What to Know Today

Retailers advertise gun sales on Facebook and Instagram — despite Meta rules. A new report by the Tech Transparency Project shows that Meta regularly approves ads for weapons-related content, in violation of company policy. Between August 15 and August 29, TTP found 173 examples of weapons-related ads running on Facebook and Instagram, including some marketing AR-style rifles. A Meta spokesperson told NBC News that the report paints a “misleading picture of the experience that most people have every day,” though the director of TTP said the list of violations was likely incomplete. This isn’t the first time Meta has broken its own rules: Our reporters have found guns for sale on Facebook Marketplace, and the platform ran ads for gun accessories and military gear to users who engaged with content about the Capitol insurrection.

St. Louis gunman’s family had police remove gun from their home. The city’s police chief believes the gun that law enforcement transferred from the shooter’s possession may have been the same one he used to kill two people and injure several others at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School on Monday. Police aren’t sure how the gunman would have regained the weapon, an AR-15-style rifle, BuzzFeed News reported. At a news conference, the chief said the family had tried to support the shooter through his mental health issues. Missouri does not require a background check to obtain a firearm through a private sale, and anyone 19 or older can legally carry a concealed gun without a permit.

Three Black men sue D.C. over concealed-carry license denial. The men say the police department’s license-issuing practices are discriminatory, and that their refusals were based on inaccurate assessments of their histories with law enforcement. None of the men involved in the lawsuit have been convicted of a crime, The Washington Post reports. One was denied a license for an apparent “propensity for violence or instability” because of involvement in domestic violence incidents — but he says that he and his mother were victims in those cases. “The burden of the District’s and the [police] policies fall more heavily on African Americans than any other segment of applicants,” the suit says.

In wake of permitless carry, Texas law enforcement reports more guns on the street. Last year, the Texas Legislature removed most legal barriers to carrying handguns for adults 21 and older. No statewide data on shootings has been released since the law went into effect, but:

  • The president of the Dallas police union told The New York Times that officers were “absolutely” seeing more guns on the street, even as overall shootings have declined.
  • The DA of Harris County, which includes Houston, said that her office has encountered more people carrying guns in nonviolent crimes.
  • And a sheriff in a border county told the Times that he’s seen drunken arguments turn into shootings. 

“It seems like now there’s been a tipping point where just everybody is armed,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

A gun reform group is suing the Biden administration over ghost gun rules. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, with the state of California and families affected by gun violence, claims that Biden’s rules on ghost guns have “mile-wide loopholes” and have not effectively reined in the proliferation of homemade, untraceable firearms. As The Trace’s Alain Stephens noted in September, the new regulations prohibit the sale of ghost gun kits, but the ATF still allows retailers to sell weapon components in separate transactions. The firearms industry is also challenging the ghost gun rule, VICE reports. 

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Data Point

56 percent and 68 percent — the increase in homicides in major cities with progressive and conservative prosecutors, respectively, between 2015 and 2019. [Munk School of Global Affairs & Progressive Policy]