What To Know Today
The ATF’s new ghost gun rule goes into effect today. The regulations require that parts used to manufacture ghost guns are serialized and that purchasers undergo a background check. On Tuesday, a federal judge denied an injunction request from a coalition of Republican state attorneys general and gun groups to block the rules from going into effect. “The Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm,” U.S. District Judge Peter Welte wrote in his decision, allowing the rule to go live as the court proceedings play out. In a filing, the Justice Department cited Welte’s decision in a separate pending case against the rule brought by a ghost gun company in Texas. As Alain Stephens reported last week, many ghost gun retailers were trying to sell off their inventory ahead of the deadline. Meanwhile, the regulation won’t apply to the estimated millions of weapons already in circulation. The difficulties of curbing ghost gun production: The Baltimore Banner, Reno Gazette Journal, and ProPublica report on how legal efforts to ban ghost guns haven’t stopped businesses like Polymer80, a Nevada-based company whose parts police have found in a bulk of ghost gun recoveries in many cities.
Some hope for change in Buffalo, as shootings are down this year. Comparing the first seven months of 2022 to last year reveals a 36 percent drop, with an even greater decline in the month of July as compared to 2021 and 2020. The Buffalo News reports that the Police Department is now prioritizing a physical presence in the locations of previous shootings and investigating violent crimes before lower-level ones. The city’s new police chief is also collaborating with a criminologist at SUNY Buffalo State College to outline the city’s strategy and evaluate the results in real-time. The state has also put more resources into community violence intervention in Buffalo and support for residents in areas facing elevated gun violence. But it’s still too early to definitively diagnose what’s driving the year-over year decrease there — a trend also seen in a number of other major cities.
Former Louisville officer pleads guilty to misleading a judge in the Breonna Taylor raid. Kelly Goodlett, a former detective, pleaded guilty in federal court to a count of conspiracy for helping a colleague falsify the application for the search warrant. Goodlett is the first officer to be convicted in relation to the raid in which officers shot Taylor in 2020. The Justice Department separately charged Goodlett and three other former officers in the case — three for the search warrant and another for violating Taylor’s civil rights during the fatal shooting.
Two men convicted in 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor. More than a dozen men linked to militia groups in several states have faced state and federal charges for conspiring to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Adam Fox and Barry Croft’s federal conviction comes after a previous federal jury had deadlocked on charges for the two men and acquitted two others charged in the plot. It’s remained one of the highest-profile domestic terror cases in recent history, but has also drawn attention for the defense’s accusations of FBI entrapment.
Boogaloo-linked man sentenced in case related to the fatal shooting of an officer. Robert Jesus Blancas was sentenced after admitting, along with three others, to conspiracy to destroy evidence related to the 2020 fatal shooting of a federal officer in Oakland. (An ex-Air Force sergeant has already pleaded guilty to the murder.) Blancas was given 10.5 years because of an additional conviction for a separate crime. Jessie Rush, Kenny Miksch, and Simon Sage Ybarra — who were also linked to the Boogaloo plot — were sentenced to six months each.
13 — the number of states that have not had a mass shooting so far this year. Overall, there have been 429 such incidents in which four or more people were injured or killed in the remaining 37 states plus D.C. [Gun Violence Archive]