Gun shows across a multistate American gun market: observational evidence of the effects of regulatory policies

Publication Date: May 2007

Publisher: Injury Prevention

Author(s): Garen J. Wintemute

Research Area: Law and ethics; Social conditions

Keywords: gun shows; crime guns

Type: Report

Coverage: United States Arizona California Texas Florida


This study describes data collected at a structured sample of 28 gun shows in California, which regulates these events and prohibits undocumented private party gun sales. It also reviews data from shows in Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Florida—all leading sources of California’s crime guns—where these restrictions do not exist.

The study assesses the impact of increased regulation on characteristics linked to their importance as sources of guns used in crime. It concludes that California’s regulatory policies were associated with a decreased incidence of anonymous, undocumented gun sales and illegal straw purchases at gun shows. No significant adverse effects of these policies were observed.