For the past 25 years, the Crossroads of the West Gun Show has drawn hordes of firearm enthusiasts to the Cow Palace. Meanwhile, a steady drumbeat of gun violence in surrounding neighborhoods has claimed those who live in the venue’s shadow.
Gun-ownership advocates say the two are unrelated, and they point to statistics showing that a very small percentage of firearms used in crimes are purchased at the show.
Local legislators say the event also brings illegal sales to areas outside the building. For them, the Daly City show is the last stand in a longtime battle to ban gun expos on San Mateo County property.
Five years ago, Michael Nevin, a former president of the county Board of Supervisors who also worked for the San Francisco Police Department for 27 years, endorsed legislation from then-state Sen. Jackie Speier to ban gun shows at the state-owned Cow Palace. SB 1733 passed the Senate, but did not pass the Assembly.
In 2007, then-Assemblyman Mark Leno took on the cause and introduced a similar measure. It passed in the Assembly, but failed by a few votes in the Senate. Now a state senator, he has not given up. Last month, he introduced new legislation, SB 585, to ban the sale of firearms and ammunition at the Cow Palace.