Del Mar, Solana Beach urge fair board to end ghost gun sales

NeverAgainCA has been protesting the Crossroads of the West gun show each time it returns to the fairgrounds.
(Luke Harold)

With the Crossroads of the West gun show returning to the Del Mar Fairgrounds this weekend, the Del Mar and Solana Beach city councils each passed a resolution this week urging fairgrounds officials to ban ghost guns from the state-owned property. (Note: Due to the coronavirus, Crossroads of the West announced online later this week that its gun show has been canceled.)

“It looks like a gun, it shoots like a gun and it kills like a gun,” said Rose Ann Sharp, founder of the advocacy group NeverAgainCA, speaking on Tuesday, March 10, in front of the board that oversees the fairgrounds.

Ghost guns are assembled from firearm parts, and provide a way to circumvent gun laws, and law enforcement officials have said they’re increasingly prevalent in gun crimes.

Sharp mentioned a school shooting last year in Santa Clarita that killed three students, including the 16-year-old shooter, Nathan Berhow. The L.A. county sheriff confirmed that Berhow used a ghost gun.

“It really is the hidden loophole that a lot of people don’t know about,” Solana Beach City Councilwoman Kelly Harless said.

Annie Pierce, a Del Mar Fairgrounds spokeswoman, said fairgrounds officials can’t comment on the ghost gun resolutions due to pending litigation with Crossroads of the West.

In 2018, the fairgrounds board of directors tried to put a moratorium on gun and ammunition sales at the fairgrounds. Crossroads filed a lawsuit and received an injunction that requires the fairgrounds to continue hosting the gun shows.

A state law authored by Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, that bans gun and ammo sales at the fairgrounds will take effect next year. It was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last October.

NeverAgainCA supporters in their orange shirts have held protests on the corner of Via de la Valle and Jimmy Durante Boulevard during each gun show.

Crossroads of the West President Tracy Olcott said in an email that self-manufactured guns are legal if the user gets a serial number from the California Department of Justice. The California attorney general’s office also requires users of self-manufactured firearms to meet state eligibility requirements to own or possess a firearm.

“These gun hobbyists are just regular folks enjoying and exercising their right to bear arms,” she said. “They will continue to do so in spite of the anti-gun rhetoric they encounter by a local, vocal minority of people.”

Olcott added that there will be an FBI booth at this weekend’s gun show to field questions.

“We welcome these officers at our shows and want to demonstrate our commitment to legal, lawful purchases at the gun show,” she said.