Good morning, Bulletin readers. The federal government is slow to release annual tallies of gun deaths, but the nonprofit, nonpartisan Gun Violence Archive has stepped in to track trendlines in something much closer to real time.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW FROM THE TRACE: Gun deaths inched up in 2019. At least 15,292 people were fatally shot in 2019, excluding suicides, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which collects its data from law enforcement and media reports. That’s a 3 percent increase over 2018. Between 2014 and 2019, fatal shootings recorded by GVA rose 23 percent while gun injuries were up nearly 31 percent. Daniel Nass digs into the numbers. How many people have been shot near you? We’ve added the 2019 incidents to our interactive “Atlas of American Gun Violence,” which maps 150,000 shootings spanning the past half-decade. Enter your address here.
Virginia’s governor issued a emergency order banning weapons on Richmond’s Capitol grounds. The order bans “everything from sticks and bats to chains and projectiles,” Ralph Northam said Wednesday, as well as guns. “It makes no sense to ban every other weapon but allow firearms when intelligence shows that armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol” during a rally planned for next Monday to protest pending gun restrictions and gun safety legislation. The order is set to expire on Tuesday. More: Nick Martin at The Informant has an incisive roundup on the self-declared “extremist” Virginia gun group organizing the demonstration, and on the militias, conspiracists, and white nationalists the event is attracting.
Maryland wants to spend $23 million to demolish blighted buildings in violent neighborhoods. That’s among the crime-reduction expenditures in GOP Governor Larry Hogan’s new 2021 budget, which earmarks significant funding for Baltimore City, including $9.2 million to increase community policing efforts and $1.9 million to the State’s Attorney’s Office for gun violence prosecution. The big picture: Our Brian Freskos has reported on the violence-prevention potential that beautification efforts can have when well-targeted.
Missouri proposes violent crime reduction measures — but the governor rejects new gun regulations. Following homicide spikes in Kansas City and St. Louis, Republican Governor Mike Parson is calling on the GOP-controlled Legislature to increase funding for mental health care and witness-protection services and beef up penalties for violent crime. But he said he won’t back gun restrictions, or allow cities to enact their own. “As a lifetime member of the NRA, I have never, ever wavered my support for the Second Amendment,” he said.
Under a Kentucky proposal, all school resource officers would be required to carry guns. The bill’s Republican author called the measure a priority for his fellow lawmakers. It builds on a state law enacted last year in response to a 2018 school shooting that requires at least one officer in each school, but does not indicate whether they should be armed.
The weapon used in a recent Rhode Island killing was likely not a 3D-printed gun. The director of the Rhode Island Crime Lab said the weapon used to kill a 54-year-old woman in Pawtucket on January 1 bore the manufacturer’s mark of a Philippines-based gunmaker. Local police previously said they thought the weapon was made from a 3D printer.
The Transportation Security Administration intercepted a record 4,432 guns at airport security checkpoints in 2019, a more than 350 percent increase from a decade earlier. — TSA