Good morning, Bulletin readers. A new Virginia bill to allow people to put themselves on a “no buy” list for guns aims to fix drawbacks first exposed by Trace reporting. That story leads your Thursday roundup.
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NEW from THE TRACE: Virginia considers an innovative — and refined — tool to reduce gun suicides. A bill advancing in the Virginia General Assembly would allow residents to temporarily waive their right to purchase a gun. It’s an updated version of a law enacted in Washington State last year. When The Trace covered the Washington law, we found that few local officials knew it existed. And those officials that did said they didn’t know how to use it. Now, the man behind the proposal tells Champe Barton that the shortfalls highlighted by our reporting led him to revise the pitch he makes to state legislators across the country.
The gun reform movement bets big on Texas. Everytown for Gun Safety announced it would spend $8 million on Texas races during the 2020 campaign season. That’s more than three times the amount the group spent on the Democratic lawmakers in Virginia who took full control of the General Assembly last November. Context: Buoyed by Virginia, Democrats in the Lone Star State are increasingly running on gun reform. (Everytown provides grants to The Trace through its nonpolitical arm. Here’s our list of major donors and our policy on editorial independence.)
Connecticut will divest from gun companies. Under a plan rubber-stamped this week, the state will reallocate $30 million in pension funds that are currently invested in several gun manufacturers. “We need to continue to lead on this issue and set an example for other states,” State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, who lost a cousin in a 2012 shooting, said shortly after the vote.
A gun dealer settles negligence lawsuit with murder victim’s family. In June, a Kansas City, Missouri, couple sued Green Tip Arms for knowingly selling guns to traffickers — one of which was used to kill their son. Under the settlement, the Arizona-based gun seller agreed to surrender its federal firearms license and shut down. Jimenez Arms, the other defendant in the suit, filed for bankruptcy last week.
Washington’s Senate advances bill to establish a state gun violence prevention office. The new agency would collect data and administer grants to fund evidence-based anti-violence initiatives. The bill heads to the Democrat-led House, where it’s likely to pass. As The Trace has reported, several large cities have established similar offices to oversee and coordinate local efforts to curb shootings.
🚨The Trace is hiring🚨Are you a journalist with a knack for engagement and audience development? Or do you know one? We’re hiring an engagement editor. The deadline to apply is March 9. Read the full job listing here.
58 percent — the share of closed homicide cases in Chicago that resulted in no charges or arrests last year. — Chicago Sun-Times