Gun show at Del Mar Fairgrounds will go on despite strong opposition from City of Del Mar

Crossroads of the West Gun Show to begin March 9

DEL MAR, Calif. - Despite strong opposition and pressure from the city of Del Mar, the gun show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is still scheduled to go on.

The controversial gun show, which is scheduled to begin on March 9 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, has been met with furious opposition following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last month.

On Monday night, the Del Mar City Council added its voice to those calling for a ban on the gun show. They also asked that the name "Del Mar" not be used in any promotion for the event.

Linda Zweig, a spokeswoman for the fairgrounds, told 10News nothing will change after the city council's proposal.

Zweig said the name "Del Mar" is not part of the advertising or promoting for the gun show. In fact, the name has always been the Crossroads of the West Gun Show.

"The Del Mar Fairgrounds is the location, and we are a public venue," said Zweig. "Any legitimate business can rent the venue."

The Del Mar Fairgrounds would have to get out of its current contract with Crossroads of the West Gun Show. That is something the president of the board told 10News last week he was not inclined to do.

"There's a strong legal argument that perhaps it would be against the law for us to discriminate to ban these shows," said Adam Day, the board president. "As a public agency, we can't pick and choose who is able to use our venue."

While the board does pick and choose who it does business with through a vigorous application process, a legal expert agrees there could be legal consequences for banning the gun show.

"Let's assume one can have any kind of show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds other than a gun show," said David Steinberg, a professor of law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. "That seems like a clear violation of First Amendment freedom of speech."

For now, the show will go on. It translates into about $325,000 in profits for the fairgrounds. 

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