Good morning, Bulletin readers. Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in New York State Pistol and Rifle Association v. City of New York. We rounded up reactions from experts, many of whom saw Chief Justice John Roberts as the possible fifth vote to dismiss the case. That story leads your Tuesday round-up.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: Court watchers react to the high court’s first major gun case in nine years. The upshot? Many thought questions posed by the justices on Monday point toward the court dismissing the case, since New York City has already repealed the law that the petitioners had challenged as violating the Second Amendment. “All the signs suggest the court may declare this case moot,” Adam Winkler, professor of constitutional law at the UCLA School of Law, told The Trace. “Five justices focused intently on the mootness issue, including Kagan, Breyer, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Roberts,” who could be the swing vote. We’ve gathered more analysis from legal experts, analysts, and journalists here.
A school resource officer in Wisconsin State shot a student who pulled out a gun. The responding officer opened fire yesterday morning at a high school in Waukesha, near Madison, after the student ignored commands to drop the weapon, the local police chief said. The adolescent is recovering in a hospital. The bigger picture: Slightly more than 1 in 20 teens has reported carrying a gun, according to 15 years’ worth of national survey data. A new study published in Pediatrics found that teens are far more likely to carry guns in states without universal background checks, compared to those that require background check for private transfers.
Stepped-up surveillance in schools causes alarm among parents. Technology that monitors student communications in an efforts to stop shooting plots has been employed by as many as a third of American school districts. Many students are “resigned to it,” a middle school parent in Illinois told The Guardian. “It’s the school as panopticon, and the sweeping searchlight beams into homes, now, and to me, that’s just disastrous to intellectual risk-taking and creativity.”
A data breach clouds New Zealand’s gun buyback program. A gun lobby group said it was able to access the personal information of gun owners who registered for the buyback, which was implemented after a gunman killed 51 people in a Christchurch mosque earlier this year. Police acknowledged that at least one person’s ID had been compromised via the program’s custom-built website and have shut down the portal until the glitch is fixed.
A New York man used paranoia over red flag laws to create a right-wing social media frenzy. The Daily Beast untangled the November 23 incident, in which a 28-year-old veteran in an upstate New York town donned a tactical vest and took to Instagram to broadcast his standoff with police officers. The man claimed police were there to use a red-flag order to seize his ammunition magazine, leading gun-rights hardliners to encourage each other to rush to his defense. (None did.) In fact, the police were responding to allegations of domestic abuse.
A challenge to Florida’s post-Parkland gun laws is being led by the son of a former GOP state rep. One of the “John Does” working with the National Rifle Association’s to sue to overturn the state’s minimum gun-buying age was revealed to be Radford Fant, son of former Republican state representative Jay Fant, who voted against the bill last year.
43,000 weapons have been collected under New Zealand’s national gun buyback; according to the country’s police minister, most of are the type “that are used to kill people.” —The Guardian