Dozens of gun control activists dressed in orange made it known they wanted the Crossroads of the West Gun Show out of their neighborhood.
“We're here because we don't feel its right that there are gun shows on state property. There are a lot of loopholes and the rules aren't strictly enforced,” said Shirley Platzer, a Solana Beach resident.
The gun show returned to the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds this weekend while a lawsuit ties up the legislation that aimed to put a stop to the event.
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.
Platzer was inspired to take action following the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
“I just feel like the kids don't necessarily think it's safe to go to school anymore,” commented Platzer. “How can that be allowed that a normal everyday citizen can have semi-automatic guns and ammunition, not just one but several and to be able to kill that many people.”
Inside the fairgrounds, gun enthusiasts were glad to see the show was back in Del Mar.
“I've actually been trying to come to the gun show for years, and then the yearlong ban kinda slowed things down a little bit,” said Richard Gilpin, who came with his wife and two kids.
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.
"For over 30 years San Diego has enjoyed a professional, educational, legal, and responsible gun show at a publicly owned venue. 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,” PAC executive director Michael Schwartz said.
Supporters of the gun show claim they were unfairly painted in a negative light.
“No one walks out the same day with any firearm. They have to go through a background check and wait ten days, and then they have to go to the gun shop and pick up the firearm. No firearms are leaving the gun show,”said Tiffany Cheurvront with Mitchel and Associates.
With the gun show returning to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Assemblymember Todd Gloria, who issued legislation that would ban the sale of guns and ammunition at the Del Mar fairgrounds, released the following statement:
“The return of the gun shows to the Del Mar Fairgrounds is disappointing despite overwhelming community concern, consistent support from California voters for tighter gun restrictions, and the increase in mass shootings throughout the country.
This is emblematic of the ‘guns over people’ mentality that I believe must be addressed. Fortunately, the fight is not yet over. I believe the misguided court decision that led to the return of the gun show will be overturned and I am hopeful Governor Newsom will sign into law our bill to end the gun shows at the Fairgrounds once and for all.
The time for thoughts and prayers are over. It’s time for action and for us to prioritize people over guns.”