The state legislature passed a bill, AB 893, to ban gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, praised the state legislature Wednesday for passing a bill he co-authored to ban the sale of guns and ammunition at shows held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Gloria and Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner-Horvath, D-Encinitas, introduced AB 893 in February.

It would bar the state’s 22nd District Agricultural Association from allowing these types of sales at the fairgrounds. The district oversees operations at the fairgrounds.

The 22nd association’s Board of Directors voted last year to temporarily ban gun sales at the fairgrounds. They planned to await state legislators’ attempts to address the issue.

The vote effectively suspended gun shows like Crossroads of the West after Jan. 1, 2019.

The Assembly passed the bill on a 48-16 vote in April. The state Senate approved it, 27-11, on Tuesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has not taken a public stance on the bill. He did, however, submit a letter to the 22nd district last year calling for an end to the gun shows.

Newsom has until Oct. 13 to sign the bill. If he does so, the law would take effect in 2021.

“This bill is about offering more than thoughts and prayers,” Gloria said. “It’s about policy and action and listening to the communities around the fairgrounds who no longer want these events taking place. In California, we value people over guns and this bill makes that clear.”

The bill has faced staunch opposition. California Rifle and Pistol Association and the San Diego County Gun Owners political action committee objected. B&L Productions, which runs the Crossroads of the West gun show, registered opposition as well.

In response to the association board’s vote, the CRPA filed a lawsuit against the state of California, arguing the ban is unconstitutional.

In June, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in the case. He ruled that the state must allow gun shows at the fairgrounds to continue while the court considers the legality of the suspension.

“The truth of the matter is that the organized gun shows have the best record of security measures to prevent gun violence and the best record of ensuring that guns do not get into the wrong hands,” Sen. Brian Jones, R- Santee, said on the Senate floor, comparing the gun shows to other events like concerts that are held at the fairgrounds.

The CRPA’s case is expected to continue into the fall. If Newsom signs AB 893 before the case is complete, B&L Productions would likely file a second suit to try to strike it down.

– City News Service

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