Top Story

Baltimore has exceeded its threshold for an unacceptable amount of violence — 300 murders — for the past eight years. As police boast about the number of illegal guns they’ve seized and the city sends the department ever more money, what does the data show about law enforcement’s efficacy in reducing violent crime? [The Real News Network]

From Our Team

A universal background check requirement is one of the most popular gun reform proposals floating around today. Dozens of polls show that between 80 and 90 percent of Americans support the idea, including a majority of Republicans and gun owners. 

Despite that, thousands of firearms are sold each year without a check to see if the buyer is prohibited from possessing them. Federal law still exempts private gun sales and transfers to be conducted without a check — but many states have enacted their own measures to expand background checks. The Trace’s Chip Brownlee breaks down the gaps in federal law and the states that have tried to fill them. Read more →

What to Know Today

The number of Black people living in Chicago has been declining for decades, and the loss is most severe in majority-Black communities on the South and West sides. In the places where the Black population fell the most, rates of violent crime increased faster than in the rest of the city, and today, homicide and nonfatal shooting rates in those areas are collectively five times higher than in the rest of Chicago. [WBEZ]

Three Democrats in the U.S. House are launching an effort to trigger a vote on gun reform measures, including proposals that would ban assault weapons and strengthen background check requirements. [Truthout] Context: One of the proposals would close the “Charleston Loophole,” which allows firearm sales to proceed after three days, even if a determination on a background check has not been made. Lawmakers took a small step toward closing that gap with last year’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, but the provision dealing with the loophole was relatively toothless. 

San Francisco leaders this week announced a new ordinance that would expand the number of gun-free zones in the city, following a particularly violent weekend that included a mass shooting at a block party in the Mission District. The new rule would bar carrying firearms in hospitals, places of worship, and voting sites, among other places. [KQED

The Seattle Student Union, a student-led nonprofit working to build safer communities in schools, was a key force in getting Washington State’s new assault weapons ban on the books. The organization’s young activists say their work isn’t done. [Crosscut

Amid another academic year marked by school shootings, GOP-dominated state legislatures pushed bills to arm teachers and harden schools. The measures often ran contrary to the advice of education experts. [Stateline

In high schools across the country, graduation ceremonies are increasingly taking on a new meaning: They’re not only a rite of passage for young people entering adulthood, but also a memorial for students who were killed, often by gunfire, before they could accept their diploma. [The Guardian

Data Point

17 — the number of years in which Baltimore has exceeded its threshold for unacceptable violence in the past 32 years. [The Real News Network]