Good morning, Bulletin readers. A new analysis suggests that fewer guns carried in public translates to fewer gun deaths. And following exclusive reporting by The Trace, a federal agency has taken a step that may help fix the CDC’s unreliable estimates for gun injuries.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: You still can’t rely on CDC’s gun injury numbers. But a fix could be coming. For the third year running, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes its annual estimate of firearm injuries as “unstable,” making the numbers potentially misleading and unfit for use by researchers. Behind the problem: A database fed by just a few dozen hospitals, a sample so small that it can skew the extrapolations drawn from it, as The Trace and FiveThirtyEight were first to report. Now the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which operates the database, has enlisted independent reviewers to assess alternate methodologies. Daniel Nass has the development.
California authorities foil potential mass shooting. Santa Clara County police arrested a 32-year-old UPS employee who allegedly sent text messages to his boss threatening violence. Officers found five tactical-style rifles, three handguns, a shotgun, more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition, and high-capacity magazines in the man’s home. “I definitely think we avoided a tragedy,” a local police captain told the Associated Press.
Gun carrying bans in Colombia led to a stark drop in gun deaths. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that a permanent ban on publicly carrying guns instituted in Bogotá and Medellín in 2012 led to a 22 percent reduction in monthly firearm-related fatalities. The cities had twice the rate of gun death declines as those without the laws. “These findings are consistent with other studies showing that legal restrictions on gun carrying leads to fewer people being shot and killed,” said Daniel Webster, who directs the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.
Gun background checks have third-highest month ever. The FBI conducted more than 2.8 million checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in February, a slight increase over January and part of an ongoing upward trend that saw a historic high last year. NICS figures are often used as a proxy for gun sales, which the government does not track.
A California man is sentenced to five years for threats to Parkland victims’ families. The 22-year-old pleaded guilty in October to cyberstalking and one kidnapping threat after impersonating the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gunman on social media.
New Mexico sheriffs plan suit over red flag law. A top county law enforcement official tells the gun rights blog Bearing Arms that he and several of his counterparts across the state are consulting with lawyers to try and block the new law before it takes effect on May 20. A majority of county sheriffs in the state oppose the law, which allows a judge to disarm a person deemed to pose a specific threat.
43 — the number of peer-reviewed gun violence research articles published in February, according to the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy. It was the most research published in a month since the group began tracking in March 2017.