Featured Story

Use of Connecticut’s risk protection order law, commonly known as a “red flag” law, continues to vary dramatically between police departments, even after lawmakers expanded the circumstances in which an order can be issued. Though last year saw an increase in the number of risk protection orders issued, some police departments still use the law rarely, if at all. [The Connecticut Mirror]

Public Health

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for veterans, and data from the Department of Veterans Affairs indicates that most of those suicides are carried out with a gun.

According to a new study led by researchers at Yale University, about half of former military service members own at least one personal firearm, and many of these veterans may be vulnerable to a significant risk factor for suicide: insecurely stored guns. 

Per the study, more than half of military veterans with access to firearms store them unsafely — and nearly 40 percent store their guns loaded. In her latest story, The Trace’s Fairriona Magee shares more on what researchers learned about how trauma, relationships, and hometown affect gun ownership among veterans.

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In Guns We Trust

In the 1990s, thousands of Florida students campaigned to make the scrub jay the state bird. It was an uncontroversial movement, and when a bill in support of the change made it into the state House, the students thought it would easily pass. Then Marion Hammer, an influential National Rifle Association lobbyist, got involved.

Hammer’s fight against the scrub jay had nothing to do with birds, and everything to do with demonstrating her power. As The Trace’s Mike Spies explains in Episode 2 of “Long Shadow: In Guns We Trust,” it turned out that Hammer had a bone to pick, and this was her way of exacting revenge.

The NRA wasn’t always like this, and the gun debate in America wasn’t always as intractable as it is today. The latest episode of “Long Shadow: In Guns We Trust” explores what changed.

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What to Know Today

After years of record gun violence, shootings feel like an entrenched part of life for many Philadelphians. In response, some city residents have banded together to form a network of nonprofits and organizations dedicated to reducing shootings and serving those harmed by them. [NPR] Looking for gun violence resources in Philly? Explore Up the Block, a free guide maintained by The Trace.

The Firearms Policy Coalition and three of its members filed a federal challenge to a California law that bars most non-California residents from carrying guns in the state. The suit was filed in San Diego, which has become a favorite venue for plaintiffs challenging California’s strict gun laws. [The San Diego Union-Tribune

Mauricio Garcia, a 36-year-old Texas resident, filed a libel lawsuit against a group of right-wing media organizations and podcasters — including Fox News, Newsmax, and Infowars host Owen Shroyer — after they used his image in their coverage of a mass shooting near Dallas last year. Garcia shares the name of the real shooter, a white supremacist who espoused racist and violent rhetoric for months before the attack. Garcia alleges that the defendants “recklessly disregarded basic journalistic safeguards and published the photo of an innocent man, branding him as a neo-Nazi murderer to his local community and the nation at large.” [Rolling Stone/HuffPost

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition urging the voter-elected University of Colorado Board of Regents to ban guns on all campuses. The petition began circulating after two students were shot and killed in their Colorado Springs dorm. [The Colorado Sun]


Can Veteran-Led Training Make Suicide Prevention More Effective?: Firearm suicide is among the leading causes of death for veterans. A new program aims to teach mental health practitioners how veterans think about their guns. (December 2023)