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John Lott Slams Berkeley Gun Show Study As “Poor Research”

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley claimed that gun shows in Nevada are leading to increased violence in California. But according to critics, including Crime Prevention Research Center founder John Lott, this conclusion is nonsense generated by a poorly designed experiment.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that the study focused on the two weeks before and after Nevada gun shows, finding 70 percent spikes in firearm-related deaths and injuries in California communities “within convenient driving distance” of the shows. The researchers speculated that the absence of spikes corresponding to California gun shows demonstrates the success of the state’s stricter gun laws, but they failed to account for the fact that California residents would be governed under their own laws while purchasing firearms in Nevada.

That’s not the only problem, says Lott. He points out that the frequency of gun shows in Nevada renders the two-week study period meaningless: “Every two-week before period is another show’s two-week after period.” He also questioned why the researchers ignored half of the relevant crime statistics. “Firearm death data is readily available every place,” he said. “I assume that injury data is also available there, but they have no explanation for why they only look at Nevada’s effect on California and not on Nevada.”