This week’s bill signings by Governor Jerry Brown have been anything but predictable. With today being that last day Brown can act on a bill before it dies, a plethora of signatures have been handed out.
Among them is Senate Bill 221. You may recall the Globe following this story back in late August when it passed the Senate, however, it has met its final fate. Authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), this bill would have banned all gun and ammunition sales at the state-owned Cow Palace. Unfortunately for the members, Governor Brown has vetoed the bill.
The Cow Palace is a vast, state-owned facility located in Daly City within Agricultural District 1-A, which includes the county of San Mateo and the City and County of San Francisco. Historically a structure that housed animal livestock expositions, the Cow Palace has since served as a venue for various large events, including hosting gun shows four to five times per year. The District 1-A has contracted to the tune of about $150,000 to host the gun shows through 2019. This bill would not have interfered with the current contract, but would have prohibited contracts with gun shows after January 1, 2020, setting a precedent for who the Cow Palace could contract with in future years.
Senator Scott Wiener put out a press release today expressing his disappointment stating “I’m deeply disappointed (as is the community I represent) by Governor Brown’s veto of Senate Bill 221, to end gun shows at the Cow Palace and to stop this state agency from profiting from gun sales. While I have tremendous respect for the Governor, I respectfully disagree with his decision. This issue isn’t going away, and I look forward to reintroducing the bill in our next legislative cycle.”
He also added “Our country is awash in guns whose only purpose is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. We have an epidemic of gun murders, including of many children, and we must reduce the number of guns in our communities. We don’t need gun shows in the heart of the Bay Area. Our local communities have made it crystal clear that we want these gun shows to end.”
Returning SB 221 without his signature, Governor Brown wrote “This bill has been vetoed twice over the last ten years, once by myself, and once by Governor Schwarzenegger. The decision on what kind of shows occur at the Cow Palace rest with the local board of directors which, incidentally, represents a broad cross section of the community. They are in the best position to make these decisions.”