What To Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: Shooting survivors shouldn’t pay their own medical bills. In a new commentary, Professor Hugh Gusterson of the University of British Columbia shares a proposal to defray gun-violence survivors’ often-exorbitant costs. Only 12 percent are able to pay such bills in full, according to a 2017 study. Gusterson looks to car insurance for an answer. “Americans have accepted the price we pay for living with cars,” he writes. “We have devised an elaborate insurance system to make sure the medical costs of those injured by automobiles are paid for not by the victims but by the community of automobile owners.” That model, he says, could guide how society pays for gun violence victims. Read the full opinion piece.

Citing Bruen, another federal judge blocks a Colorado municipality from enforcing an assault weapons ban. U.S. District Judge Charlotte Sweeney issued a temporary restraining order against Boulder County’s law, which includes a ban on high-capacity magazines. Judge Sweeney wrote that the “plaintiffs establish a substantial likelihood of success” in part due to the Bruen decision’s new constitutional test for how federal courts should assess gun laws. Another U.S. District judge — also a Democratic presidential nominee — put out a similar decision last month about the town of Superior’s assault weapons ban. We’re tracking the effects of the Bruen case here.

Lawmakers seek answers from firm offering no-interest loans for guns and ammo purchases. In a letter to the CEO of the Montana-based firm Credova Financial, 18 House Democrats asked the company how it ensures that people who use its “buy now, pay later” financing for guns are not quickly reselling them. They also asked if the company knows whether any customers who financed firearms have used them to commit violence, and how often people default on such loans. The four-year-old company says about three-fourths of the businesses where it offers financing are gun or hunting stores.

Newsrooms sue Uvalde officials over access to public records. Citing Texas’s open records law, The Associated Press and others filed a lawsuit in Uvalde County to compel the Sheriff’s Department, school district, and city to hand over 911 recordings and other records and documents related to the May shooting at Robb Elementary School. That comes several weeks after a similar lawsuit accused the state’s Department of Public Safety of violating the Texas Public Information Act by withholding information about the police response. 

We’re up for three more awards! The Online News Association has named us among the finalists for its 2022 Online Journalism Awards in:

  • General Excellence in Online Journalism, Small Newsroom
  • Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships, for our investigation with VICE News: “The Return of the Machine Gun
  • Gather Award in Community-Centered Journalism, Overall Excellence, Micro/Small Newsroom, for Up The Block

The winners will be announced on September 24 during ONA’s 2022 conference.

Data Point

~100,000 — the number of new police officer hires proposed in President Joe Biden’s 2023 budget request, something he pointed to Tuesday in a Pennsylvania speech on crime and policing. [The New York Times]