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Del Mar Gun Shows To Take Break In 2019 While Board Studies Options

Matt Hoffman
Crowds at the Del Mar Fairgrounds are awaiting a decision by the Board of Directors of the 22nd Agricultural District on what to do about gun shows at the venue, Tuesday, September 11, 2018.
Del Mar Fair Board Considers Gun Show Ban
Del Mar Fair Board Considers Gun Show Ban GUEST: Matt Hoffman, reporter, KPBS News

Our top story today the Del Mar Fairgrounds has hosted five gun shows a year for nearly 30 years. But opposition to the promotion of gun culture is growing as one tragic incident after another hits the news. For example the shooting death of 17 students in Parkland Florida back in February. The Donmar City Council has voted to request that the fairgrounds ban the gun shows. But so far the Fairborn has declined. This morning the fair board's been meeting to vote on the issue and KBB as reporter Matt Hoffman is there he's on the line. MATT Hello. Hi Also how's it going. So what exactly is at stake today. The fairgrounds who's deciding making these decisions and what is on the table. Right yes. It's the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board the state board the governs there and basically the board is going to be voting on a recommendation from the fairgrounds contracts committee. Now that committee is recommending staff to explore the possibility of gun shows that banned the possession of gun sales and ammo sales so they don't want to ban gun shows entirely. They're looking at some sort of potential educational and safety purpose that these shows could fill. But like I said they want to staff to explore the option of these shows that don't include actual guns at the shows or sales of guns or ammunition. Who puts on these gun shows what's the history here. Yes it's crossroads of the West. They've been doing this for well over 25 years. They do five shows a year. And you know back in April they had a contentious meeting about this as well. We had a chance to speak to the owner of the crossroads of the West Gun Show Bob Templeton and he says from his perspective he believes that people are just using you know recent shootings or school shootings to kind of jump on this issue and make it a hot button topic to ban the gun shows. What's the scene there at the fairgrounds this morning. There are a lot of people what are people saying you know as I mentioned there was a meeting they had here in April were about the same amount of people you know the staff here at the board meeting say that there's a little over a hundred people signed up for public comment with Speaker slips and others. People here really on both sides of the issue. One thing to point out as well when we first got here today there's metal detectors to get in here. Back at their meeting in April. It was just you know just walk through security and you go in today there's metal detectors so you know obviously there was just a recent shooting here at the racetrack. But you know like I said people on both sides of the aisles. We had the mayors and council members from Del Mar Solano Beach and it's Anitas who are all there in opposition. But there wasn't alcohol on school board trustee James Miller who was there in support of continuing gun shows. I'm sure that there's no secret behind my background shooting and I've attended the gun shows since I was a young boy with my father and my daughter. It is a family friendly event for people to say that because there's guns it has to be an entire child an entire student. There's just frankly there's no nexus there. Yes. But also in addition there were people obviously who were opposed to gun shows there lots of people with these orange shirts that they said banned the guns. Most people are pointing to things like recent shootings school shootings mass shootings as a reason to not have these gun shows. Also just the fact that they say guns aren't safe but then you have people on the other side saying well you know a gun is safe it's just the person who might be using it might might not be safe. So really what we're hearing both sides of this issue of whether the gun shows should should continue or not. It is worth noting though that there are two more gun shows already on the docket for this year in September and December. And so basically what the board is looking at here as staff is going to have a whole year to come up with these new regulations or this new proposal to then look at continuing these on beyond 2019. OK. Now the Union Tribune published results this morning of a survey USA poll about whether the laws should be changed to ban the sale of military style weapons on state owned property which of course the Delmarva events is and Abam majority appear to think the laws should be changed. Can you give us more details of what the survey found. Yes so the Yuchi poll you know 500 people were asked questions and you know one of the stats that stood out to me you know they say that you know more people are in favor of not having these military style weapons but it's just 51 percent. I mean so it's not an overwhelming majority. And I think something you have to remember too is that this is all a San Diego County who were polled not people who just live here in Del Mar. It's also worth noting that a lot of people at this meeting in Del Mar aren't people that actually live here in Domar. There are people that live nearby or maybe in another city but say that they either come to the gun show or that they don't want their gun show to continue. You mentioned there was an incident of gunfire at the fairgrounds last week. Remind us what happened. Yeah so yeah. Last week during an ice cube concert right before that was about to happen a gentleman who was upset that he couldn't get a ticket fired a couple of rounds in the air sheriff's deputies ultimately responded back and shot him and took him down. There was mention of that today at this meeting. Obviously this weekend Kabu is happening in Del Mar it's a big music festival and they want everyone to know that security is going to be very very tight they're going to have metal detectors. They're going to be having bag checks. They're going to have sheriffs out here private security dogs. So today top security was a topic of discussion and obviously like I mentioned they did have metal detectors just to get into this board meeting which like I had mentioned in April. Those were not here. And very quickly Mantz. They've been meeting since 10:00 when is a decision expected. So right now you know the board has been in there since since 2013 when they've been starting public comment. It's been going there for about an hour and a half. The board is going to break for an hour and a half and they're going to come back after lunch and restart up this public testimony. So there's been no vote yet on this and we're just going have to wait and see this could go well into the afternoon. Matt Hoffman KPBS reporter thanks so much Matt. Thanks Alison.

UPDATED: 7:30 p.m., Sept. 11, 2018

The Del Mar Fairgrounds board of directors voted Tuesday to postpone gun shows after this year.

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Thefairgrounds board voted to postpone the Crossroads of the West gun shows for up to a year, while it looks at different ways to host them. The board wants staff to see if they can have “educational” gun shows that don’t include actual guns or ammunition.

There are still two gun shows happening this year, one later this month and another in December.

The board's meeting Tuesday was moved from its headquarters to the more spacious Surfside Race Place to accommodate larger crowds.

Crossroads of the West has put on five gun shows annually at the fairgrounds for nearly 30 years. They have always been well-attended.

There have been protesters outside the Del Mar gun shows since the school shooting in February in Parkland, Florida.

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Observers believe that any attempt to change or prohibit gun shows locally will generate heavy push-back from gun-owners.

A SurveyUSA poll published Monday by the San Diego Union-Tribune found that 51 percent of respondents said the law should be changed to prohibit the sale of military-style weapons on state-owned property.