A Jackson city councilman called for a ban on gun shows as the city deals with a rapid increase in the number of homicides. 

Jackson City Councilman Aaron Banks is proposing a one-year moratorium on gun shows in Jackson. According to WAPT, Banks wants to use that time to investigate “how and if gun vendors are conducting background checks on people who buy firearms from gun shows.”

Each year, multiple gun shows are held in Jackson and attended by thousands. The next show will be held on August 29 and 30 to coincide with the state’s Second Amendment Tax Free Holiday, which allows consumers to purchase firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies without having to pay sales tax.  

If gun shows were put on hold in Jackson, they would likely only move to Pearl, Ridgeland, or other surrounding cities. 

But are these gun shows to blame for Jackson’s rise in homicides? No. Studies from the federal government have repeatedly shown that less than one percent of inmates who have been incarcerated for gun crimes acquired their guns at shows. As we know, most criminals acquire their guns illegally – either through theft or the black market. 

But we have heard a common refrain from gun control advocates about a “gun show loophole.” Can criminals walk into a gun show and acquire a stash of guns and ammo? Not likely. All licensed firearm dealers, which make up more than 99 percent of dealers at gun shows, are required to perform the same background check that is completed at a sporting goods store or a pawn shop. 

So to answer Banks’ question, yes background checks are being conducted. 

The “loophole” relates to an individual selling personal guns. This is what makes it legal to sell or gift a gun to a family member. If we wanted to close the “loophole,” we’d not only make it illegal for a father to give his gun to his daughter, but for that father to let his son use his gun on a weekend hunting trip if a background check is not completed.  

While that sounds ridiculous, that is what gun control advocates are pushing when they talk about this “loophole.”

All we’d be doing is making life more difficult for law-abiding citizens without actually helping to reduce crime in Jackson, which should be our goal. 

We’re happy to be part of the discussion in reducing violent crime in Jackson. We want to see licensing and regulatory burdens that make it difficult to start a career or business removed because we know meaningful work is a deterrent to crime. We’re in favor of criminal justice reforms that get nonviolent offenders out of jail, in the workforce, and home providing for their family. We agree that education needs to be improved. That is why we would love to see charter schools expanded and why we support providing parents with the ability to use their tax dollars to send their children to a private school if they are unhappy with their current situation 

These are all solutions that can and would make a practical difference. Making it more difficult to legally purchase guns will earn applause from certain crowds, but won’t actually solve Jackson’s larger crime problems.