What to Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: ATF revokes three times as many gun dealer licenses in 2022. According to data released Tuesday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revoked 92 licenses in 2022 — roughly 1.3 percent of all the dealers inspected, The Trace’s Champe Barton reports. While the ATF has yet to recover from the slowdown of inspections caused by the pandemic, the agency revoked more licenses this fiscal year than in any year since 2008. The numbers provide the first indication that federal investigators have cracked down on lawbreaking gun distributors following guidance from the Biden administration ordering the agency to take a stricter tack during inspections. Read Barton’s full story, co-published with USA Today, here.
Ohio man sentenced for possession of modified handgun. After a physical altercation with a co-worker at a Cincinnati IHOP, Gionni Dews, 23, was waiting for a friend to pick him up when someone allegedly started shooting at him, hitting him in the leg. Dews fired back — with a 9mm Glock handgun that had been converted into an automatic weapon using 3D-printed parts, spraying more than 20 rounds in rapid succession, according to the Ohio Southern District Attorney’s Office. Dews pleaded guilty to possessing a machine gun in March, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported, and on Tuesday he was sentenced to 37 months in prison. Earlier this year, The Trace’s Alain Stephens, in collaboration with VICE News, reported on the exploding popularity of conversion devices.
Israel installs AI-powered turret capable of shooting bullets at Hebron checkpoint. Israel has long been on the cutting edge of weaponry that employs artificial intelligence; as The New York Times reported last year, the country’s intelligence agency assassinated the head of Iran’s nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in 2020 using an AI-assisted, remote-controlled machine gun. Now, the Israeli Army has installed a remote-controlled, AI-powered system capable of dispersing stun grenades, tear gas, and sponge-tipped bullets at a Palestinian checkpoint in the city of Hebron, Motherboard reports, though an army spokesperson has said it will not use live fire. Israeli defense firm Smart Shooter created the system, and its website states that it aims to “revolutionize the world of small arms and optics by enabling every shooter to hit his target.”
After Oakland high school shooting, yoga instructors and acupuncturists offer healing clinic. Oakland, California, saw its 100th homicide of the year on Monday, SFist reported, following a week in which six people were shot at a local high school and two high school students were fatally shot at a house party. On Sunday, a group of massage therapists, yoga instructors, acupuncturists, and other alternative healers hosted a free clinic for people affected by gun violence, in the hopes of doing something positive for the community amid the tumult. “It’s a kind of self-care,” one attendee who works in the school district told The San Francisco Chronicle, “and it’s quiet.”
Another Texas National Guard member deployed to “Operation Lone Star” dies by suicide. On Tuesday morning, a soldier deployed to the mission shot and killed himself with his service weapon, The Texas Tribune and Military Times reported, following a wave of suicides among border mission personnel last year, signaling a crisis. Four soldiers killed themselves in the span of two months at the end of 2021. Current or former military members accounted for 23 percent of gun suicide deaths in 2019, according to the Center for American Progress, and they’re more likely to kill themselves with a firearm than by any other means. If you are having thoughts of suicide, help is available 24 hours a day: Call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. More resources here.
71 percent — the percentage of veterans who used a firearm to kill themselves in 2020. That’s up 4.5 percent from 2001. [2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report]