What To Know Today

Texas militia member found guilty in the first insurrection case to go to trial. After a few hours of deliberation, a federal jury found Guy Reffitt guilty of five felony charges related to his participation in the events of January 6, 2021. The alleged Three Percenters militia recruiter was found guilty of charges including trespassing at the U.S. Capitol while carrying a handgun and witness tampering after he allegedly threatened his children not to turn him in. “Traitors get shot,” Reffitt, 49, was accused of telling his 18-year-old son. Alongside testimony from his son, much of the evidence came from Reffitt himself, as he recorded himself discussing his plans both before and after the attack. Related: Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the far-right Proud Boys, was arrested and charged with conspiring with followers who participated in the insurrection. Among other allegations, the feds say Tarrio met with Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes the day before the attack.

NYC courts will push to fast-track gun possession cases. According to a three-page memo obtained by THE CITY, court administrators across the city will direct gun possession cases to special courtrooms in a bid to overcome a backlog of court cases that Mayor Eric Adams has blamed on the city’s elevated gun violence. New York City is currently processing about 3,000 gun cases, many of which have been in the system for more than six month. While some advocates are praising the policy as a valuable violence reduction tool, others argue it will needlessly harm poor communities of color. “To resolve gun cases in an equitable manner that enhances community safety, we need time to investigate mitigating circumstances and assist our clients with accessing services for unmet behavioral and mental health needs,” Alice Fontier, managing director of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, told THE CITY. A 2020 survey of hundreds of young city residents deemed at a high-risk of gun violence revealed that most had been shot or shot at, and that many, the majority of them Black or Hispanic, viewed guns as a matter of self-defense.

Vermont legislators will compromise on governor’s demand to fix the so-called Charleston loophole. Under federal law, a gun sale automatically proceeds if a background check isn’t completed within three days. Last month, Republican Governor Phil Scott vetoed a Legislature-passed measure that would have extended to 30 days the amount of time that a background check could take before a sale would automatically proceed in the state. Scott said the 30-day period was “excessive and unreasonable for law-abiding citizens,” but offered to support an amended bill that extended the default period to seven days. On Tuesday, Democratic senators said they would agree to that change, and the governor’s staff suggested that he would support a new bill.

55 percent of gun owners say they would use a smart gun. That’s compared to 45 percent of adults overall and 39 percent of non-gun owners, according to a new Morning Consult survey. In January 2019, Brian Freskos reported on a new generation of entrepreneurs working to revive the idea of a gun that could only be used by a specific user, years after the first models proved unreliable, hackable, or a bad fit for customers. Executives of those companies plan to start unveiling their products in the U.S. in the next year or two. And some age differences in gun ownership and regulation preferences: The Morning Consult survey revealed a few interesting age-based cleavages, including a slight preference among people aged 18-34 (20 percent) for the idea that self-made guns should not be regulated as other firearms are — compared to 8 percent for people over 65.

Morning Consult survey.

Data Point

Less than one-third — the number of municipal police departments and sheriffs’ offices across the country that reported having wellness programs or training for their employees, as of 2020. [The Council on Criminal Justice]