WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: Ghost gun retailers have already found a way around new federal regulations. In August, a new ruling from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives took effect, requiring retailers to serialize kits of gun parts, and background check anyone who buys them. But the ruling requires serialization only for complete firearm kits — if retailers sell the parts separately, the new ruling will not apply. “This is sort of the standard pattern,” Stanford University law and economics professor John Donohue told Alain Stephens. “The industry fights regulation, then guts regulation, and at the very least, leaves themselves an easy workaround.” Read our report here.
Credit card companies to categorize gun sales. Visa announced Saturday that it plans to start categorizing purchases made at gun shops, a major victory for gun control advocates who have long sought another way to track suspicious firearms sales. American Express and Mastercard later announced they would follow suit, with each company set to adopt the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code for gun sales.
Shares at Smith & Wesson fall. The gunmaker’s stocks fell Friday morning after the company reported that demand for its weapons had dropped to pre-pandemic levels. The gunmaker reported $84.4 million in sales during its fiscal first quarter — a 69% decrease from the same time last year. The dip offers some of the earliest indication that demand for guns is easing following the pandemic’s record surge. As of September 1st, though, gun sales estimates from the National Instant Criminal Background Check system suggested consistently elevated levels.
An old elastic mill in Boston becomes the nation’s top gun hub. The former elastic mill in Littleton, Massachusetts, hosts 80 licensed firearms dealers and manufacturers — 23 more than the zip code with the next highest concentration of gun stores. According to The Boston Globe, many of the Mill’s businesses openly defy Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s assault weapons ban, announced in 2016. According to the Globe, the Mill’s longtime property manager, Jack Lorenz, even has a saying: “Healey language is not spoken at the Mill.”
Holstered gun of Milwaukee officer fires. A Milwaukee Police Department officer’s weapon fired while in its holster Saturday evening, according to the department, striking another officer in the leg. The shooting is not the first among Milwaukee police, who have previously complained about the reliability of their service weapons — the Sig Sauer P320. Last October, the city’s local ABC station reported that Milwaukee Police Department pistols fired on their own twice in the previous six months.
Six killed and 28 injured by guns in Chicago over the weekend. A man was shot after a collision with a vehicle and two men were shot at one of the city’s transit authority stations. Among the injured were seven teenagers. The violence brings Chicago’s yearly homicide total up to 474, still fewer than the number of people killed in the city this time last year, according to The Chicago Tribune.
62.5 — The percentage increase in mass shootings in Texas since Governor Greg Abbott legalized permitless carry in the state last year. [Reform Austin]