Protesters line up in front of Del Mar Fairgrounds hoping to end gun shows

Posted at 2:36 PM, May 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-19 21:23:54-04

DEL MAR, San Diego (KGTV)— Dozens of people gathered in front of the Del Mar Fairgrounds Saturday to protest a popular gun show.

The weekend after yet another mass school shooting in Santa Fe Texas, the Del Mar Fairgrounds is hosting the Crossroads of the West Gun show. The show has been in Del Mar for many years.

While show-goers drove into the parking lot, protestors yelled into the megaphone, “Stop the bloodshed. Close the Gunshow!”

Del Mar Mayor, Dwight Worden joined protestors. 

“Why are we doing this when the community doesn’t want it?“ he asked. 

Worden has been credited for updating local zoning ordinances, which now ban gun shops, gun shows, or firing weapons in the city of Del Mar.

But despite the name, the Del Mar Fairgrounds is owned by the state, so city zoning rules do not apply.

It is governed by a Fair Board, which chooses what events they host a year in advance.

“Were doing is this kind of demonstration of community concern and we’re working with the Fair Board and state legislature to see if we can change the rules and if not eliminate the gunshots, at least cut back the number,” Mayor Worden said. 

10News was filming the protest, when an unrelated cyclist found an in-tact bullet being run over by cars on Via De La Valle.

“It’s not a war zone. You don’t need to have ammunition out here on the street,” the cyclist said. 

Protestors said this is exactly why guns do not need to be in their neighborhood.

Across the street, we met gun rights advocates advertising for the show.

“It’s like a hobby shop for gun owners,” Nicholas Mielke said. He is an Armorer at Firearms Unknown. “We do enjoy it. It’s a passion of ours.” 

Mielke said he does not agree with his passion being taken away from him.

“People who do serious crimes with other object, I don’t see us banning them either,” Mielke said. “I am a proponent of our constitutional rights. The first amendment is something that I totally respect them for that. At the same time, I don’t have to agree with them either.”

The city does get sales tax from items sold at the gun show. But the mayor said he is willing to give that up, if it means having fewer guns on the street.

The gun show is on the agenda for the September Fair Board meeting, at which they could take action to discontinue them, after the contracts expire.