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Do gun shows in Nevada increase injuries and deaths in CA?

Gun show in Chantilly, Va., last December.
Gun show in Chantilly, Va., last December.
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Do gun-related injuries and deaths increase in California in the two weeks after an in-state gun show? What about if the gun show was in a nearby area of Nevada?

UC Berkeley public health researcher Ellicott Matthay set out to find whether there was a potential link and their findings were published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Using gun show listings for a period from 2005 to the end of 2013 from a magazine called ‘Big Show Journal’ and health data from two weeks before and after the gun shows for the regions in California they examined in their study, they found that gun-related injuries and deaths in California stayed relatively the same in the two weeks after an in-state gun show but rose in the two weeks following a Nevada gun show. The researchers say that California’s stricter gun laws, which require background checks on firearms purchased at shows, could be a reason for the increase in gun-related trauma after shows in Nevada, which doesn’t require a background check on guns purchased at a gun show.

The authors say their hope is to prevent future injuries and death by drawing a line between where guns are purchased and where crimes committed with those guns occur. But others studying public health and the impact of gun control laws seem to have questions about whether the study’s methodology is sound enough to support its conclusion.


Ellicott Matthay, Ph.D. candidate in epidemiology at UC Berkeley; lead author on the study, “In-State and Interstate Associations Between Gun Shows and Firearm Deaths and Injuries: A Quasi-experimental Study” which was just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine

John Lott, president of The Crime Prevention Research Center, which focuses on the study of gun laws and public safety; his latest book is "The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies" (Regnery Publishing, 2016)