What to Know Today
“It’s invisible”: The latest workaround to machine gun regulations retails for only $50. A new product for AR-style weapons, VICE News reports, enables the guns to shoot hundreds of rounds per minute, a rate of fire that makes the weapon virtually indistinguishable from machine guns. Dubbed “The Bolt,” the part can be discreetly and easily installed, and its creator has claimed that the modification can empty a 30-round magazine in 2.3 seconds. The return of the machine gun: There are numerous devices on the market that convert semiautomatic weapons into firearms capable of emptying an entire magazine with a single pull of the trigger. In March, The Trace’s Alain Stephens and VICE’s Keegan Hamilton documented the rise of one of the cheapest, most common conversion parts: the auto sear.
Gun violence is increasing at school sporting events. The number of shootings at high school athletic events is mirroring the escalation of gun violence on school campuses. There have been at least 171 shootings at school sporting events in the last 10 years, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database. About one in six school shootings over the past five years were linked to an athletic event. But shootings at school athletic events don’t garner as much attention as shootings that take places within school buildings or classrooms, ESPN reported, and they’re often overlooked. “When one of these ‘lesser’ school shootings happens,” David Riedman, founder of the K-12 database, told ESPN, “you have all the same challenges with none of the help.”
Connecticut senator questions National Shooting Sports Foundation over database of gun owners. In a letter to the NSSF, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, targeted the nonprofit firearms-industry trade association for allegedly compiling a database of gun owners, The Daily Beast reports. The NSSF’s goal, Blumenthal claimed, was engaging gun owners in an email campaign for “voter education,” a label meant to shield the group from a tax levied on nonprofits that engage in lobbying or political activities. In 2016, NSSF contracted with Cambridge Analytica, the now-disbanded consulting firm that collected Facebook data on millions of people without their consent and worked for the Trump campaign. In his letter, Blumenthal cites an email from a Cambridge Analytica employee, made public with a slew of other documents in 2020, explaining that the firm used the NSSF database to “determine groups of persuadable voters who support gun rights and also turn them out to vote.” Blumenthal, a longtime critic of corporate and government surveillance, told the group that “Congress deserves a full explanation” of its data collection practices.
After recent Supreme Court rulings, people experiencing intimate partner violence face grim legal landscape. The majority of homicides linked to intimate partner violence involve guns, according to a new article from The New England Journal of Medicine, and legal restrictions on abortion access leave people more vulnerable to their abusers. Pregnant and postpartum people are twice as likely to be murdered than to die from hemorrhage or hypertensive disorders — and unsurprisingly, writes author Elizabeth Tobin-Tyler, people who are unable to end a pregnancy are more likely to continue to experience abuse. As Tobin-Tyler notes, young women from marginalized communities are most at risk for homicide by an abusive partner. When protective orders don’t protect: People experiencing domestic violence are in the most danger when they take action to leave a partner. For The Trace last year, Ann Givens wrote about the murder of Rosemarie Reilly: When Reilly sought a restraining order against an abusive ex-boyfriend, a judge allowed him to keep his guns. She was dead within a month.
GOP-led effort to impeach Larry Krasner marches on. Republicans in the Pennsylvania Legislature have tied the reform-minded Philadelphia district attorney’s policies to the city’s gun violence crisis. The state House committee charged with finding grounds for Krasner’s impeachment held its first hearings last week; the committee selected several Philadelphia residents who were recently affected by or lost family members to violent crime to testify, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Many of their grievances focused on practices under the Philadelphia Police Department’s purview rather than the DA’s. Krasner and some state lawmakers have criticized the impeachment effort, noting that Republicans in the Pennsylvania General Assembly have refused to pass gun reform legislation.