Hello, readers. In today’s briefing: A multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to study gun violence in the United States will help fill the gap left by federal inaction. A Parkland super PAC is taking on NRA-backed candidates. And a seventh state just banned bump stocks.
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New from The Trace: With $20 million, philanthropists are boosting research on gun violence. On Thursday, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation announced it is launching a National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research. The effort, to be overseen by the nonprofit RAND Corporation, hopes to generate research that then informs public policy. The foundation will seek another $30 million from private funders for the project. If fully funded, it will more than double what the federal government spent to understand gun violence during one recent 10-year stretch. Alex Yablon has the details.
Connecticut bans bump stocks. The measure, signed into law on Thursday, makes it illegal to own, manufacture, or sell bump stocks and other devices that allow semiautomatic weapons to function like de facto machine guns. Connecticut is the seventh state to enact a bump stock ban since the Las Vegas mass shooting last October.
Gun licensing could reduce urban homicide. That’s according to a new study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. The study is the first to examine the impact of permit-to-purchase laws, which require gun buyers to be vetted and licensed by law enforcement, on homicides in the large urban counties where close to two-thirds of all gun deaths occur. Researchers found that such laws were associated with a 14 percent decrease in urban gun homicides. States that conduct background checks through gun sellers did not see similar decreases.
Families of Parkland victims and survivors have formed a super PAC. Families vs. Assault Rifles was registered earlier this month and will fund Congressional candidates facing NRA-backed opponents. The group’s end goal is amending the National Firearms Act to include language banning assault-style weapons.
Louisiana loosens the rules for guns in places of worship. On Tuesday, the governor signed a law that makes it easier to carry concealed handguns in churches, synagogues, and mosques. The state has allowed concealed carry in religious settings since 2010, but until now, those who wished to do so were required to have eight hours of tactical training per year. The new law, which goes into effect in August, eliminates that rule.
After the Santa Fe shooting, Texans remain split on gun control, a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found. Of those polled, 49 percent said they supported stricter gun laws and 45 percent were opposed. That’s a slight dip from last month, when the same poll showed 55 percent of Texans in favor of stricter gun laws. One gun policy Texans agree on: 93 percent favor universal background checks.
Chicago’s newest trauma center had a busy first month. Four weeks after opening, the University of Chicago Trauma Center has already treated 274 patients, about 38 percent of whom were treated for penetrating wounds like gunshots and stabbings. In the 30 years before the new trauma center opened, shooting victims living on Chicago’s South Side, an area with some of the highest rates of gun violence in the country, sometimes had to be transported to trauma centers as far as 10 miles away.
American gun violence is divided along the same geographical lines as American politics. Democratic-leaning areas, which are mostly urban, have higher rates of homicide than more rural Republican terrain, according to an analysis from the Washington Post. But Republican-leaning areas have higher overall rates of gun deaths, most of which are unintentional shootings and suicides.
In Las Vegas, three people were killed by guns in 20 hours. A 2-year-old boy was unintentionally shot to death while playing with a gun with a group of neighborhood children Wednesday morning, police say. Just a few hours later, a woman was killed by a man who had burglarized her home. Also on Wednesday, a man and his 3-month-old infant were hit by a bullet in a domestic violence shooting. The man died.
A mother and her two daughters were killed in a shooting in Timmonsville, South Carolina, Thursday morning. Two others were wounded. The suspect, a 35-year-old man, is in custody and faces three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. Officials have not commented on a motive for the shooting, but have confirmed that the suspect knew the family.
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