In January, an analysis by the nonprofit Brady found that California law enforcement agencies spent millions of dollars on guns from dealers with histories of violating federal firearms laws. Between 2015 and 2021, the group found, at least 90 state police agencies purchased more than $20 million in firearms and other gear from at least six vendors that had received serious citations from the ATF, including measures the agency uses to identify potential gun trafficking. The bill, as The Intercept reported at the time, was mostly footed by taxpayers.
San Diego City Council Member Marni von Wilpert wants things to change. Von Wilpert is behind a proposal to reform how city agencies procure firearms. The measure would require the city to ensure that the gun sellers it does business with operate within all local, state, and federal laws. The specific protocols aren’t yet clear — the proposal just made it to the city’s Public Safety Committee on Wednesday — but the idea is that incentivizing dealers to comply with the law will not only make sure tax dollars end up with responsible dealers, but also reduce the number of illegal guns on the streets. The overarching goal, per the proposal, is to prevent gun violence.
“Law enforcement is tasked with protecting and serving communities, so it is critical the public ensures they are not purchasing from the same dealers who may be contributing to rising rates of shootings and homicides,” Brady’s Erica Rice told The Intercept in January. “The least we should be willing to accept is responsible stewardship of our tax dollars.”
What to Know Today
The National Rifle Association is hiring for a position in Dallas, according to a recent post on the group’s LinkedIn page, some two years after the group announced that it planned on “dumping New York” and incorporating in Texas. Unless the NRA can find some creative lawmakers in the Lone Star State, that goal will remain unrealized while its legal battle with New York Attorney General Letitia James is underway. — Will Van Sant
Guns and crime are shaping up to be major issues in the Republican presidential primary. The GOP hopefuls appear to largely agree that the country needs more police officers on the streets, but no new gun laws. [The New York Times]
Leonard Allan Cure was incarcerated for more than 16 years for a crime he did not commit. Just three years after his exoneration and release from prison, a Georgia deputy shot and killed Cure during a traffic stop. [Rolling Stone]
The fallout from New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s temporary ban on gun carrying in Albuquerque continues: While the order now applies only to parks and playgrounds, pro-firearm advocates say the political damage is done, and gun safety proponents worry the public outcry will make it hard to pass new reforms. [NPR]
The FBI’s 2022 crime report, released Monday, is much more reliable than the agency’s report for the year prior, thanks to a tweak in data collection that allowed far more law enforcement agencies to submit statistics. But it still has its limitations: In order for a crime to end up in the FBI’s data, it must be reported, accurately logged, and shared with the agency, a process that presents challenges every step of the way. [Jeff Asher/The Appeal]
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a measure to ban private security guards from drawing firearms to protect property, sending the proposal — a response to the shooting of Banko Brown over alleged theft at a Walgreens in April — to Mayor London Breed’s desk. Currently, rules dictating the circumstances under which San Francisco security guards can unholster guns is more permissive than the city’s use-of-force policy for police. [Mission Local]
Amish culture prizes pacifism and the separation of church and state — but you wouldn’t necessarily know that from a visit to Ohio Amish Country, where shops are filled with items featuring Christian nationalist motifs and Second Amendment catchphrases. What’s behind the discrepancy? [The Conversation]
New Mexico-based prosecutors are seeking to recharge actor Alec Baldwin with involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a movie set outside Santa Fe two years ago. The prosecutors say “additional facts” have come to light showing that Baldwin has criminal culpability. [USA TODAY]
King County, Washington, is establishing a Regional Office of Gun Violence Prevention to address a recent uptick in shootings and homicides; preliminary figures show that killings in Seattle, the county seat, have already exceeded the city’s total number in 2022. The office will expand existing violence intervention efforts and work with federal agencies to bolster funding for prevention efforts. [The Seattle Times]
More than 50 percent — the estimated proportion of violent crimes that are never reported to police, according to surveys by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. [The Appeal]