Tags: | gun | control | show

Gun-Show Bill Would Do More Harm Than Good

Wednesday, 02 Feb 2011 10:05 AM

By John Lott

Another gun control bill has been introduced in Congress. An article appearing in The Hill explains what New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg proposes. It focuses on gun show dealers, but what it really seeks to accomplish is more control, pure and simple.  Here's why:
  • Virtually no criminal guns are obtained from gun shows.
  • Background checks do not stop criminals from getting guns. But the rules do harm law-abiding citizens.
  • With all the delays found in background checks, this imposes a real cost on law-abiding citizens who need guns quickly for protection and a one, two or three day delay can take the prevent a sale from even taking place at a gun show.
The Hill reports:

"While the tragedy in Tucson weighs heavily on the national conscience, it’s business as usual for gun show dealers who continue to peddle dangerous guns without a background check,” Lautenberg said Monday in a statement. “The gun show loophole remains in place today because the special interest gun lobby has scared off legislators from enacting responsible reform. It’s time to put aside business as usual in Washington and start considering the safety of our families over special interests.”


The links in my original post at my website are provided here.
  • The BJS report "Firearms Use by Offenders" provides a survey of criminals convicted of gun offenses and it shows that 0.7 percent of criminals obtained their guns from gun shows.
  • Over 99.9 percent of those purchases initially flagged as being illegal under the law were later determined to be misidentified. Take the numbers for 2008, the latest year for which data are available. The 78,906 initial denials resulted in only 147 cases involving banned individuals trying to purchase guns. Of those 147 cases, prosecutors thought the evidence was strong enough to proceed on only 105, and they won convictions in just 43. But few of these 43 cases stopped career criminals or those who posed real threats. The typical case was someone who had misdemeanor convictions for an offense he didn't realize prevented him from buying a gun.
  • As to delays, the "National Instant Criminal Background Check System" report from the FBI, shows that 8 percent of the background checks are delayed. Five percentage points of those checks take up to 3 business days, and 3 percentage points take even longer, though these further delays can't stop one from obtaining a gun at that point (p. 11).

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