What To Know Today
Columbus, Ohio, sees respite from gun violence as leaders hope to sustain improvements. As of yesterday, 34 people had been killed in homicides in the state capital, compared to 62 at the same point last year. The decline comes after two straight years of record homicides, 82 percent of which involved a gun in 2020, according to a study last month. In February, Mayor Andrew Ginther declared gun violence a public health crisis, and The Columbus Dispatch highlights a few of the changes the city is trying to make with that designation, including expanding city support for community-focused interventions and a new effort to study the public health policies other cities are using to reduce violence.
Black law enforcement group registers support for ATF’s Marvin Richardson after demotion. Last week, the Biden administration announced it was tapping U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino as new acting director, to take over for the ATF veteran Richardson, who ascended to the job just last year. In a letter obtained by The Reload, the Black Agents and Professionals Law Enforcement Association defended Richardson’s credentials, though without overtly criticizing the Biden administration’s move. The letter also appeared to push back against critics who said Richardson was too close to the gun industry. “His understanding of the relationship between the firearms and explosives industry did not have to be acrimonious,” the letter reads. “It is not surprising the industry leaders have supported him.”
The pro-gun rights case against gun-at-work laws. Twenty-four states have laws that prohibit private property owners from banning guns on the land they own, and now Iowa legislators are considering their own version. Legal scholar Ilya Somin argues in The Washington Post that the laws reflect a poorly conceived view of the Second Amendment, which only constrains government action. “State laws forcing unwilling private property owners to allow guns on their land are both an affront to property rights, and a violation of the Constitution,” he writes. “Even staunch supporters of gun rights should oppose them.”
In New York City, the lasting toll of gun violence on children. At least 40 teenagers and children have been shot this year, or about one in every 10 victims. While the share of young victims is far lower than at the city’s violent peaks, the current rate is on track to match last year’s numbers, in which 138 young people were hit by bullets. “The past two years have been just full of trauma,” one art teacher in Brooklyn told The New York Times. “The students are put in a situation where I think years from now, this is going to keep affecting them.”
New ghost gun rule set to be published in the Federal Register today. The ATF introduced its final 364-page rule two weeks ago, and its scheduled official publication today means the rule will go into effect in 120 days — or on August 24, 2022.
$135 million — the estimated total of public funds for violence prevention programs in Chicago in 2022, according to a tally from the anti-violence group Chicago CRED. By comparison, the Chicago Police Department budget is nearly $2 billion. [The Chicago-Sun Times]