Focus Point - The Phony fear of gun shows

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. One of the anti-gun forces favorite straw men is gun shows. Handgun control, Inc. claims 70 percent of the guns used in crimes come from gun shows. But as the NCPA's Sterling Burnett demonstrates, that's nonsense.

A mid-80s National Institute of Justice study of convicted felons in 12 state prisons found they bought firearms at gun shows so rarely the purchases weren't worth reporting as a separate category.

Even after the 1994 Brady Law mandated background checks for all gun purchases from licensed dealers, an N.I.J. study found only 2 percent of criminal's guns came from gun shows.

U.S. Bureau of Justice stats on federal firearms offenders said only 1.7 percent of crime guns are acquired at gun shows.

In fact, a report issued by Handgun Control itself found only two of 48 major city police chiefs said gun show sales were an important problem in their city.

So why take pot shots at gun shows? Because they're an easy target that can't shoot back. Meanwhile, criminals couldn't care less.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. And I'll see you next time ....