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California lawmaker targets gun shows at Cow Palace

February 27, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Guns are displayed during a show at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany, N.Y.
Guns are displayed during a show at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center… (Philip Kamrass / AP )

More than a decade after gun shows were banned on Los Angeles County-owned property, a San Francisco lawmaker is hoping to achieve the same goal for the Cow Palace in Daly City, which saw a record turnout of firearms buyers and sellers convene in January.

Three bills have been introduced in recent years to ban gun shows at the Cow Palace, but two did not make it out of the Legislature while the other was vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Now, state Sen Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has introduced legislation that he thinks would less directly achieve the same goal. The Cow Palace sits on state land straddling San Mateo and San Francisco counties. His SB 475 would allow gun shows at the facility only if they were approved by the boards of supervisors of both counties.

"There is a history of both  county boards passing unanimous resolutions urging the state to ban them," Leno said of the gun shows. Holding such shows at the Cow Palace "is not the desire of the communities that surround it," he said.

Representatives of the Crossroads of the West Gun Show, which is scheduled for the Cow Palace in April, could not be reached for comment. But Gene Hoffman, chairman of the Calguns Foundation predicted any limit on the Cow Palace would be overturned by the courts.

``Almost all bans on gun shows are unconstitutional,'' Hoffman said. ``They are an attempt to attack the core right of keeping arms because government doesn't like people having more arms to keep.''

The Leno bill is one of several gun-control measures introduced in recent months following the shooting death of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.


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