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Shots Fired In L.A. Gun Debate

Just two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a Los Angeles Jewish community center, the L.A. County board of supervisors has voted to make it tougher to buy guns at gun shows. At a board meeting this week, supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky proposed making it illegal to buy guns at a popular gun show that is held on county grounds.

Yaroslavsky claims that gun shows have been the venue for the distribution of illegal weapons for some time.

"Authorities have cited this as a problem. Our police chief in Los Angeles... our sheriff... have asked to end the gun shows, and that's what we're doing," Yaroslavsky explained.

He also said gun shows are a venue where people who normally can't get guns or have to go through waiting periods are able to get them "quickly and without regulation, without accountability."

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Since gun shows attract thousands of people and a multitude of dealers, "You can trade in any weapon, legal or illegal," he said.

But Chad Seger, manager of the Great Western Shows, which runs the Pamona Gun Show, replied, "Most of the transactions were guns used in World War I, World War II or the Civil War. The ordinance would prohibit us from selling Civil War muskets, wich we don't have to worry about being used in crime."
Yaroslavsky disputes Seger's claims.

"The fact is that the shootout that we had in Los Angeles two years ago between the LAPD and the bank robbers, the robbers had their guns bought at the fair grounds gun show. Our county fair grounds should not be used to promote the sale of weapons and ammunition," he said.

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"The time has come for to us focus on what the problem is. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and other law enforcement agents havsaid [that] this is a venue for criminal activity, and we ought to do something about it and stop it," he continued.

Seger said Yaroslavsky's claims are unfair and not entirely accurate.

"The ATF reports that supervisor Yaroslavsky refers to specifically say that California gun shows are not the problem, because we have the most strict gun control lawsÂ… in the nation. At our gun shows, each and every firearms transaction has to go through the 10-day waiting period," he said.

Seger also said the ordinance, as written, "would restrict the sale of all firearms going back hundreds of years."