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Blue-ribbon task force calls for federal grant program to stem urban violence. More than a year ago, the Council on Criminal Justice, a nonpartisan research organization, assembled a bipartisan task force of 14 experts drawn from law enforcement, politics, advocacy, and academia. They included Sally Yates, the former deputy attorney general; Mark Holden, the retired general counsel of Koch Industries; and Eddie Bocanegra, the senior director of READI Chicago, the city’s leading violence prevention group. Now, the task force has released 15 recommendations that include a Department of Justice-administered grant program to fund policies like focused deterrence and cognitive behavioral therapy in America’s most violent cities. “America’s high rate of urban gun violence is perceived to be one of the most intractable issues of our time, but 30 years of rigorous social science demonstrates that certain strategies can save lives,” a summary reads. The task force avoided focusing on gun access, acknowledging a lack of agreement among members and the unlikelihood of new federal gun restrictions.
One person was fatally shot during continuing protests of police violence in Minneapolis. Outrage over the death of George Floyd, the black Minnesota man who died while pinned down by an officer’s knee on Memorial Day, erupted into a second night of demonstrations. Amid reports of looting and arson, a man was found dying of a gunshot wound outside a pawn shop. A police spokesperson said the department is investigating what led up to the shooting.
Chicago’s mayor rebukes new police boss over Memorial Day violence. As we reported last week, the city views the holiday weekend as an important test of its violence prevention strategy heading into the summer. On Tuesday, following news that more than 49 people had been shot, Lori Lightfoot made it clear that the city had failed that test: “While I know that there was a lot of energy and coordination among a variety of groups, what I said to the superintendent this morning is, ‘This was a fail. Whatever the strategy is, it didn’t work.’” Police Superintendent David Brown started in the position last month after serving in the same role in Dallas. In a press conference, Brown and his deputies defended the department’s performance over the weekend amid a challenging pandemic environment, but acknowledged the violence was unacceptable.
Among the holiday weekend’s victims: A mother’s eldest child, her third lost to gun violence. Joseph Brooks, 34, was fatally shot Sunday morning on Chicago’s South Side. For his mother Sheree Tribett, the news brought back terrible memories: Nearly a decade ago, she lost two sons to shootings in less than a month. “I thought I would never go through this again,” she said. “I lost two boys to gun violence. I lost a nephew to gun violence. And then 10 years later I lost my oldest son? When is this going to stop? When is this going to end?”
‘Constitutional carry’ bill advances in Tennessee. But the Republican governor says it’s no longer a top priority. The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would eliminate permit and training requirements to carry handguns both openly and concealed. Governor Bill Lee proposed the legislation in January. Last month, he said the pandemic had shifted his priorities to the state’s budget, but stopped short of saying he wouldn’t sign the bill altogether. Fifteen states don’t require permits to carry concealed guns.
School shooting survivor sues online ammo dealer. Chase Yarbrough, 18, who was shot six times at Santa Fe High School in Texas in 2018, filed suit against the online ammunition dealer Lucky Gunner. The Tennessee-based company sold 100 bullets to the 17-year-old shooter without verifying his age. It’s the second civil suit brought against the dealer to stem from the shooting, which left 10 people dead and 13 others wounded.
Illinois Legislature adjourns without action on a measure to strengthen the gun licensing system. Last year, the House passed a bill that would have required applicants for a gun license to submit fingerprints, and require license holders to surrender their weapons within 48 hours of a revocation or suspension notice. The legislation was introduced after the 2019 mass shooting in Aurora, where the assailant had obtained a license despite a prior felony conviction. An emergency three-day legislative session called in response to the pandemic did not allow enough time for action on the stalled Senate bill.
Canadian officials seize about 600 firearms per year at the U.S border, according to a report on how America’s relatively lax gun laws complicate the gun reform agenda of Canadian leader Justin Trudeau. — Foreign Policy