DEL MAR – Come 2021, the sale of guns and ammunition will be prohibited at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
The new law – authored by State Assemblyman Todd Gloria — comes after years of mounting local opposition to gun shows held at the state-owned facility. Utah-based company Crossroads of the West hosts the show five times a year in Del Mar, bringing together vendors to sell guns, ammo, gun-related items, jewelry and other goods.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the assembly bill into law on Oct. 11.
“Today, our message is clear: in California, we value people over guns and the safety of our communities over ammunition,” said Gloria, in a recent statement. “ … This victory is policy and action, not thoughts and prayers – and it demonstrates that California, with leaders like Governor Newsom, will step up when the federal government fails to act.”
Gloria introduced the bill in the midst of a growing conflict between the fairground’s governing board – the 22nd District Agricultural Association board of directors – and Crossroads of the West. The board put a moratorium on the show in September 2018, prompting Crossroads to file a lawsuit against the board in early 2019.
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction allowing the gun show to continue, pending the outcome of the lawsuit. The show will continue through 2020, until the bill takes effect.
Attorneys representing Crossroads and the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) have said they will likely take legal action against the bill.
“As far as litigation goes, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” said attorney and CRPA President Chuck Michel, at the latest gun show in September.
Lexy Brodt covers all things Del Mar and Solana Beach for The Coast News, with a primary interest in coastal development. A North County native turned UW-Madison alumna, she has produced for Wisconsin Public Radio and reported for The San Diego Union-Tribune and Wisconsin State Journal.