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The Baltimore City Council and Mayor Brandon Scott are suing the ATF for greater access to gun trace data, saying that they can’t counter the illegal flow of firearms into the city without knowing where they come from. The agency is restricted from releasing detailed information from its gun tracing database, which tracks where recovered crime guns were originally sold, under federal provisions known as the Tiahrt Amendments; Baltimore argues that the agency’s interpretation of the law is too narrow. It’s not the first time the ATF has been sued for keeping the trace data off-limits. [CNN]


J.J. wasn’t killed when he was shot in the stomach, hip, and leg in 2013, but the near-death attack on a Philadelphia sidewalk convinced him that he needed to carry a gun on him at all times. He did just that until June 2020, when police stopped him near a shooting scene and, even after clearing him, arrested him for not having a license for his pistol.

In most of Pennsylvania, that would have landed him a misdemeanor. But because he was in Philadelphia, where state law imposes steeper penalties for carrying a gun without a license, he faced an extra charge for the same crime, bumping the offense up to a felony. 

But instead of being sentenced to jail or probation living with a criminal record, J.J., a father of six, was given a chance to clear his name. He got that opportunity through an initiative that District Attorney Larry Krasner launched in 2021 to provide an alternative to prison for people charged with illegal possession and who have no prior convictions — a program Krasner created, he said, to counter a “deeply and deliberately racist” law that treats people like J.J. more harshly than those across the county line. The Trace’s Mensah M. Dean has the story.

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What to Know Today

Americans bought an estimated 1.33 million guns last month, according to an analysis of FBI data. That seasonally adjusted figure includes about 800,000 handguns and 530,000 long guns. [The Trace]

The career of Chicago Police Lieutenant John D. Poulos was mired in controversy and alleged dishonesty from the start: An analysis of thousands of documents, including internal department investigations, shows that his track record includes two fatal shootings; blocking undocumented domestic violence victims from applying for legal status; and a failed attempt by police officials to fire him from the force. Now, he’s a candidate for Cook County judge. [Injustice Watch

The New York Police Department has recorded a dramatic uptick in murders on trains and in stations since 2020, including three fatal shootings over the last six weeks. For those who witness it, like Fitim Gjeloshi, gun violence on mass transit exacts a lasting toll: Since Gjeloshi helped save passengers during a 2022 subway shooting, he’s been terrified to take the train. [Gothamist

A new study from the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center found that a substantial percentage of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Black adults — groups that experience elevated rates of firearm death and injury yet are underrepresented in gun violence research — report that they have been directly or indirectly exposed to gun violence and live in homes with firearms. Researchers said the findings underscore the need for nuanced public health campaigns and policies to address gun safety in these communities. [JAMA Network Open

Amedey Dewey’s step-father shot her in the face six years ago, when she was 18 years old. She survived, but lost her sight and was left with long-lasting injuries. A new series documents the aftermath of the shooting and her journey to healing. [Detroit Free Press

In an effort to curb gun violence in Memphis, Tennessee, Mayor Paul Young recently brokered a seven-day ceasefire between the city’s top gangs. It’s part of a larger violence intervention plan that involves building opportunities and support services for young people. [CNN]


After the Subway Shooting, NYC Transit Workers Say They’re Still Not Trained to Deal With Gunfire: A dozen train conductors and operators said a lack of protocols and training leaves MTA employees — and subway riders — in danger. (September 2023)