Featured Story

A young boy killed a 12-year-old student and wounded two others in a school shooting in Finland on Tuesday; the perpetrator reportedly used a weapon that was licensed to a close relative. Finland, home to a strong hunting tradition, has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in Europe, but school shootings are extremely rare; the country tightened its firearm policies after two mass school shootings in 2007 and 2008. [The New York Times/CNN/Reuters]


During her campaign to become Philadelphia’s 100th mayor, Cherelle Parker pledged to make the city safer by any means necessary — even if it meant ramping up the use of stop-and-frisk policing, a controversial tactic that allows officers to detain and pat someone down if they believe the person may be engaged in a crime. But since taking office in January, Parker and Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel have provided few details on how stop-and-frisk will factor into their law enforcement initiatives, even as they’re slated to release a comprehensive public safety plan later this month. 

Their silence has renewed fears among some community members that the new administration’s public safety plan could revive a fraught facet of Philadelphia’s history of policing gun violence. In his latest story, The Trace’s Mensah M. Dean explains Philly’s past with stop-and-frisk — and its potential future.

The Trajectory

In 2018, after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, took the lives of 14 students and three educators, state lawmakers passed the nation’s sixth “red flag” law, giving judges the authority to order that firearms be removed from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. It prompted a waterfall effect: Over the next two years, 11 states followed Florida’s lead. 

Now, Extreme Risk Protection Order laws — as red flag laws are formally called — are having another moment. During a visit to Parkland last month, Vice President Kamala Harris publicly launched a national hub to help increase the effectiveness of these interventions. In the latest edition of The Trajectory, reporter Chip Brownlee breaks down what we know about the new National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center.

What to Know Today

Three-year-old Mateo Zastro was shot and killed in the back seat of his mother’s car in Chicago in 2022. His case remains unsolved — as do many other child killings in the city. [Chicago Sun-Times

Maryland policymakers are on the verge of approving a juvenile justice bill that would create strict penalties for 10- to 12-year-olds accused of select crimes, including handgun offenses. State data shows the changes might apply to just a few dozen kids per year — and advocates worry that the proposed system could do more harm than good. [The Baltimore Banner

Mass shootings have become more frequent, and more lethal, over the past decade. The growth of this type of attack, and the media coverage high-profile mass shootings garner, has given rise to another trend: More organizations are investing in “active assailant” insurance coverage. [Business Insurance

Hartford, Connecticut, Mayor Arunan Arulampalam announced the creation of a local violence prevention office that will act as a bridge between the city, nonprofit groups, and the public, with the hope of “reaching people before 911 ever gets called,” he said. Shootings overall dropped in Hartford in 2023, but homicides remained above pre-pandemic levels. [Hartford Courant

How have rates of gun deaths changed over the past 40 years? A new visualization tool breaks the data down state by state. [RAND]

Data Point

85 — the number of cases, since 2018, concerning the shooting death of a Chicago child younger than 16 in which no arrest has been made. Per estimates, that’s more than half of all such deaths in that period. [Chicago Sun-Times]