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Crossroads of the West Gun Show returns to O.C. fairgrounds, but plans for future are uncertain

Gun show
Gun enthusiasts check out sporting rifles during Crossroads of the West Gun Show over the weekend at the Orange County Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.
(Kevin Chang / Times Community News )

The Crossroads of the West Gun Show reopened its doors at the O.C. fairgrounds over the weekend, to the enjoyment of firearms hobbyists and collectors who have endured a 14-month pause to the long-held Costa Mesa tradition.

The Orange County Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa has hosted shows through the Utah-based outfit for the last 25 years, earning a cumulative $6.66 million from the agreement, officials said.

But such traditions were put on hold because coronavirus restrictions prohibited large gatherings, and public health officials urged people to stay at home. Since March 14, when Orange County was moved to a less restrictive red tier of the state’s four-phase reopening plan, several smaller events have been able to return with caps on attendance and precautions in place.

The last Crossroads show held on the fairgrounds was in January 2020. This weekend’s show, approved by fair board members during a February meeting, is the only gun show sanctioned so far this year, officials said Friday.

The show occurred as state Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine) attempts to gain support for Senate Bill 264, a proposal that would prohibit any state officer or employee, as well as anyone licensed to use any state-held property, from allowing or contracting for the sale of any firearm or ammunition on that property.

Since the O.C. fairgrounds and the event center board function as part of the state’s District Agricultural Assn., such legislation, should it pass, could effectively put an end to gun shows held on the site by Crossroads of the West.

SB 264 has been referred to the Senate’s Governance and Finance Committee, which considers pieces of legislation pertaining to special districts.

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Cardine writes for Times Community News.


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