What to Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: Philly DA Larry Krasner is charging cops with murder. It could cost him a job. Shortly after he was sworn in as Philadelphia district attorney in January 2018, Larry Krasner told a room full of judges, lawyers, and activists that, on his watch, cops would no longer get away with murder. Five years later, The Trace’s Mensah M. Dean reports, Krasner has brought murder charges against three officers in three separate on-duty killings. Last month, the DA won the first homicide conviction against an on-duty Philadelphia cop in 44 years — making him one of the nation’s most revered and criticized prosecutors. Read Dean’s story here.

Canadian prime minister orders nationwide freeze on handgun sales. On Friday, Justin Trudeau implemented a ban — first announced alongside a gun restriction bill after the Uvalde mass shooting in May — on selling, purchasing, and transferring handguns in Canada. The measure also prohibits bringing new handguns into the country, NPR reports. Trudeau’s freeze is the latest development in a battle between lawmakers over gun reform efforts, and the Canadian Parliament is debating legislation that the government says would be the strongest gun reform measure in 40 years, according to USA Today. Gun-related violent crime in the country has been climbing since 2014.

As early voting continues in Arizona, officials “deeply concerned” about voter safety. On Friday, two armed “vigilantes” donning tactical gear were found outside a Maricopa County ballot drop box, according to county officials. The incident comes after a voter complaint to the Arizona secretary of state last week stating that a group of people filmed, photographed, and harassed the Maricopa County voter and their wife as they deposited ballots in a drop box. The reports launched fears of voter intimidation in the first major election since the Capitol insurrection, in a county that took the spotlight in 2020 for a controversial review of its election results. The state’s Republican candidates for governor, U.S. Senate, and secretary of state have, to varying degrees, embraced false 2020 election claims.

Only 10 firearm transfer programs exist in Texas. Advocates say this leaves domestic violence victims in danger. Each year from 2011 to 2021, more than 100 women in Texas were killed by male intimate partners, The Texas Tribune reports, and in 2021 more than three in four such killings involved a firearm. Although the state has judges who can issue protective orders, there is little oversight to ensure that people who are barred from having guns don’t actually have access to them. Advocates for domestic violence survivors and law enforcement agencies say firearm transfer programs, in which guns are surrendered to law enforcement, are a reasonable solution — and less likely to encounter opposition from gun rights supporters. 

Judge temporarily blocks New York’s ban on guns in places of worship. The state’s gun restriction law, passed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, has been the subject of a dramatic back-and-forth in the courts; the measure prohibits firearms in a slew of “sensitive places,” including Times Square, public transit, and places of religious observance. On Thursday, The New York Times reported, a federal judge ruled that the provision banning guns in religious spaces is unconstitutional. The decision was the result of a lawsuit by two clergymen in Buffalo. Other suits, including additional challenges to the ban in places of worship, are making their way through the courts. After Bruen: We’re tracking the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s gun ruling here

We’re hiring! Apply to The Trace’s new editing fellowship. We’re launching a two-year fellowship for early- to mid-career journalists looking to establish themselves as editors. You don’t need to have editing experience to apply, but we do ask that you have an eagerness to collaborate and an aptitude for thoughtful journalism. The salary range is $60,000 to $80,000. Applications are open through October 31. Find more details here.

Data Point

37 percent — the proportion of homicides in Canada involving a gun in 2020. That’s up from 26 percent in 2013. [Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics]