Good morning, Bulletin readers. After an investigation by The Trace and The New Yorker showed how weak security measures have led to escalating theft from gun stores, a New York congressman unveiled a bill that would require gun dealers to secure weapons after hours. That story leads today’s round-up.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: A federal bill would force gun shops to secure their weapons. The measure introduced Monday by Democratic Representative Joe Morelle of New York would require gun sellers to install security precautions like locked cabinets, surveillance cameras, alarm systems, and bollards. “This is a way to cut off a significant supply of stolen guns from getting out on the streets,” Morelle told our Brian Freskos. The proposal comes after Brian’s January investigation, published in partnership with The New Yorker, found that thieves are exploiting lax security at gun stores to steal thousands of weapons that end up on the black market.
Safer gun storage in American homes could prevent almost a third of youth gun deaths. Just a small uptick in the number of gun-owning households locking up their firearms would yield a 6 to 32 percent drop, according to projections from a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. The estimates underscore “the need to further develop and test approaches that will more effectively motivate parents to store firearms safely,” the researchers concluded. Related headline I: Two children, ages 1 and 2, were playing inside a North Carolina home on Sunday morning when they found a handgun on their parent’s nightstand. The 2-year-old fired the gun, grazing the younger sibling, as their father smoked a cigarette outside. Gun locks are available free of charge from the local county sheriff’s department. Related headline II: State legislation introduced by Ohio Democrats would make it a felony to store an unlocked gun within reach of a child who then uses it to cause injury to themselves or another person. Similar child access prevention bills have failed to pass there in recent years.
John Paul Stevens declares Heller “unquestionably the most clearly incorrect decision that the Court announced” during his 34 years as a Supreme Court Justice. Stevens wrote the dissenting opinion in the 2008 case, in which SCOTUS reversed two centuries of precedent to establish an individual right to gun ownership. In an interview with The Washington Post, he elaborated, “I think there’s no need for all the guns we have in the country and if I could get rid of one thing it would be to get rid of that whole gun climate.”
The governor of California has agreed to triple state funding for community-based gun violence prevention programs. Last Thursday, Gavin Newsom announced the boost for the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) program, which provides grants to cities and nonprofits working to prevent shootings in communities with high rates of gun violence. A bill in the state Assembly would raise additional funds for CalVIP, making a total investment of $39 million for the year if it passes.
Two members of the New York City Council introduced measures to ban “ghost guns.” The bills would prohibit the possession of unfinished lower receivers, which are sometimes used to create homemade, 3D-printed weapons. Similar legislation is under consideration at the state and federal level.
ONE LAST THING
Parkland survivors say they’re being re-traumatized by monthly lockdown drills. Last August, the Florida Legislature mandated regular “Code Red” drills for every public school in the state. The surprise exercises are meant to prepare students for an active shooter emergency. For some survivors, the drills are enough to cause panic attacks and further erode their sense of safety. “These kids are living every day with that recurring nightmare,” said one parent.