San Diego

Gun Show Returns to Del Mar Fairgrounds This Weekend

According to the Crossroads of the West Gun Show website, the next scheduled show at Del Mar will be September 28 and 29.

A popular gun show is scheduled to return to the California-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds this weekend while a lawsuit ties up the legislation that aimed to put a stop to the event.

The Crossroads of the West Gun Show has been held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the past 30 years despite opposition from outspoken gun violence activists.

That was until the first of this year, when the 22nd District Agricultural Association board of directors, who oversee activities at the fairgrounds, decided to put a halt on the show until a new policy could be established.

The board voted in September to put the shows on hold until 2020 while it reviewed its policy on gun shows. The policy changes being considered included an all-out ban, a gun sale ban, and an educational-only gun show.

But the gun show's operators filed a lawsuit to prevent the board from temporarily, or possibly permanently, halting their event.

And on June 19, Federal District Court Judge Cathy Bencivengo issued a preliminary injunction that prohibited the board from banning the show until the lawsuit was settled.

Tracy Olcott, The Crossroads of the West Gun Show president only had two months to plan for the show.

"So, we were really cutting it close to be able to get everything put together," said Olcott.

The San Diego County Gun Owners PAC said it was unreasonable for the board to ban a gun show that's been going on for 30 years.

"As a mom, I feel for where the people are coming from. I understand what their concerns are. I have the same concerns for my kids as they go to school," said Olcott. "We're here to educate and help people understand the laws that exist in California and nationally."

But not everyone feels the same way about the gun show.

"This is not a family-friendly gun show. This is about the sale of ammunition and guns coming into our communities," said Rose Ann Sharp.

Sharp founded "Never Again California" with the slogan "Love Kids, Not Guns!"

"We can respect each other's points of view, but we have different points of view," explained Olcott.

In February, State Assemblyman Todd Gloria, who serves the fairgrounds' district, issued legislation that would ban the sale of guns and ammunition at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Gloria believes gun shows don't belong there. Under Assembly Bill 893, the Agricultural Association would be prohibited from authorizing or allowing the sale of any firearm or ammunition on the property or the buildings that make up the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Gloria called Judge Bencivengo's injunction disappointing and said the Del Mar Fair Board could make an appeal.

AB-893 has been passed on to Governor Newsom's desk. He has until mid-October to sign it or veto it.

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