San Diego

Bill Banning Gun, Ammo Sales at Del Mar Fairgrounds Heads to Governor's Desk

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

A bill aimed at prohibiting gun sales at the Del Mar Fairgrounds cleared the state legislature Wednesday and will head to Governor Gavin Newsom's desk for an approval or veto.

If approved, Assembly Bill 893 would ban the sale of guns and ammunition on fairgrounds property starting in 2021.

AB 893 was authored by State Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), and co-authored by San Diego-area Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas).

According to Assemblyman Gloria's office, the bill received strong opposition from the NRA, Gun Owners of California, and the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

The bill was also opposed by supporters of the Crossroads of the West Gun Show, which has been hosting the event at the fairgrounds for the last 30 years.

According to the gun show's calendar, the next show scheduled at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is Sept. 28-29. There are also shows scheduled for Dec. 14-15.

The gun show made its way back on the venue's calendar this past July after a federal judge opened the door for its return.

On June 19, Federal District Court Judge Cathy Bencivengo issued a preliminary injunction that put a pause on the Del Mar Fair Board's temporary ban on gun shows at the fairgrounds that had been in place since the start of 2019.

Bencivengo's injunction prohibited the board from continuing its ban on the show until a lawsuit filed by gun show operators was settled.

The fair board voted in September 2018 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.

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.

“Although the decision is not final, gun owners are happy with the judge's decision to stop bans on gun shows while the lawsuit makes its way through the courts. There is nothing reasonable about a total ban," PAC executive director Michael Schwartz said.

"For over 30 years San Diego has enjoyed a professional, educational, legal, and responsible gun show at a publicly owned venue," Schwartz continued. "It is unconscionable that a very few people would use the force of government to discriminate against fellow San Diegans simply because they dislike them for exercising their rights. The injunction shows that the judge agrees there is a valid and important case to be made on behalf of California gun owners."

Activists against the gun show received support from then Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, who asked the board in charge of the fairgrounds to keep gun shows off public land.

Supporters of the gun show claim they are unfairly being painted in a negative light.

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