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Cow Palace gun show ban revived once again

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Ban twice failed at governor’s desk before

Photo by Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock

Once again state lawmakers from the Bay Area have resurrected an attempt to ban gun shows at the Cow Palace, the indoor arena located in Daly City, this time without the specter of a pending veto from former Gov. Jerry Brown, who twice shot down previous efforts.

Assemblymember Phil Ting and David Chiu of San Francisco, Palo Alto Rep. Marc Berman, South San Francisco Rep. Kevin Mullin, State Sen. Scott Wiener of SF, and State Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo have all put their names to the latest bill, SB 281.

On top of driving out firearms, SB 281 would also transfer control of the Cow Palace away from the state (presently the California Department of Food and Agriculture oversees the venue) and to a new body:

This bill would require, on or before January 1, 2020, the City and County of San Francisco, the City of Daly City, and the County of San Mateo to enter into a joint powers agreement to form the Cow Palace Joint Powers Authority for the purposes of managing, developing, or disposing of the real property known as the Cow Palace.

This bill would transfer the real property known as the Cow Palace from the 1-A District Agricultural Association. [...] By increasing the duties of local officials, this bill would establish a state-mandated local program.

Lack of local control over the Cow Palace has been a sticking point before, with San Mateo County officeholders largely favoring a gun show ban but unable to act without state intervention.

Twice before the legislature passed the gun show ban—and twice former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it, most recently in September.

With Brown termed out and replaced by new Gov. Gavin Newsom the same lawmakers are taking yet another aim at it.

Crossroads of the West gun show lists the Cow Palace on its traveling rotation, most recently in January and with upcoming dates listed for March, June, September, and November this year.

The show’s site claims that it annually attracts “more than half a million guests, more than any other gun show in America.”

Commenting on previous ban attempts, Crossroads of the West manager Rob Templeton told Curbed SF that he believes his shows are popular enough in the Bay Area to warrant continuing.

Templeton predicted in 2018, “We plan to continue providing a place for law-abiding citizens to gather for many years to come.”