A firearms retailer examines a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
For the 22nd year, the Crossroads of the West gun show will be held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The show starts this weekend. But it will certainly not be without controversy.
Driven by the emotion of tragic shootings in Colorado and Connecticut, many critics of the show tried to stop it. In January, the Del Mar city council passed a resolution claiming the gun show wasn’t in the best interest of the community.
Hundreds signed a petition and presented it to the fairgrounds board of directors. But in the end, the board’s president said there was no legally compelling reason to prevent the show. And the show’s organizer Bob Templeton agrees.
“That’s certainly their right to express themselves, but the constitution and state law protects this event and every other gun show in the nation,” said Bob Templeton.
And what will all the criticism mean for the gun show? The backlash will work in its favor says Templeton.
“Typically, we’ll have a crowd of 12,000 at our Del Mar show. But we’re expecting close to 20,000 this weekend. It will be very, very busy ,” he said
Templeton says extra tents have been brought in to accommodate the 1,200 tables being used to accommodate 55 vendors.
“It’s a first amendment kind of a place to assemble and share ideas with people who are like minded, who are concerned about gun ownership and the constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” said Templeton.