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Smoking And Guns At The Del Mar Fairground

The Del Mar Fairgrounds has hosted gun shows for more than two decades. No assault weapons are sold, that would be illegal in California, and the events are highly regulated.

A petition to stop gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is gaining momentum.

Photo credit: Crossroads Of the West Gun Show

Crossroads of the West gunshow is scheduled to visit the Del Mar Fairgrounds in March 2013.

But a group called “Stop the Del Mar Gun Shows” formed after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. They have collected more than 1,000 signatures on their petition so far.

Member Bud Emerson said the Del Mar Fair Board recently agreed to ban smoking at the Del Mar Fair.

“So if they think smoking is bad, tell me how that compares to a gun being bad,” Emerson said. “We’ve got to be consistent here with our values. For them to say, 'because it’s legal they can’t do anything,' they CAN do something.“

Linda Zweig, spokesperson for the Fair Board, said selling guns at a well-regulated public gun show is one of the safest ways to sell them.

She said the change to make the Del Mar Fair a non-smoking event took years of public pressure.

“It was requested for a very long time by a committee of concerned citizens,” she said, “ and they came to not one, not two, but years of board meetings, during the public comment period.“

Emerson said the group “Stop the Del Mar Gun Shows” plans to mobilize its growing supporters to lobby elected officials around the region.

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