Del Mar residents protest gun show

SAN DIEGO – Some Del Mar residents want to put a stop to the annual gun show at the fairgrounds in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

gunshowAfter learning of the shooting massacre, former kindergarten teacher and Del Mar resident Rosanne Holliday posted a sign in her front yard asking people to write the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board of Directors to stop the gun show.

“I would like not to see other children killed and other people killed in these mass shootings,” said Holliday. “The hardship that the parents will face is going to last forever. They will never get over it.”

Other Del Mar residents joined Holliday in creating a petition and plan on presenting it to the 22nd District Agricultural Association at their monthly meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s about taking a position and saying that we don’t think this should be done on public land,” Holliday said.

The Crossroad of the West Gun Show holds five shows a year and has been coming in Del Mar for 20 years. It generates about $300,000 annually for the county.

Del Mar Fairgrounds spokeswoman Linda Zweig said they are sensitive to the issue, but gun shows are legal in California.  California has some of the toughest gun sales laws in the country and the gun show at Del Mar is attended by every department of law enforcement in the county.

“The truth of the matter is that we are a public venue. No one can come in here, buy a gun and walk out. There are very strict rules and regulations,” Zweig said.

“You’ll never ever be able to legislate evil people,” said American Shooting Center owner Mark Halcon. “They’re going to do it no matter what.”

According to Halcon, buying a gun at a show is not different than buying at store. The 10-day waiting period and background check is the same.

“[The gun] has to be registered. You have to wait the 10 days and pick it up at different store,” he said.

Still Rosanne Holliday said it’s better to do something than nothing, even if it only makes statement.

“I just figure if it’s one gun that doesn’t get in the hands of people that shouldn’t have it, its worth my little sign out in front of my house,” she said.