Three years ago, the Trump administration weakened export rules for American small arms, ammunition, and gun parts, and shifted oversight of such exports from the State Department to the Commerce Department. It was a major win for the gun industry — but critics said the change made it more likely that American-made firearms would end up in the wrong hands. Data shows that even before the loosened rules took effect, guns seized by Mexico’s military came mostly from U.S. makers.
Joe Biden promised to reverse the export rules during his 2020 presidential campaign. But though he’s loudly called for firearm safety reform in the U.S., The Intercept reports, Biden hasn’t delivered on his pledge to confront the violence fueled by American-made weapons abroad. It’s an apparent failure to address two related domestic crises, both of which he mentioned in the State of the Union this week: gun violence in the U.S., and gun violence abroad that pushes people to flee to the southern border.
What to Know Today
More than a dozen Chicago police officers have died by suicide since 2018, including seven in 2022. A report by the city inspector general released late last year found that the Police Department is falling short in getting officers help. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, introduced legislation that would direct the Texas Department of Public Safety to create mass shooting training for all public safety entities. [The Texas Tribune] Context: Since the Robb Elementary School massacre, Uvalde residents have continued to pressure Texas officials to address gun access.
Schools throughout Michigan received hoax shooting threats on Tuesday in what authorities characterized as a “coordinated campaign.” On Wednesday, several schools in Vermont also received apparently false threats. The threats are the latest incidents in a disturbing trend of hoax school shooting reports nationwide. [Detroit Free Press/VTDigger/CNN]
The Kansas Senate is considering a bill that would require schools to offer gun safety classes based on the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle program, which instructs kids not to touch firearms. [Kansas Legislature] Context: There’s no evidence that the NRA’s approach works, and the academic who designed the Eddie Eagle program has said that the gun group is misusing it.
A federal judge in Brooklyn ordered gun company Rare Breed Triggers to stop selling “forced reset triggers,” devices similar to bump stocks that prosecutors say can transform rifles into machine guns. [Gothamist]
Florida’s permitless concealed carry bill is moving forward, but backers have varying reasons for supporting it: Gun rights groups celebrate the legislation for repealing what they call a “government permission slip,” whereas others cite self-defense as the main reason for their support. Meanwhile, some Republican opponents say the bill doesn’t go far enough. [Tallahassee Democrat]
Trung “Michael” Tran, an immigrant and a family man, had just achieved the American dream: After working six or seven days a week at a nail salon for years, he’d bought a house in the suburbs with his family. Then he was shot and killed in a uniquely American tragedy. [The Boston Globe]
174,000 — the average number of murders committed using a firearm worldwide each year. [United Nations]
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