Report Documents Illegal Firearms Sales At Gun Shows


Gun shows and the lack of uniform gun-control laws provide easy access to guns that can be used for criminal purposes, asserts a new report from the University of California Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. The program says that its “Entitled Inside Gun Shows: What Goes on When Everybody Thinks Nobody's Watching,” provides a “you are there” exposure to the issue based on direct observations made at 78 gun shows in 19 states, most between 2005 and 2008.The report includes photographs video that show illegal straw purchases (a surrogate buyings from a licensed retailer on behalf of another person), anonymous, undocumented private-party gun sales; widespread availability of assault weapons, .50-caliber rifles, and the parts needed to make untraceable guns, and links between gun shows and the neo-Confederacy movement and neo-Nazism.

“Illegal transactions were often conducted entirely out in the open,” said report author Garen Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine at UC Davis School of Medicine. “The sense of impunity among sellers and purchasers in these cases was remarkable.” The research was funded by the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the California Wellness Foundation.

Comments are closed.