What To Know Today

Senate gun policy talks continue with no clear timeline. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday he was giving a bipartisan group of senators more time to negotiate proposals that reportedly include incentivizing states to adopt red flag laws, more funding for schools and mental health, and subjecting youth gun buyers to a longer background check window so juvenile records can be scrutinized. Despite suggestions to the contrary from some participants in the talks, other reporting suggests that raising the age limit for buying some guns may still be on the table. House to begin debate on a broader gun reform package: The measures Democrats plan to consider go much further than the Senate, but only a handful — including red flag law legislation — stand a chance of passing both chambers. Also today, the House Oversight and Reform Committee will hold a big hearing on gun violence that features testimony from Miah Cerrillo, a young Uvalde survivor, and parents of victim Lexi Rubio. Matthew McConaughey’s impassioned plea: Speaking at a White House press briefing where he remembered the victims, the actor and Uvalde native reiterated his call for a national policy response that includes red flag flaws, expanded background checks, and raising the age limit for rifles. “These regulations are not a step back — they’re a step forward for civil society and the Second Amendment,” he said. 

The ‘striking’ local variations of American gun violence. A study of just over a million gun deaths from 1989 to 2019 found particularly marked increases in suicide in the West and Midwest and notable localized increases in gun homicides in the Southeast, according to a team of researchers led by Dr. Michelle Degli Esposti of the Penn Injury Science Center. Looking at county-level variations in gun violence using the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System, they found that places experiencing a disproportionate rise of gun homicides — or county hot spots — accounted for a large share of overall gun homicides. “By looking to these striking local differences, we might be able to better understand why some counties show promising improvements, yet others show concerning deteriorations,” Esposti said.

Man accused of assassinating retired Wisconsin judge dies. Douglas Uhde fatally shot former Juneau County Circuit Judge John Roemer last week before later shooting himself. He succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday. Uhde was found with a hit list that included Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Uhde had an extensive record and had been sentenced by Roemer to six years on weapons charges. “It looks like he was someone who was swimming in that ideological sea of anti-government extremism, but not acting on the direction of anyone,” one expert told The Detroit News. 

Former small-town police chief gets no prison time in machine gun trafficking scheme. Dorian LaCourse, the former chief of police in Village of Addyston, Ohio, pleaded guilty to illegally using a police exception to a ban on fully automatic firearms and assisting federally licensed firearms dealers to obtain and resell about 200 fully automatic weapons in Indiana. LaCourse faced up to 15 years in prison, but a federal judge last week sentenced him to probation, including six months of home detention.

Data Point

77 percent — the share of adults (70 percent for Republicans and 85 percent for Democrats) who said they “strongly” or “somewhat” support red-flag orders initiated by family members, according to a APM Research Lab poll from July 2019. For orders initiated by the police, support dropped slightly to 70 percent (66 percent for Republicans and 78 percent for Democrats). An online Reuters/Ipsos poll taken a day after the Uvalde shooting echoed the top-line findings, showing that 70 percent of respondents supported red flag laws in general. [APM Research Lab poll]