From Our Team
On February 2, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, an increasingly reactionary body packed with Trump appointees, overturned a federal ban on gun possession by people subject to domestic violence restraining orders. In a 24-page ruling, the panel explains how it applied Bruen’s new framework for deciding Second Amendment cases: In order for a gun law to be constitutional, the government must prove that it is well established in America’s “historical tradition of firearm regulation.” Because domestic violence wasn’t a crime in the 18th and 19th centuries, nor for most of American history, the 5th Circuit declared the ban unconstitutional.
It’s the latest example of how Bruen is reshaping U.S. gun laws — and in the three states where the ruling applies, The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia and Will Van Sant write in their analysis of the decision, victims of domestic violence could now be in peril.
What to Know Today
Tyre Nichols’s family and Brandon Tsay, who disarmed the Monterey Park shooter, were among President Joe Biden’s guests at the State of the Union. Members of the Black Congressional Caucus also brought families of Black people killed by police to the address. [CNN/The Washington Post]
Officials for the city of Vallejo, California, intentionally destroyed records in multiple police killings and one nonfatal shooting in January 2021, shortly before they were set to be disclosed under state sunshine laws. The purge was revealed via an open records lawsuit against the city that also found a pattern of anti-transparency practices. [Open Vallejo]
Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, a Democrat, announced the “Keep Americans Safe Act,” which would ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The bill faces an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled House. [New Jersey Monitor]
Will Keeps, head of an educational program that was targeted by gunfire last month in Des Moines, Iowa, said he’s determined to continue “helping kids that are not reachable in so many peoples’ eyes.” Keeps was injured in the shooting, while two students were killed. [Associated Press]
Members of the Proud Boys joined or led anti-LGBTQ protests once a week in 2022, on average, and 60 percent of the protests were drag-related. More demonstrators, including counterprotesters, are showing up to these protests with weapons. [Insider]
San Francisco police charged a man suspected of entering a synagogue and firing blanks from an imitation gun. The incident comes as antisemitic and hate attacks are on the rise nationwide. [The New York Times]
U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde, who owns a gun store in his home state of Georgia, has been handing out lapel pins shaped like assault rifles to Republican colleagues. House Democrats have responded with anger and disbelief, pointing out that the pins are becoming a common sight amid Gun Violence Survivors Week and after a series of mass shootings. [The Washington Post]
As the number of young people involved in shootings increases, the Philadelphia School District says it has a plan to address gun violence. But officials face several obstacles, including understaffed and underfunded schools. [WHYY]
“When Protective Orders Don’t Protect”: Rosemarie Reilly knew her ex might hurt her. But when she sought a restraining order, a judge allowed him to keep his firearms, even though she said that he’d threatened to harm her with a gun. Within a month, Reilly was dead. (January 26, 2021)
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