Picture taken about 10 minutes before the debate started between former Fort Wayne mayor and Brady Center gun control advocate Paul Helmke and Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott. There were about 100 people in the audience. The debate took place on Tuesday March 8th, 2016. Later that same day Lott gave a talk at the Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis law school.
The Herald Times Online (Bloomington, Indiana) and the Reporter-Times (Martinsville and Morgan County, Indiana) had this synopsis of Lott’s part of the debate:
It was an interesting argument, that the U.S. citizens who could be most in need of guns for protection — low-income minorities living in high-crime urban areas — might be unable to obtain them if expanded background checks become law because of the cost.
“The people who need them most may well be priced out of owning a gun,” gun-rights advocate and Federalist Society expert John Lott suggested during a lunchtime discussion at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law Tuesday. “It’s incredibly racist, who gets stopped from gun ownership.”
Lott, author of a book titled “More Guns, Less Crime,” spoke first, followed by former Fort Wayne mayor and Brady Center gun control advocate Paul Helmke, who teaches a class at IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. The two have debated gun-rights issues for years.
Lott said the costs of background checks are figured into the price of guns sold at stores and gun shows, but gun sales between individuals that currently do not require background checks will be more costly if such laws are passed.
“The laws stop poor minorities from guns,” he said, advocating for free background checks for people living below the poverty level, who he said are are discriminated against by the additional cost. “There is a disparate impact from these fees.”
He said the fee for background checks varies from state to state, ranging from $60 to $300. . . . .
Helmke advocates for stronger gun-control legislation and expanded background checks for all gun purchasers. . . .
Here is a picture of the crowd at John Lott’s talk in Elko, Nevada on Friday, March 4th, 2016