Top Story

Armed robberies are surging in Chicago, and residents are falling victim to a relatively new form of the crime: “bank jackings,” in which gunmen force people to unlock their phones and then drain their bank accounts using banking apps like Zelle and PayPal. [Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ]


Gun violence remains a jarring fact of life in Philadelphia, but police data shows that the number of shootings citywide is coming down. For the first time in three years, the city is poised to end 2023 with fewer than 500 fatalities. The decline is more pronounced in three of four high-crime police districts where the city redeployed more than 100 officers to quell gun violence. In one district,  homicides — the vast majority of which involve guns — dropped 40 percent; overall shootings were down significantly in all four areas.

Residents of the four districts — encompassing Philly’s Kensington, Tioga-Nicetown, and Strawberry Mansion neighborhoods, as well as parts of Germantown — say that while it’s comforting to see more officers in the area and faster police responses to emergencies, their streets are still dicey. The frequent sound of gunshots, screeching emergency vehicle sirens, and recurring cycle of mourning persists, leaving some unimpressed with the city’s progress. The Trace’s Mensah M. Dean has the story.

Read more from The Trace →

What to Know Today

It’s complicated to quantify the number of guns circulating in the U.S. But recent data from the ATF and the International Trade Commission indicate that the civilian stock of guns grew significantly in 2022, with the total number of guns produced for the American market reaching 494 million. [The Trace

The ACLU agreed to represent the National Rifle Association in a free speech lawsuit over what the gun group alleges were a New York official’s efforts to blacklist it. The ACLU’s legal director acknowledged that the decision would likely be met with criticism. [The New York Times]

The shooter who killed four people and injured seven others at Michigan’s Oxford High School in 2021 was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Friday. It was the harshest possible punishment for the teenager — and one that has become both rare and a point of contention. [Detroit Free Press/CNN

The three people who were killed in the shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, last week were inspiring and dedicated educators, friends and colleagues said. The names of the victims are Naoko Takemaru, Patricia Navarro-Velez, and Cha-Jan “Jerry” Chang. [NBC

Cities and towns across the country have turned to the gun disposal industry to destroy firearms used in crimes, surrendered in buybacks, or replaced by police force upgrades. But some companies recycle the weapons into civilian hands, melting down just one part of a gun and reselling the rest. [The New York Times

The Second Circuit ruled Friday that most of New York’s embattled concealed carry regulations, passed after the Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision, can remain in effect while lower courts consider legal challenges. There were three notable exceptions: The state can’t enforce a ban on guns in places of worship, a ban on bringing guns into private properties that are open to the public, and a requirement for concealed carry permit applicants to submit their social media handles. [Gothamist]

Data Point

75 percent — the increase in armed robberies in Chicago between July 1 and November 26, compared to the number reported during the previous five months. There were 4,654 armed robberies in Chicago in all of 2022; so far this year, that number is 6,145. [WBEZ]