A gun show similar to Crossroads of the West in Del Mar. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

In what sponsor Todd Gloria called a “rebuke to the NRA,” the state Assembly voted 48 to 16 Thursday to pass a bill prohibiting gun and ammunition sales at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

“Today marks a major step forward for this bill and a major step toward making our communities safer by reducing the number of guns in our neighborhoods,” said Gloria, a Democrat who represents coastal San Diego county.

Assembly Bill 893 would prohibit the sale of guns or firearms anywhere on the Del Mar Fairgrounds property starting 2021. Violation would be punishable by a misdemeanor.

If it’s ultimately passed by the state Senate, and signed by the governor, Gloria’s bill would effectively shut down gun shows like Crossroads of the West at the fairgrounds.

“The communities around the Del Mar Fairgrounds have been clear: they do not want these gun shows taking place on this state-owned land. With this bill, we are demonstrating that we value people over guns and are putting public safety first,” added Gloria, who is a candidate for San Diego Mayor in 2020.

Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego and Tasha Boerner Horvath of Encinitas were co-authors of the bill.

“The State of California shouldn’t be in the business of using our public land to join with the firearms industry to profit off the sale of guns and ammo,” said Gonzalez.

The board of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which oversees the fairgrounds, voted 8-1 last September to suspend gun shows until loopholes and concerns regarding the sale of guns and ammunition could be assuaged.

The NRA, Gun Owners of California and the California Rifle and Pistol Association have all opposed the bill through committee hearings and Thursday’s vote.

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