California Senate moves against Cow Palace gun shows

A customer looks over shotguns on display at the New York State Arms Collectors Assn. Gun Show in Albany.
(Philip Kamrass / Associated Press)

Gun shows would likely be banned from the Cow Palace in Daly City under legislation approved by the state Senate after some acrimonious debate.

The historic venue sits on state land straddling San Mateo and San Francisco counties. The bill by Sen. Mark Leno (D-Sacramento) would allow gun shows only if approved by the boards of supervisors of both counties, something Leno said is unlikely.

“The community doesn’t want it,” Leno told his Senate colleagues Thursday regarding an annual gun show. “This bill asks you to respect the community values and local control.”


But some lawmakers saw the measure as part of a pattern of state proposals to take away the rights of one group of law-abiding citizens.

“What if I said I don’t like guys who wear leisure suits so they shouldn’t be able to rent the Cow Palace?’’ Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) asked his colleagues. “Whether you like it or not, my right to own a gun is guaranteed to me in the Constitution.”

SB 475 was approved on a 25-13 vote, despite last-minute opposition from the California Police Chiefs Assn.

California has “the most all-encompassing gun show laws in the country,” said John Lovell, the government relations manager for the association, in a letter to lawmakers.

He said barring gun shows in California could “lead to the unintended consequence of these firearms transactions taking place in a significantly less regulated environment,” such as neighboring Nevada.


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