State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, was joined by San Francisco and Daly City elected officials and community leaders at Daly City's Cow Palace Friday morning to call for the end of gun shows at the arena.
Leno has proposed legislation that would require joint approval from both the San Mateo County and San Francisco boards of supervisors before gun shows could be held at the Cow Palace, located at 2600 Geneva Ave. at the Daly City-San Francisco border.
The bill would not outright ban the shows, but places control at the county level to allow the events.
Leno said community groups for years have been pushing to limit access to guns, along with what Leno called the "glamorization, commercialization and proliferation" of the weapons.
"To force gun shows on the very neighborhoods with the highest rates of gun violence is unconscionable. It's disrespectful," he said.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said at Friday morning's news conference that within a two-mile radius of the Cow Palace there have been 75 gun-related crimes in the past six months.
"For years, the (Board of Supervisors) has made it clear: We do not want gun shows in this location," he said.
San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen reinforced Gascon's message, noting a "culture of violence that is brewing" in many San Francisco areas, including District 10 which includes the Bayview District which saw several shootings and violent incidents in the past week.
"We want to have a say about what happens here at the Cow Palace," she said.
Daly City Vice Mayor David Canepa said gun shows coming to the event center is not just a San Francisco issue, but a San Mateo County issue.
The legislation "gives us the local control that we need," Canepa said.
Community leaders from Brothers Against Guns and United Playaz advocating for violence reduction shared their support for the bill Friday morning.
"You need to stand up and let people know that guns on the street aren't doing nothing but killing people," said Rudy Corpuz, with San Francisco-based United Playaz.
Shawn Richard, executive director of Brothers Against Guns, which is based in the Bayview District, said there is a connection between gun shows and weapons finding their way into the hands of young people.
"It's so easy to get a gun," he said.
Leno said the only support for the gun shows he has received is from the promoter and event organizers.
However, he noted through his bill, "I'm not here to denigrate gun shows."
Visitacion Valley Asian Alliance spokeswoman Marlene Tran said her community group has been working with state leaders for years to keep guns out of the neighborhood.
"Anything that hurts people should not be tolerated," she said while toting a sign showing her support of the legislation, Senate Bill 745.
Senate bill 745 was introduced by Leno in February and is set to go to committee in late March or early April, officials from Leno's office said.
The next gun show hosted by Crossroads of the West is scheduled at the Cow Palace April 13 and 14. Two other shows are on the arena's event calendar for weekends in June and September.