Gun shows dodge bullet at Del Mar Fairgrounds board meeting

By Joe Tash

A Del Mar woman’s grass-roots bid to end future gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds prompted hundreds to sign an online petition, but appeared to miss hitting a bulls-eye with the appointed board that oversees the state-owned fairgrounds.

Rosanne Holliday generated enthusiasm and media attention when she posted a sign in her front yard urging an end to gun shows at the fairgrounds, following last month’s deadly rampage by a lone gunman at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

At the Jan. 8 meeting of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, Holliday and several other Del Mar residents asked the board not to approve any future contracts to hold gun shows at the fairgrounds.  However, speakers in favor of the gun show ban were outnumbered about 2-1 by speakers in favor of continuing the shows.

And following the comments by member of the public, the board showed little inclination to put a stop to the gun shows.

Board president Adam Day said any board member can request consideration of a gun show ban on an upcoming board agenda, but so far he has received no such requests from fellow board members.  Day said he does not intend to bring the matter forward for discussion, so the 22nd DAA will continue with its current practice of hosting four events each year, which generate $324,000 in annual income for the fairgrounds.

“California has the most stringent gun-control laws in the nation.  These shows are heavily regulated,” said Day.  He said he has spoken to law enforcement officials who believe that gun shows held on public property are likely safer than those held in private venues, in part because of a strong presence by uniformed and undercover officers to ensure compliance with local, state and federal gun laws.

The fairgrounds has a contract with Crossroads of the West, a family owned company which has held gun shows on the property for 22 years.  The current contract runs for three more years, officials said.

Those in favor of prohibiting gun shows at the fairgrounds said they find the events – and their advertising, such as billboards – offensive, and also questioned whether a family- oriented venue such as the fairgrounds is an appropriate place to hold them.

“I see gun violence as a society-wide problem and glorification of guns is one important aspect of that problem,” said Del Mar resident Bud Emerson.

Banning the gun shows at the fairgrounds, said Emerson, would be “a small but important step at the local level to address the problem of gun violence.”

But supporters of the gun shows spoke with equal passion.

“I’m here to defend my God-given rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution,” said Thomas Stephan of Ramona.  The Del Mar gun show is the best in the region, he said.  “It’s where law-abiding citizens go to shop for the tools they need to defend themselves from the bad guys.”

The speakers included state Sen. Joel Anderson, R-East County, who urged the board to continue to allow gun shows to be held at the fairgrounds.

Bob Templeton, owner of Crossroads of the West, said additional gun restrictions aren’t needed in California, because the state already bans the sale of assault rifles and large capacity magazines such as the ones used by the Connecticut shooter.  In addition, the state requires a 10-day waiting period and a background check for any gun purchase, whether at a gun show or a store.  Private individuals must sell firearms through a licensed dealer.

Templeton said the rules are strictly enforced by law enforcement officials who attend the gun shows.

“There are no illegal activities that take place at any gun show,” he said.

Holliday said she was not discouraged by the 22nd DAA board’s response to her petition, which was signed by 750 people within the first 36 hours of its posting online.  She said proponents of the gun show ban will continue to speak out and write to their elected representatives.

“I’m very encouraged.  It’s really snowballed,” she said.  “The response in such a short time was more than any of us could have imagined.”

Related posts:

  1. Del Mar residents try to ban gun show at the fairgrounds
  2. Del Mar Fairgrounds board considering plan to assist Modoc County Fairgrounds
  3. Del Mar Fairgrounds board approves funds to help save Modoc District Fair
  4. Board approves 2013 smoking ban at San Diego County Fair
  5. Del Mar Fairgrounds board agrees to settle lawsuit

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Posted by Staff on Jan 8, 2013. Filed under Carmel Valley, Del Mar, News, Solana Beach, carmel valley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

8 Comments for “Gun shows dodge bullet at Del Mar Fairgrounds board meeting”

  1. CaliRifleGuy

    The truth is beginning to show. The press and the elected officials with the "mass public wants gun bans" is showing cracks right and left. People don't want their rights messed with no matter how many lies the antis try to force threw as truth. "WINNING" comes to mind lol.

    • quantumcircuit

      Stupid Stupid people! Gun violance only goes up when the genneral public is left defenseless. This includes the ban on bearing (carrying a wepon for self defence in public) a Constitutional right I still can’t believe has been taken away from us in California! A recient report on Australia state that gun violence there is now much worse after dissarming the population because as everyone knows….the criminals do not surrender their guns! The real problem is lies with our children being brainwashed by the violent computer games they sometimes start playing before they are even 10 years old! WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SULFUR! Focus on where the real danger lies….taking guns away or restricting access to responsible people only makes the problem much worse. If anything, responsible adults should be taught to defend themselves and others, not burry their heads in the sand like a stupid ostrich!

  2. local

    It is exhausting to hear the argument that people want to take away guns and rights. Not having a gun show doesn’t infringe on any rights AT ALL! There are still gun stores, there is still walmart and dick’s sporting goods. What stopping the gun show says is, we don’t value guns in our neighborhood, we don’t want gun culture here, we don’t want gun advertisements, please sell them somewhere else. Notice the quotes: east county, ramona, lakeside, sell them there.

    • Bob Loblaw

      So much for tolerance and “diversity”. I guess diversity only includes people who agree with you?

    • Real Local

      Yeah I bet you are a local………gun culture? And then to heap insult upon stupidity, you state “notice the quotes…” Who in the hell are you to say the fairgrounds can’t have a show that sells guns? A typical drone……

  3. 1623

    History shows that mankind will use anything they can to kill another if so inclined. So if we continue to support billions of dollars of extreme violent video games (killing training films) to our children and young adults maybe we need to more actively arm ourselves safely ! We’re breeding killing as entertainment -not self defense. Come on parents aka adults-in -charge, you don’t think this is going to come back to haunt you ? !!! Get off your I phone and do your job.
    The now published long list of psychotic “medications” the armed killers of the past 10 +years have ingested exasperates this.
    I was trained by a generation of pioneers who used their guns to hunt food and protect themselves. Safety was never ever compromised, guns and ammo were always separated unless absolutely necessary to keep at hand Borderline” or those who had a drinking problem that was known was encouraged or not allowed guns in the home by peer pressure. ( no it was not perfect) These men and women also chose to go to war to protect us – in order to be able to have this constitution in place. They didn’t use sling shots and water balloons to take out Hitler.

    The second amendment is also to protect citizens from government and other predators as unfortunately the Constitution writers also knew full well of this part of mankind’s history. Japan in WWII knew that if they invaded the US coast there were 500+% more guns in the Midwest than their entire military making that an iffy proposition.
    With every right comes a responsibility. !

    As for me I’d prefer to be a collector of fine workmanship. I’m fine with my antique pistol. It’s part of my personal heritage of the American Revolution.

    And lastly, to the best of my recollection, every Swiss citizen is trained and encouraged to own and practice annually with their rifles ( semis I think).
    no one messes with them. They don’t dare attempt to shoot one another often either – even if they were inclined to do so.

    The gun show should stay for the reasons already published.
    If you’re not comfortable with guns – simply don’t own one.

  4. Bob Loblaw

    Before you jump to conclusions about guns, read this:

  5. bornhere

    First of all Walmart does not sell guns in CA, non of the Dick’s in SD or Riv. sell guns. I don’t know about Dick’s in the rest of the state. That being said you CANNOT buy a gun at a CA gunshow and walk out the door with it. In some states you can but not here.
    If something catastrophic ever happens in this state or country these anti- gun people will be flocking to their friends whom own guns for protection. Some will no doubt be turned away to fend for themselves and some will be taken in with open arms. That’s just our human nature way. Personally I am more afraid of the older drivers then I am of guns.

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