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Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced that his office has reached a settlement with one of the largest ghost gun manufacturers in the country, Polymer80, in a lawsuit filed after Maryland lawmakers banned the sale of unserialized firearms. The Nevada-based company, which has recently faced a series of similar suits, agreed to halt its sales and advertising in Maryland, stop selling its firearms to Maryland residents in neighboring states, and pay $1.2 million in damages.

Meanwhile, just up the road in Philadelphia, a Pennsylvania court upheld a city ordinance banning the manufacture and assembly of 3D-printed parts used to build ghost guns. [The Baltimore Banner/The Philadelphia Inquirer]


In his first year in office, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has made progress on his promises to counter gun violence by addressing its root causes. He’s increased spending on mental health services, upped employment in a city-led job program for kids and teenagers, and set aside $100 million for anti-violence programming. But while Johnson pursues his pledge to prioritize long-term solutions, Chicagoans in areas that experience the brunt of the crisis are waiting for relief to make their streets feel more safe.

Princess Shaw, a third-generation resident of the Lawndale neighborhood, voted for Johnson, as did many of her neighbors. She supports Johnson’s efforts to create systemic fixes, but she’d like to see a greater sense of urgency to help neighborhoods like hers, where shootings rose by 11 percent last year. “What are we supposed to do?” she asked. “Just hope and wait?” The Trace’s Rita Oceguera has more on Johnson’s long-term plans to counter gun violence and the search for short-term solutions to accompany them.

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NRA Trial

During Day Three of deliberation in the National Rifle Association’s civil fraud trial, lawyers for the group’s former CEO Wayne LaPierre and former treasurer Wilson Phillips threw a wrench into the jury’s request for a searchable, digital transcript of all testimony. The jurors’ request was unusual — Judge Joel M. Cohen said he’d never heard of a deliberating jury being given an entire trial transcript — but the judge had been inclined to honor the request. Prosecutors with the New York State Attorney General’s Office and attorneys for the NRA had both expressed support for the move. LaPierre’s and Phillips’s lawyers, however, objected, effectively arguing that the AG’s office was over-represented in the record.

Cohen had trouble with the logic. “The trial happened,” he said. “The transcript is simply a mirror of the trial they just heard.” 

Still, out of caution and wary of creating a basis for appeal, Cohen declined the request. Similarly, the jury asked for a transcript of the attorney general’s closing argument, and Cohen was prepared to give jurors summations from all sides. Again, the Attorney General’s Office and NRA were on board, but lawyers for LaPierre and Phillips resisted. With the parties in disagreement, Cohen said he would withhold, for now, the summations — which are considered argument, not evidence — from the jury. The judge did, however, sign off on a jury request for a transcript of testimony by defendant John Frazer, the NRA’s general counsel, and some other individual witness testimony. —Will Van Sant

What to Know Today

The first federal trial over a hate crime motivated by gender identity began this week in South Carolina, where a man faces charges for shooting and killing a Black trans woman and then fleeing to New York. Until 2009, federal hate crime laws did not account for offenses based on the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. [Associated Press

Judge Kevin Newsom — a conservative who was appointed to the 11th Circuit by former President Donald Trump — criticized the Supreme Court’s reliance on historical “tradition” to justify major constitutional decisions, including justices’ landmark ruling on gun rights in the 2022 Bruen case. “The road to tradition, I fear, may be a road to perdition,” he said during a symposium hosted by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. [Reuters

In Colorado, a House bill to increase penalties for stealing firearms seemed like a slam dunk. It was framed as the rare type of legislation that could garner support from both gun rights and gun safety proponents, and both Democrats and Republicans. What went wrong? [The Colorado Sun

Eric Parker became something of a far-right icon after he pointed a semiautomatic rifle at federal agents during a standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch in 2014, which resulted in Parker’s 19-month stint in prison. Now the leader of a militia group, Parker claims that he’s the driving force behind a bill to dramatically narrow Idaho’s definition of “terrorism” — one that would have excluded him and the other militants who showed up to the Bundy ranch a decade ago. [InvestigateWest]

Data Point

37 percent — the increase in the number of gender identity-based hate crimes reported by the FBI in 2022 compared to the previous year. [Associated Press]