What To Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: Biden’s administration struggles to fulfill gun reform pledges. The president’s record after a year in office pales in comparison to the expansive agenda he ran on in 2020, and advocates say they are disappointed by how little President Biden has accomplished in his first term. Biden’s gun agenda, which promised sweeping overhauls amid a brutal shooting surge, was a key plank for his campaign, and distinguished him from competitors like Senator Bernie Sanders. Leaders of major reform groups predicted his first year in office, aided by a Democratic-controlled Congress, would be an unprecedented period of progress. Now, Democrats are expected to take losses in the House and Senate midterm elections — and Biden could be running out of time. “Unless there is a move toward removing the filibuster, I don’t see [gun reform] happening,” one progressive, pro-gun reform advocate told Chip Brownlee in a new story.
Americans bought 18.9M guns in 2021, the second highest annual total on record. About 1.4 million guns were sold last month, according to our seasonally adjusted estimate, down about 6 percent from the previous December. The 2021 year-end figure amounts to a total number of purchases only surpassed in 2020, when Americans bought 21.8 million firearms.
Denver on the verge of banning ghost guns. The City Council voted 10 to 1 to amend the city weapons code and make it illegal for people to possess, manufacture, transfer, or sell any gun without a serial number, including ghost gun kits. The change will go into effect once the city’s mayor signs it, which is expected to happen this week. The new ordinance was made possible by Colorado becoming the first state to repeal its preemption law last June. After a mass shooting at a Colorado grocery store last March, Brian Freskos wrote about how preemption laws have greatly restricted the degree to which localities and cities can set their own gun policies. Another move against DIY guns: Last week, the treasurers of Connecticut and Rhode Island and several nonprofit groups filed a shareholder proposal with Mastercard to press the company to restrict its business with companies involved in the manufacture and sale of ghost guns.
Philadelphia Eagles join the city’s anti-violence efforts. After a year of record homicides, the Eagles Social Justice Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation announced it was awarding $316,600 grants to 32 community-focused organizations in the Philadelphia area committed to violence prevention and social justice. The organization and the city also set up a website to provide resources for at-risk young people and plans to launch a social media and PSA campaign. More from The Trace: Up The Block is our resource hub for Philadelphians affected by gun violence.
40 percent — the proportion of male gun owners who at least occasionally store a firearm in their car, according to a new study. Of those, 15 percent kept their gun unlocked and loaded. [Journal of Suicide Research]