The Associated Press reported that Gov. Tom Corbett is considering a ban on any gun shows on public property, but it appears to be a case of the press creating a story where there otherwise is none.
Considering that the Governor recently made clear that gun bans are not on the table for the Commonwealth under his administration, this struck me as extremely odd. This seemed especially out-of-character because gun shows aren’t typically the target of anti-gun groups here in Pennsylvania, so it’s not an issue he is pressured on politically.
I listened to the recording of the radio program to see what on earth could have caused this story to pop up. Gov. Corbett was asked by a caller who identified himself as Brooks from Harrisburg about why Pennsylvania allows businesses engaged in gun sales to rent public buildings to host shows and whether he would push a ban on gun shows on all state-owned property and, if not, why not?
Gov. Corbett’s first reaction was to point out that no one else has ever complained about this issue before, that this guy Brooks was the first to ever bring it up. In other words, he showed that this isn’t even in the mainstream of anti-gun thought at the moment.
His second response said that the state is open to pretty much all businesses who want to use the public property. In other words, he said that they won’t discriminate against a lawful industry.
The governor followed that up with a statement that he has never given a ban on gun sales on state property any thought at all. In other words, this is not a priority, nor will it ever be.
Then, Gov. Corbett goes into the polite brush-off which is totally obvious in his tone when he says, “I’ll give thought to it.” In other words, he’s politely acknowledging that since Brooks is technically a constituent, so he won’t tell him outright that he’s going to ignore him.
Finally, Corbett follows up with the fact that gun show gun sales are checked through PICS just like buying a gun through a gun shop. This comment then paved the way for even the radio host to move on to more relevant topics.
Basically, the AP was really reaching to come to the conclusion that the Governor is pursuing or even contemplating a ban on gun shows on public property. It was quite obvious in the tone of the Governor that this was a polite brush-off, and it was also obvious in the radio host who was quick to move on to other topics that might be more interesting for listeners.