San Diego

New State Legislation Pushes to Permanently Ban Gun Shows from Del Mar Fairgrounds

California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria introduced Assembly Bill 893 Friday, legislation that would ban the sale of guns and ammunition at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, which has long-hosted gun shows

The ongoing fight to ban gun sales permanently from expos held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is now headed to Sacramento.

California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria introduced Friday Assembly Bill 893, legislation that would ban the sale of guns and ammunition at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, territory located with Gloria’s district. The politician said the bill is part of his efforts to make San Diego-area neighborhoods safer by reducing the number of guns on the streets.

“There is an ever apparent link between the gun violence we see virtually every week and the number of guns in our communities,” Gloria said in a press release. “Additionally, the State of California should not be profiting or benefiting from the sale of firearms. This bill demonstrates that we value people over guns and public safety above all.”

The Del Mar Fairgrounds is owned by the state of California and managed and operated by the 22nd District Agricultural Association.

Gloria believes gun shows – which have been held there for decades – just don’t belong there. Under AB 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.

The well-known gun show in Del Mar ended after 30 years Sunday. NBC 7's Ramon Galindo has more.

Last September – after much back-and-forth from both sides – the 22nd District Agricultural Association Board of Directors, which oversees the events at the site, voted to postpone gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for one year so they could review the issue further.

Meanwhile, cities near the fairgrounds – Del Mar, Encinitas and Solana Beach – all passed resolutions supporting an end to the shows. Then-Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom threw his support toward ending the shows, too.

“This is something the community has supported for a long time. Now it’s time to put it into law,” Gloria told NBC 7 Friday.

The final "Crossroads of the West" gun show was held at the fairgrounds in December 2018.

Some people want to see the events continue at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, but rather as gun education or safety events, where no firearms are allowed on site.

But even if they never return to the fairgrounds, the organizers of “Crossroads of the West” have said they’re not going away and will continue to host gun shows at other venues.

Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, Del Mar City Councilmember Dwight Worden, and Rose Ann Sharp from Never Again CA joined Gloria for the announcement of AB 893.

Gloria’s office said the bill is currently pending referral to the appropriate Assembly committees for review and could be on the Gov. Newsom’s desk by this fall. If it’s signed into law, it’ll go into effect in 2021.

The board voted 8-1 to postpone all gun shows in the Del Mar Fairgrounds until after December to review the matter further. NBC 7's Artie Ojeda has more.
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