Gun Show Operators Looking To Host Shows This Year At Fairgrounds
Soon, gun shows could be coming back to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This comes after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction this week which said in part the fairgrounds board, "Must make available the next available date for a gun show."
An attorney for Crossroads of The West, who used to put on five shows a year at the fairgrounds, said it is looking to schedule a show sometime this year. Crossroads of The West said it has requested dates for shows and is waiting to hear back from the fairgrounds. Normally there would be shows at the end of September and in early December each year.
The news comes after the Del Mar Fairgrounds board voted to temporarily suspend gun shows for 2019 while it explores the idea of holding "educational" gun shows that do not include actual firearms or ammunition. The board's move last year came after hundreds turned out to public meetings advocating for and against gun shows. Those against the shows said they did not represent the beliefs of the community and were not family-friendly. Meantime gun show supporters argued it was a constitutionally protected right.
Gun show advocates said the recent ruling allowing them back at the state-owned fairgrounds is a win.
"It’s a regional asset that’s owned by the state — it doesn’t just belong to one group of people," said San Diego County Gun Owners PAC Executive Director Michael Schwartz. "It’s meant to be used by the entire region which is San Diego County. We’re all taxpayers, we’re all Californians. So to have one small minority group who wants to use the force of government to kick another group out of town or step on their First Amendment rights to assembly and free speech — just because they don’t like their culture — that’s exactly what courts are supposed to do is step in and make sure that they don’t use the force of government to discriminate against a culture."
Assemblyman Todd Gloria representing California's 78th district is pushing a bill that would ban the sale of guns and ammo on the fairgrounds. He issued a statement that said despite the ruling his bill will continue to move forward.
"While the ruling is disappointing AB 893 will continue to move forward," Gloria said. "This injunction ignores the will of residents in the communities around the Del Mar Fairgrounds who have stated unequivocally that they do not want guns or ammunition sold on this public, state-owned property. We will continue to persist with our legislation to prohibit gun and ammunition sales on the fairgrounds and I hope the Del Mar Fair Board chooses to appeal this misguided decision.”
The last gun show at the fairgrounds was in December. Since that time, Crossroads of the West has been looking for other venues to host the gun shows, but staff said other venues were simply too small.