After 13 Years, Ninth Circuit Nordyke Ruling Allows Gun Shows On County Fairgrounds

Alameda County Fairgrounds

After 13 Years, Ninth Circuit Nordyke Ruling Allows Gun Shows On Alameda County Fairgrounds



Charlotte, NC –-( An epic Second Amendment case may finally have come to an end.

On June 1, 2012 an expanded panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in Nordyke v. King, a case that began in 1999 with gun show promoters Russ and Sallie Nordyke’s challenge to a gun ban on county property, which effectively banned gun shows at the county fairgrounds. The case has continued ever since, with numerous trips up and down the ladders of the federal and state judicial systems as the Second Amendment landscape has shifted. (Those interested in the full saga can find the key filings at

In its decision, the court ruled that it would hold the county to its concession that the Nordykes could hold a gun show on the Alameda County fairgrounds property, so long as the guns were secured to the exhibit tables with wire cables.

In essence, Alameda County blinked. There is a dispute between the parties about exactly when that happened, but after years of maintaining that its ordinance prohibited gun shows entirely, the county decided it would rather switch its position than continue to fight the lawsuit. The en banc panel jumped on that position in reaching its decision.

The NRA provided extensive financial and logistical support to the case since it was filed. Noted NRA and California Rifle and Pistol Association attorneys including Don Kates, Stephen Halbrook, and Chuck Michel all provided assistance through several “friend of the court” brief campaigns, and the NRA subsidized the case by advancing the associated costs for years. San Jose attorney Don Kilmer, representing the Nordykes as the owners of the gun show, saw the case through from start to finish.

The Nordyke family also deserves the thanks of the Second Amendment civil rights community for putting up with the strain of litigation all these years. In fact, showing what fighters they are, in light of the Ninth Circuit’s opinion the Nordykes are submitting gun show plans to Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties to force those jurisdictions to allow gun shows on their fairgrounds. Those counties adopted essentially the same ordinance as Alameda, and have been interpreting them to prohibit gun shows. Unless those counties adopt Alameda County’s concession and allow gun shows on their fairgrounds, they will face similar lawsuits. Hopefully, in these times of budgetary deficits, and considering the rapidly evolving body of Second Amendment jurisprudence, the counties will see the wisdom in Alameda’s concession and allow gun shows to take place.

The Ninth Circuit opinion dodges the issue of the appropriate level of judicial scrutiny to be applied by a court when a law is challenged on Second Amendment grounds. Several other cases brought by the NRA and CRPA Foundation in California may serve as vehicles for addressing that issue in the Ninth Circuit, and several cases in other circuits raise the issue as well.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

Tags: 2nd ammendment rghts, nra

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