WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: The case that could topple the gun industry’s special legal protections. Brought by the family of a 13-year-old boy accidentally shot by a friend, the suit argues that the Springfield Armory gun that killed their son was defective because it lacked a common feature called a magazine disconnect safety. The plaintiffs also argued that the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which has shielded gun companies from many liability suits, is unconstitutional. A Pennsylvania state court agreed with the latter claim on September 28.
- If — and there are lots of unknowns ahead — the gunmaker appeals and the ruling is upheld, the judges’ decision could knock down the legal shield that has stymied lawsuits against gunmakers. More suits against gunmakers could mean more industry practices become part of court files, and therefore public record. Champe Barton walks you through the case and what could come next.
Memo directed Trump officials to defend the Kenosha shooter. Department of Homeland Security staff were advised to say that the 17-year-old charged with killing two protesters on August 25 “took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners,” according to talking points obtained by NBC News.
Strong bipartisan support for establishing community-based emergency response. A slew of recent cases have shown the dangers of having armed officers respond to calls of people in crisis. A bill from Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen would create a $100 million federal grant program to fund local efforts to establish alternative response models. (The grant program would still leave open the option of calling law enforcement). Overall, 66 percent of likely voters (74 percent for Democrats, 62 percent for Republicans) supported such an idea, according to polling by Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative.
Judge approves $800 million settlement for Las Vegas mass shooting victims.
During an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, a gunman killed 60 people and injured hundreds more from his hotel window. The day before the anniversary, the more than 4,000 claimants in a class-action suit reached a deal to resolve their suit against the owner of the resort and casino from which the gunman carried out the massacre. From the archives: My colleague Ann Givens wrote this deeply affecting portrait about the coroners who tended to victims — then had to grapple with the difficult task of healing themselves.
Another grim milestone. Five years ago yesterday, a shooter took the lives of nine people and left eight wounded in Umpqua Community College in Oregon. The perpetrator praised incels, an online subculture defined by hatred of women. The misogynistic ideology has been implicated in a number of mass shootings.
An 18-member presidential commission on policing and justice was made up entirely of law enforcement officials, including no one from civil rights, academic, criminal defense, or other fields. A federal judge cited that lack of diversity in ordering the Trump administration to halt the panel’s work. [The Washington Post]