Court, where a decision is pending.
In a press release, Amelang stated, “This entire situation was orchestrated by one supervisor, Zev Yaroslavsky, to further his political ambitions. He attacked a
law-abiding business that has been at the fairgrounds for 22 years without ever having had a serious incident take place. In fact, after the Los Angeles County Fair
itself, the Grea
I think $100 million or so in punitive damages might get their attention. Let's hope they get a rational jury willing to stick it to them.
Sign up for the ARFCOM weekly newsletter and be entered to win a free ARFCOM membership. One new winner* is announced every week!
You will receive an email every Friday morning featuring the latest chatter from the hottest topics, breaking news surrounding legislation, as well as exclusive deals only available to ARFCOM email subscribers.