What To Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: Brooklyn’s alternative approach to gun violence shows promise. Brooklyn, New York’s most populous borough, has addressed the pandemic-era surge in gun violence with a strategy that would have once been a nonstarter: using police and incarceration as a last resort. And with shootings falling faster in Brooklyn than the rest of the city last year, it appears it just might be working. “My strategy has been consistent,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez told The Trace. “I’m going to focus my prosecutorial resources on the so-called drivers. And I’m going to refrain from doing mass arrests, mass takedowns, or things that I think undermine our community’s trust in law enforcement.” Chip Brownlee has more in the finale of our series with The Guardian. (Read parts one and two.)

A majority of active shooter events end before police arrive — and armed bystanders rarely stop incidents. That’s according to a New York Times analysis of 433 active shootings identified in the ALERRT database from 2000 to 2021. Less than a third of the time, police either shot or subdued the gunman, while in about half of cases the attacker fled or died by suicide. Bystanders physically subdued an attacker in 42 cases and shot them in 22 (with 10 of those being a security guard or off-duty police officer). Caveat on definitions: The ALERRT database specifies incidents in which a shooter killed or tried to kill multiple unrelated people in a populated place, and excludes gang-related incidents or domestic shootings. It’s also distinct from mass shooting tallies that set a minimum number of killed or injured. 

How the Senate gun bill addresses the boyfriend loophole. One of the bill’s most noteworthy provisions is to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers by amending current federal law that only prohibits domestic violence abusers from buying or possessing a gun if their victim is a current or former spouse, child, co-parent, or cohabiting partner. The legislation would extend that prohibition to include people who abused their current or recent dating partners. But it doesn’t fully close the loophole, which was one of the last sticking points in negotiations. Unlike a recently passed House bill, the Senate legislation does not include a permanent loss of gun rights for dating partners convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse, as is the case for the people banned under current law. Rather, dating partners would be subject to a five-year ban provided they don’t commit another violent offense. When will the Senate vote on the bill? A second vote to bring debate to an end is scheduled for this morning, and a final vote on the bill could come as soon as today.

Update on the timing of the expected confirmation of Steven Dettelbach. The vote for the would-be permanent head of the ATF, who is all but assured to win confirmation, won’t happen until after the Senate returns from its two-week July 4th recess that begins at the end of this week.

Chicago bars police chases of people suspected of misdemeanor crimes. The new policy makes clear that officers cannot chase people simply because they run away from officers or are suspected of committing low-level offenses. The guidance came a year after police fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez after foot pursuits. The police also came five years after the DOJ argued that many foot pursuits by police in Chicago were unnecessary and deadly.

Data Point

61 — the number of active shooter attacks last year using the above ALERRT definition, the highest year-end total since 2011 and more than double all but two of the years in that decade. [The New York Times]