What To Know

NEW from THE TRACE: Florida teen is just the latest person killed by police while carrying a toy gun. The 17-year-old’s death last weekend follows a long line of incidents in which police have shot and killed people carrying airsoft guns, including 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014. Since 2015, police have killed at least 245 people — including 26 this year alone — while they were in possession of a toy gun, according to The Washington Post’s police shooting database. As The Trace has reported, toy guns are regularly designed to mirror their real-life counterparts, often down to precise details. And at least two dozen gun companies allow airsoft companies to use their brands and likeness this way. Alain Stephens has more.

The risk of gun violence increased 30 percent during the pandemic. That’s according to a team of researchers at Penn State who looked at records of fatal and non-fatal shootings from Gun Violence Archive. The researchers compared the numbers in the 13 months after March 1, 2020, to the same period beginning one year before. They found that the risk of gun violence increased significantly in 28 states during those 13 months, while decreasing only in Alaska. The peer-reviewed study was published in Scientific Reports.

Oath Keeper member rolls show a footprint in GOP politics. Examinations of a hacked list of more than 35,000 names have already exposed the identities of numerous members of the far-right militia group who work as public servants or in law enforcement. Now, ProPublica’s in-depth analysis of the list — which was obtained by an anonymous hacker and distributed to various news outlets — reveals that 48 members, all of them Republicans, work as state and local government officials across the country. Ten were sitting state lawmakers. “Five or six years ago, politicians wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out with Oath Keepers, you’d have to go pretty fringe,” extremism expert Jared Holt told the outlet. 

Senate appropriations committee wants to double funding for gun violence research. A Fiscal Year 2020 funding bill for nine government agencies proposes doubling to $50 million the investment in federal research at the CDC and NIH. (That follows a similar proposal that House appropriators approved in July). The budget bills would also increase the ATF’s budget by $70 million over 2021 and add $125 million to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, to improve how records are submitted.

Alec Baldwin fatally shoots crew member with prop gun on set. The apparent accidental shooting on the set of the movie “Rust” claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and left director Joel Souza injured. The local sheriff’s office is still investigating the circumstances that led to the incident that occurred yesterday afternoon on a ranch in Sante Fe County. No charges have been filed.

Data Point

More than 400 — the number of people who signed up for Oath Keepers memberships or newsletters using military, political campaign, or government email addresses. [ProPublica]