Gun show operators file lawsuit against board that oversees state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds

Phil Diehl

The family-owned company that operates the Crossroads of the West gun show filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday, Jan. 22, against the Del Mar Fairgrounds, challenging its suspension of the weekend event that has been held there for more than 30 years.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association Board of Directors, which oversees activities at the state-owned fairgrounds, voted to stop the shows after December until staff members develop a policy that could ban the sale and possession of firearms on the property.

Any decision in the case is likely to take years and have far-reaching effects.

Gun-show owners Russell and Ann Sallie Nordyke filed suit against Alameda County after it banned weapons from the public fairgrounds there in 1999. That case went on for more than 12 years and cost millions of dollars in legal fees before a settlement reached through mediation allowed guns if they were secured to exhibit tables with wire cables.

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