CDC worker Amy St. Pierre, 39, was killed and four other people were injured in a mass shooting at a medical office in Midtown Atlanta on Wednesday. The suspected shooter, who had arrived at the building for a medical appointment himself before he allegedly opened fire, was later arrested in Cobb County.
The Atlanta mass shooting marked the 191st such event so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines mass shootings as at least four people shot, whether injured or killed. In an open letter released earlier today, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said the shooting was “tragically too common in America.” He urged policymakers to take action to provide better mental health treatment and remove guns from “people who should not have them.”
“We cannot accept mass shootings as normal in our country,” Dickens wrote. “We know it does not have to be this way.”
From Our Team
Congressional Democrats have introduced legislation to focus federal efforts on reducing the proliferation of illegal machine gun conversion devices, also known as auto sears. The bill comes in response to a March 2022 investigation by The Trace and VICE News that found the devices were involved in dozens of shootings carried out by extremists, mass shooters, and drug traffickers.
Our investigation showed that more than a thousand illegal auto sears had been recovered in connection with at least 260 federal prosecutions since 2017, with the number of cases filed annually climbing nearly 800 percent in five years. The Democrats’ legislation is the latest in a series of efforts from lawmakers urging federal law enforcement to take action on conversion devices.
What to Know Today
ICYMI: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration created a Violence Prevention Planning Committee meant to hold the city accountable. Three years later, records indicate that the group went defunct after just two meetings. [The Trace]
The man suspected of killing five of his neighbors in San Jacinto County, Texas, last week was arrested after a dayslong manhunt. Survivors questioned why police didn’t respond sooner, saying they placed numerous emergency calls after the man threatened them and began shooting. Other county residents noted that police responses to reports of gunfire are often long delayed, if officers respond at all. [The Texas Tribune/NBC/The New York Times]
The ATF unlawfully overpaid up to $20 million in benefits by misclassifying agents and investigators as law enforcement, according to an Office of Special Counsel investigation of agency practice from 2016 through 2021. [CNBC]
Illinois’ attorney general asked a federal appeals court to block a temporary injunction that ended enforcement of the state’s nascent assault weapons ban. Meanwhile, another bid to block the law has made its way to the Supreme Court. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Gun rights groups filed suit to overturn California’s 10-day gun purchase waiting period, and an appeals court in Sacramento upheld the state’s ban on AR-15-style rifles. [The Sacramento Bee/San Francisco Chronicle]
North Carolina lawmakers delayed a vote on a permitless concealed carry bill, and the state Senate’s top Republican said he doesn’t think it’s the time to pass it. [WRAL]
Oregon Republicans in the state Senate are staying home ahead of votes on gun restrictions and abortion. The caucus’s protest means the chamber can’t form a quorum and casts doubt on the future of the bills. [Associated Press]
Parents of patients and workers filed suit against a hospital in suburban Detroit over an active shooter drill that they weren’t told about in advance. “They actually thought they were going to die,” said their attorney. [Detroit Free Press] Context: “These drills communicate the idea that, no matter where you go, you’re at risk of violence. And that definitely can be a traumatizing experience,” one expert told us in 2022.
Mark Lamb, the sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, transformed his image from a polo-wearing southwestern transplant to an assault rifle-toting, far-right celebrity. Now, Lamb is running for the U.S. Senate with a campaign focused on the Second Amendment and border militarization. [The Border Chronicle/Bolts]