Pack your bags, we're heading to the gun show!

On October 6, 2008, in Uncategorized, by Karen Grepin

I was a bit surprised to learn a bit about the gun show industry today in a recently NBER working paper by Mark Duggan, Randi Hjalmarsson, and Brian Jacob. Apparently, in certain states, almost anyone can show up to one of the thousands of gun shows that happen across the US and buy a guy with basically no background check.

Gun control advocates argue that the “gun show loophole” makes it easier for potential criminals to obtain a gun; the loophole basically allows unlicensed vendors at gun shows to sell firearms without conducting background checks on purchasers.

Their studies actually does not find that having a gun show come to your town increases the rates of homicide or suicide in your local area, at least in the short run. But, it could have a lot to do with where these gun shows decide to go in the first place, or if there is a lot of recurrent trips. I guess I had no idea how common these things were. Who goes to these things?

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