From Our Team

Why is it easier to buy bullets than cold medicine? Technically speaking, guns don’t kill people — bullets do. Yet we rarely hear about “bullet control.” In fact, in most of the country, it’s harder to buy Sudafed than it is to buy ammunition. But that wasn’t always the case. In the latest Ask The Trace, Jennifer Mascia outlines the current state of bullet regulation, and how we got here.

What to Know Today

Appeals court strikes down bump stock ban. The conservative 5th Circuit ruled that laws regulating machine guns do not apply to bump stocks, saying it is exclusively Congress’s purview to impose a ban. Last year, the Supreme Court twice declined to hear a challenge to the Trump-era ban; according to Reuters, the appeals ruling means that the high court could eventually decide the case.

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First grader allegedly shoots teacher at a Virginia elementary school. Newport News police took a 6-year-old into custody Friday after the child apparently shot a teacher with a handgun they had brought to school. Authorities said the teacher, whose injury was initially described as life-threatening, was in stable condition by Saturday. City officials have not said whether the child will be charged with a crime, and it isn’t clear how the child obtained a gun. Access laws: Among the most effective gun policies, according to a 2020 RAND review, are laws that impose liability on adults who allow kids to access their weapons.

Columbus prosecutors dismiss murder charges against white man accused of killing 13-year-old Black boy. The 36-year-old claims he shot Sinzae Reed in self-defense but, Capital B reports, police have not said why the man felt threatened. The Ohio boy’s family said he did not have a weapon — a fact officials have not disputed — and they’ve demanded an explanation for the dismissal.

Army awards Philadelphia teenager Medal of Heroism for saving gunshot victim. Kaheem Bailey-Taylor, 17, used first-aid training he’d received in JROTC to save a classmate’s life after a shooting at a birthday party in August. The Medal of Heroism is the highest honor the Army awards to JROTC cadets. Among the last recipients to receive the award, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, were three students killed in the Parkland shootings in 2018, who were awarded the medal posthumously.

Data Point

>6,000 — the number of children and teenagers, 17 and under, who were shot and injured, or killed, in 2022. That’s the most on record. [Gun Violence Archive via USA Today]