What To Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: Ghost gun dealers race to offload inventory ahead of new federal rules. Under new ATF regulations that will go into effect on August 24, all parts used to manufacture homemade, untraceable firearms must be serialized and purchasers must undergo a background check. Until then, many ghost gun retailers are rapidly trying to get inventory off the books, and some are also planning to fight the rules through legal action. The new rules won’t affect millions of ghost gun kits that have already been sold. “The proverbial barn door has been left open when it comes to the ghost gun loophole,” said Scot Thomasson, a former ATF agent. “Now the real work begins following the implementation of the regulation shutting the barn door, of dealing with the guns already in criminals hands.” Alain Stephens has that story, a partnership with CBS.
After New York lawsuits, ghost gun companies to cease sales to NYC residents. In June, New York City and New York Attorney General Letitia James filed simultaneous lawsuits against a bevy of gun wholesalers, alleging that they had illegally transferred ghost gun kits to New York residents. The legal actions were the first related to a new state law requiring gun companies to impose “reasonable controls” on their distribution chains. Now, one of the retailers named in the suits, North Carolina-based Rock Slide USA, has agreed to reach a settlement with New York City to cease sales to city residents or addresses. Two other companies named in the suits, Washington-based Rainier Arms and Florida-based Salvo Technologies, are expected to finalize their own settlements with the city in the coming days, Courthouse News reports. From The Trace: Along with New York, California, Delaware, and New Jersey have enacted similar laws seeking to hold gunmakers accountable for gun violence.
A majority of Texans want more laws to combat gun violence. Seventy-five percent of respondents support raising the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21, according a new survey of 1,384 state registered voters from the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler. The survey also found that 66 percent of respondents favored calling a special session of the state legislature devoted to mass shooting response; 65 percent were concerned about gun violence in their areas; and 63 percent said elected officials are not doing enough to prevent mass shootings. That broadly tracks the attitudes Texans have registered in a series of polls from the the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. Interestingly, the Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll also found that 52 percent supported a mandatory government buyback of semiautomatic assault-style rifles.
The FBI’s national crime estimates for last year will cover just 65 percent of the U.S. population. That’s according to a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. “A lower coverage rate reduces the amount of statistical confidence in the estimates,” the report reads. Final 2021 numbers should come from the FBI in the next two months, but the estimates will be affected by the fact that fewer law enforcement agencies — just over 60 percent of the nation’s more than 18,000 — reported to the FBI’s national database. Last year, the FBI switched to a new system for estimating nationwide crime statistics. But the transition has been sluggish.
New York strengthens limitations on lookalike airsoft guns. Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation that bans toy replica guns unless they are brightly colored or made with translucent parts to distinguish them from real ones. Data from the New York Attorney General identified at least 63 shootings in the state as a result of people mistaking toy guns for weapons. Across the country since 2015, police have fatally shot 268 people who had been holding toy replica guns, according to a Washington Post database. Alain Stephens has reported on the lucrative licensing deals that gun manufacturers make with toy companies.
Six — the number of critically wounded victims after someone opened fire early Tuesday morning outside a Memphis hospital, police said. The victims included two minors and police said at least 20 shots had been fired. [The Commercial Appeal]