A local agricultural board this week decided not to renew the contract for a long-running San Diego area gun show.
The 22nd Agricultural Board voted 8-1 on Tuesday to postpone adding future shows in the Del Mar Fairgrounds until after the end of the year as it reviews the contract with the Crossroads of the West gun show, which has called the venue its home for the past three decades. Board member Richard Valdez said they received input from several in the community including those in Del Mar, Encinitas, and Solana Beach, and the board will weigh having guns present at future events past the two scheduled for later this year.
“The recommendation is to prohibit the presence of the guns on the fairgrounds, consistent with every other event, consistent with state law, that the guns will not be allowed on the fairgrounds premises, by folks who attend, by vendors,” Valdez said.
Targeted by local activists for the past several years, gun show organizers hold they run a legal show and meet all requirements and mandates. Local Second Amendment groups have presented the fairgrounds operators with thousands of signed petitions urging them to keep the gun show intact.
“The 22nd Agricultural Board has voted to institute a moratorium on the gun show for one year while they ‘consider the feasibility’ of holding a gun show with no guns,” noted San Diego County Gun Owners, who support the event. “The sale of firearms will still be allowed, but guns will not be allowed to present. In effect, not allowing the presence of firearms at the gun show will kill the Del Mar Gun Show.”
As for the Utah-based Crossroads of the West, they say their gun shows attracted more than half a million guests last year, more than any other gun show in the country. The promoter still has shows set for Del Mar later this month and in December.
The Del Mar show is not the only one threatened in the state. Lawmakers in Sacramento sent a proposal to Gov. Jerry Brown last month to prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at the state-owned Cow Palace in Daly City. The historic venue has long been the location of numerous gun shows throughout the years, which has drawn the ire of Democrats from nearby San Francisco, a city that regulated its last gun shop out of business in 2015.
“If we don’t fight for gun shows, then these resources for small businesses and safety education will disappear,” warned the California Rifle and Pistol Association.