Del Mar gun show expects record turnout after backlash in wake of Sandy Hook Elementary shooting

Event held at Del Mar Fairgrounds

DEL MAR, Calif. - Hours before the doors opened for the Crossroads of the West Gun Show on Saturday, hundreds were already in line at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Bob Templeton, the owner of the Crossroads of the West Gun Shows, told 10News in an earlier interview that he expected gun enthusiasts to start lining up early before the doors officially opened at 9 a.m. Saturday at O’Brien Hall.

"I'm sorry if we offend them by having an event like a gun show but there are literally thousands and thousands of citizens in San Diego County that will come out this weekend in support of the show," said Templeton.

For 22 years, the Crossroads of the West gun show has taken place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds without any backlash. That changed in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Hundreds of residents signed a petition asking the fairgrounds board and the City of Del Mar to ban the gun show.

"It feels a little bit unfortunate to have this kind of a show promoting gun ownership," said Ron Marcus of the San Diego chapter of the Brady Campaign.

He was part of the explosion in membership at the San Diego chapter of the Brady Campaign, a group that works to prevent gun violence.

"We're not anti-gun show, and we're not ever anti-guns, but we are anti-lack of sane legislation to help keep us safe," said Marcus.

Some worry the show will put guns in the wrong hands.

10News was there when the Del Mar City Council went on record showing support to cancel the show.

Roseanne Holliday, who wanted the show cancelled, said, "Even if one gun was not sold that could maybe hurt people and especially children, then that's worth it to me."

However, the fairgrounds upheld its agreement with the gun show, which did not seem to affect the turnout. Organizers expect more than 12,000 people this weekend, which would break an attendance record.

Wendy Scafa told 10News, "Before I understood the Second Amendment, I was afraid of guns. I didn't get it. When I learned about my Second Amendment right, I got it and I think people just don't get it yet."

This gun show is also a money maker for the fairgrounds. This weekend, they are expecting to make about $325,000.

Templeton, who met with reporters ahead of possible protests this weekend, said universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines are already in effect in California.

"We need to address the problems with keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people before we impact the constitutional right of law-abiding to own and use firearms," said Templeton.

This weekend will be one of four weekends throughout the year that the gun show is at the fairgrounds.

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