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Controversial gun show returns to the Del Mar Fairgrounds

Posted at 4:38 PM, Sep 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-29 00:49:18-04

DEL MAR, Calif., (KGTV)-- After a nine-month hiatus, the controversial Crossroads of the West Gun Show is back at the Del Mar Fairgrounds this weekend.

Dozens of people returned to Jimmy Durante Road with their picket signs Saturday morning to protest the gun show. Many did not think they would be there again.

"We thought we already had this issue decided," Rose Ann Sharp said. The founder of the website "" organized the protest after the gun show temporarily was reinstated.

Last September, protesters convinced the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board of Directors to suspend the gun show, but a judge's ruling this past June allowed the event to return.

"I feel really good that the court found it in our favor," California Rifle and Pistol Association Executive Director, Rick Travis said. "What that does is it protects San Diegans' and Californians' first amendment rights."

In response, State Legislators passed AB893. The bill bans the sale of guns and ammunition, specifically at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, starting in 2021.

10News met several teenagers who joined the protest. 16-year-old Daphne Porras said she came to the rally because she was scared. At Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley, she said lockdown drills are the new norm.

"Unfortunately, it is a realistic possibility," Porras said. "I feel like our generation has almost gotten used to it."

Her friend Robbie Glatts echoed her sentiments.

"I don't like going to school scared anymore," Glatts said. "I don't like making plans on where I'm going to go. I have a plan for every single class. I have items like, 'oh there's textbooks over there that I could throw.'"

They said that is why they are supporting AB893.

"This isn't about first or second amendment rights," Sharp said. "This is about commerce, and the State has the authority to decide what business it will conduct on state-owned property."

Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 13, 2019, to sign or veto the legislation. Sharp said she is confident he will sign it into law.

If he does, gun show advocates said they would continue to fight.

"We are going to appeal this all the way to the Supreme Court," Travis said. "This is a state-wide fight for 40 million Californians' rights. If they take these right away, this is not where they are going to stop."

AB893 only applies at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. But if it passes, Sharp hopes other jurisdictions will follow suit.

Meanwhile, the Crossroads of the West Gun Show is scheduled to be back in Del Mar this December.