What To Know This Week

1 stolen gun linked to 27 shootings in Chicago. On January 1, 2016, a burglar stole several firearms, including a Glock 17 9mm, from a gun store in northern Wisconsin. In a deep-dive investigation, The Chicago Tribune tracked the firearm’s subsequent journey to the black market, its use in more than two dozen crimes, and the tragedies shooters left in their wake. The first shooting linked to the gun occurred on February 5, 2016. Twenty-six more shootings and nearly 20 months later, Chicago Police recovered the gun on July 26, 2017. All told, 24 people were shot with the Glock, two of them fatally. Police charged people only in the homicide cases connected to the gun. The firearm’s last possessor was Cory Stone, a 29-year-old gun violence survivor who served more than two years in prison after being charged with illegal gun possession. He was never connected to any of the shootings. “My intention was to protect my family,” said Stone, who bought it on the street.

The federal government joins an amicus brief in defense of a New York concealed carry law being challenged at the Supreme Court. In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the high court is hearing an National Rifle Association-backed challenge to New York’s policy requiring people applying for handgun licenses to demonstrate a pressing need to carry firearms in public. “Congress has enacted numerous laws regulating firearms,” the acting U.S. solicitor general and colleagues argued in the brief. “The United States has a substantial interest in defending the constitutionality of those laws.” In addition to arguing the merits of the New York law, the U.S. government also asked for time to make its case during oral arguments in November. The filing was one of dozens of briefs filed yesterday in defense of the New York law, including by 18 state attorneys general, 152 members of Congress, gun reform organizations, and public health groups. From The Trace: The court could go beyond the legality of New York’s law to include six states with similar permitting rules or hold that the right to bear arms extends to the public sphere under the Second Amendment. 

Children living near gun violence are at a greater risk for mental health distress. Researchers at Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia looked at 12 zip codes in the city between 2014 and 2018 where more than 2,600 people were shot. The study found that among a group of 54,000 children who went to the ER within 60 days of a shooting, those living closest to a shooting (within one-eighth of a mile) had a far greater chance of having mental health distress in the subsequent two months. The research was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. What it means: The authors argue that in addition to public policies to reduce violence, it’s urgent to target trauma care services for children in areas where shootings are most frequent. “Gun violence affects the whole community, beyond the victims who are personally injured,” the lead author said. A co-author notes that “gun violence disproportionately affects Black children and families, adding to existing health disparities.”

St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters face suspension of law licenses. Mark and Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges after the June 2020 incident outside their St. Louis home. Missouri’s Republican governor pardoned the two in July. But in filing to the state Supreme Court, Missouri’s chief disciplinary counsel said that doesn’t erase their guilt and that the couple’s “indifference to public safety” warrants a suspension of their license to practice. From The Trace: Before they were conservative icons, the couple fought gun companies in court.

Data Point

100 — as of Monday, the number of homicides in Oakland this year. That makes 2020 the second straight year with more than 100 murders, a particularly troubling statistic for a city that saw huge declines in shootings and gun homicides during the 2010s. [The Guardian]