Study Claims Nevada Gun Shows Lead to California Firearm Injuries

Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine claims that California firearm injuries jump as a result of Nevada gun shows.

According to the Los Angeles Times, researchers “identified regions in California that were within a one-hour drive of a California gun show or a two-hour drive of a Nevada gun show.” They then looked at gun injury reports for those regions 10 days prior to a gun show in Nevada and 10 days after. They suggest that “firearm-related casualties” increased “70% more…when gun shows were held in Nevada than when they were in California.”

The researchers said most of the casualties “could be traced to cases in which the shooter meant to harm another person,” rather than simple firearm accidents. They used this point argue that stricter laws for gun sales in states like Nevada were needed. Researchers noted that “California…requires background checks even at gun shows. Nevada does not.”

But the study falters at the very point where one would think it should gain momentum. That faltering point is when the researchers explain that some states have background check requirements for gun sales at gun shows and some do not. This is part of a larger argument for expanding gun control via background checks. The problem with this point is that it overlooks the simple fact that determined criminals will–and do–circumvent gun control to get their hands on a gun. (Remember: the firearm casualties noted by the researchers were the result of intention harm against other people.)

In other words, criminals will break laws to acquire firearms.

Moreover, while the Annals of Internal Medicine study examined regions one hour from a California gun show and two hours from a Nevada gun show, the researchers admitted that “most Californians could have driven to a gun show in 60 minutes or less at least once every few weeks.” This admission makes the parameters of the study appear arbitrary and somewhat forced.

Another problem with any push for expanding background checks is the fact that background checks do not stop determined attackers, even when those attackers comply with the check’s requirements. For example, the Las Vegas attacker bought his guns via background checks, as did Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011), the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012), the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014), the Orlando Pulse attacker (June 12, 2016), and on and on we could go.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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