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Activists Claim Cow Palace Gun Show Organizers Have Firearm Convictions

DALY CITY (KPIX 5) -- Some gun control advocates renewed their push Tuesday to shut down the gun shows at the Cow Palace in Daly City.

The group of activists asked the Cow Palace Board of Directors to demand a state Department of Justice investigation into the show's organizers that they hope will put an end to gun shows.

They allege that two members of the family that owns the Crossroads of the West gun shows have federal firearms convictions.

The group is the long-term organizer of gun shows at the state-owned Cow Palace.

The Deseret News in Salt Lake City reported that Bob Templeton -- the patriarch of the family, who has also served as a long-time spokesperson for the gun shows -- was indicted by a federal grand jury in 1980. Templeton faced 16 counts of unlawful sales of firearms, making a false statement and aiding and abetting.

He pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully selling a .38 special revolver out of state. The other counts were dropped.

Templeton's son, 51-year-old Jeff Deseret, has not been involved with the family's gun shows since about 2004 because of his criminal convictions, the family told the San Diego Union Tribune.

No one should be organizing, promoting or sponsoring a gun show if the business employs people or is owned by people who have gun law violations, said Ruth Borenstein with the San Francisco chapter of the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence.

The organization wants to know whether any such convictions were disclosed to the Cow Palace and if they might provide grounds to end the current gun show contract.

"I don't think it's appropriate for a state-owned venue to be promoting and profiting from the proliferation of guns in our society," said Borenstein.

The Cow Palace has hosted gun shows for over 30 years. During that period, local politicians have called for a ban on renting it out for gun shows five times.

But the Cow Palace is run by the state. The last time the ban passed the legislature, it was vetoed by the governor. The shows make about $125,000 per year for the Cow Palace.

The board declined to state whether it plans to put the issue on a future agenda. The current Crossroads of the West contract runs through 2019. The next gun show is scheduled for September.


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