Robert Templeton, co-owner of Utah’s Crossroads of the West Gun Shows, which holds many shows at the Cow Palace, told the San Francisco Chronicle last year that attempts to ban gun shows are misguided.
He added that California's gun control laws — which are some of the strictest gun laws in the nation — do apply to the Cow Palace gun shows. For instance, buyers at a gun show must undergo a 10-day waiting period and a background check before picking up the weapon from an authorized dealer.
Crossroads has several shows scheduled at the Cow Palace this year, including one next month. Cow Palace CEO Lisa Marshall did not respond to a request for comment.
More Than Just a Gun Show Ban
This time around, Wiener is going beyond proposing just a ban on gun sales at the Cow Palace.
His proposal, SB 281, also aims to strip control of the 68-acre site from the Cow Palace Board of Directors and transfer ownership to a local Joint Powers Authority comprised of Daly City, San Francisco and San Mateo County.
This would remove the site from state jurisdiction, which has stymied previous attempts to ban gun and ammunition shows. Wiener says its past time that control of the site is taken away from the Cow Palace Board of Directors, which he says is not listening to residents.
“The Cow Palace is not living in the modern era,” Wiener said. “It’s ignoring the pleas by the local community to end the gun shows.”
The Cow Palace first opened in 1941 and was primarily used for agricultural related expositions. Over the decades, it’s hosted every thing from rock concerts and flower shows to gun expositions.
The venue is a huge cavernous structure with sprawling parking lots, and Wiener says the time is ripe to develop the land, which is near a Caltrain stop, bus service and is “directly south of one of the tightest housing markets in the world.”
Wiener envisions a mixed-use development, including affordable housing. But he says the ultimate decision on what happens to the land would be up to the local Joint Powers Authority, except for the mandatory ban on gun shows.
According to Wiener’s office, the entire state delegations from San Francisco and San Mateo counties back the bill.
Wiener says, unlike former Gov. Brown, he’s optimistic Gov. Gavin Newsom will support the gun show ban. But he doesn’t know Newsom’s position on transferring the site to local control.
Newsom’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.