Gun shows don’t contribute to increased homicide or suicide rates, says a study from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy reported by the Detroit News. The joint University of Michigan and University of Maryland examination of gun death data in the weeks surrounding more than 3,400 California and Texas gun shows concluded tighter regulation of the flea market-like operations did nothing to reduce firearms-related deaths in the following month. Researchers compared gunshot death data surrounding every known gun show in California and Texas between 1994 and 2004. California has some of the most stringent gun sale rules in the country. Texas is among the least restrictive.
The study yielded “no evidence to suggest that gun shows lead to a substantial increase in the number of homicides or suicides in either California or Texas,” said Prof. Brian Jacob, head of the Ford School’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy. Gun control advocates believe the study is flawed. What the study “appears to be measuring is pretty narrow,” said former Fort Wayne, In., Mayor Paul Helmke, now president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.