A gun-control activist whose provocative billboards have been displayed on the Massachusetts Turnpike for 13 years today will unveil a fake neon advertisement for American gun shows where people can buy weapons, no questions asked, the Boston Globe reports. “We Sell Guns! No ID required. No background checks. Criminals and terrorists welcome!” the billboard says. “Gun shows are the equivalent of Al Qaeda terrorists walking directly onto the airplane while you and I wait in the TSA line,” said John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence. He said that at 5,000 gun shows in 32 states, people can buy guns without undergoing a background check or being asked for identification.
A local gun-rights advocate said the billboard’s point is moot in Massachusetts, where there are very few gun shows, and restrictive gun laws require licensing and registration for all gun buyers. No one can buy a gun in Massachusetts without undergoing a background check. “It’s a nonissue especially in Massachusetts,” said Jim Wallace of the Gun Owners Action League. Wallace challenged the premise that gun shows are leaking weapons to criminals and said it has not been proved by statistics. “So far, we’ve never been given any evidence that they’re a problem,” he said. Stop Handgun Violence points to gun shows as the source of weapons used in the Columbine school shooting – purchased by a friend for the teens – as well as the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, whose leader made regular purchases at flea markets and gun shows.