Petition drive launched to end Crossroads of the West gun shows at Del Mar Fairgrounds

Roseanne Holliday leading campaign

DEL MAR, Calif. - In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, a petition drive has officially been launched seeking an end to a popular gun show on the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Leading the campaign is retired teacher and mother Roseanne Holliday.

"It made me feel sad, depressed and a bit overwhelmed," said Holliday, who added that she felt helpless after the shooting in Connecticut.

However, that feeling did not last long.

"I wanted to do something," said Holliday.

On a piece of poster board, the Del Mar resident wrote this message: "Stop Del Mar Gun Show and Sale." At the bottom, she included her email address.

Three days after the Sandy Hook shooting, she put up the poster and tied it to a bench in front of her home.

He email inbox was quickly flooded. She said that was just the beginning.

"I'd be in the grocery store and people would stop me," said Holliday.

On Sunday, nearly 50 people met and agreed on the language for a petition drive.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts five guns shows a year. That translates into about $325,000 in profits.   

Holliday said she is bothered by the fact the shows are on public property and also by rumors of backroom deals without background checks.

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

Linda Zweig, the spokeswoman for the Del Mar Fairgrounds, told 10News, "We are strictly regulated."

Zweig said undercover agents roam the shows and backroom deals do not happen.

Several years ago, a Team10 investigation conducted with undercover agents did not reveal any shady deals.

"Every gun dealer at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds are licensed dealers," said Zweig. "Everyone who purchases a gun here is subject to a background check."

Holliday's group plans to reach out to everyone from the governor's office to the Del Mar City Council. They also plan to bring their petition to the fairground board of directors meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

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