Gun historians are in high demand, combing through 18th- and 19th-century statutes and being expert witnesses in legal challenges to firearm restrictions. It’s a consequence of Bruen’s “history and tradition” test — but how courts interpret history remains to be seen. [The New York Times]
From Our Team
During a visit yesterday to Monterey Park, California — where a gunman killed nine people and injured 11 more in January — President Joe Biden debuted a wide-ranging executive order intended to address gun violence. Predictably, the announcement drew praise from gun reform advocates and Democrats, and scorn from gun rights proponents and Republicans.
Both sides, The Trace’s Chip Brownlee explains, might be overselling the scope of the order, which is centered on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and background checks. What would it actually change? Read more →
What to Know Today
Craig Hunter joined The Trace as our first executive editor. Hunter is a veteran journalist and will guide The Trace’s local coverage and audience work. [The Trace]
Hatchet Speed, a self-described Proud Boy and gun enthusiast, got to keep his job as a Pentagon intelligence contractor for months after he joined the January 6 insurrection — even as he amassed a huge arsenal of weapons and planned to kidnap Jewish leaders. Speed was arrested 18 months after the Capitol riot, following an investigation involving the FBI and the ATF. [The Intercept]
College athletic departments are struggling to interpret and communicate how state laws and campus policies around firearms apply to their programs. The confusion and mixed messaging puts the onus on coaches to make quick decisions, sometimes with life-or-death consequences. [Associated Press]
The parents of Kendrick Castillo, who was killed in a 2019 mass shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch outside Denver, refused a $387,000 settlement. Instead, they’re pushing for a trial, in the hopes of getting information about the attack shared publicly. [The Denver Post]
Days after the 11th Circuit upheld a Florida law banning people under 21 from buying rifles and long guns, state lawmakers are considering legislation to reverse the measure, which was passed after the Parkland mass shooting. [Tallahassee Democrat]
A 3-year-old girl shot and killed her 4-year-old sister in their suburban Houston home. Five adults were in the apartment at the time; it’s not clear if any will be charged for neglecting to make sure the gun was inaccessible to the children. [The Guardian]
The family of an environmental activist killed by law enforcement at the site of “Cop City,” a proposed Atlanta-area police training facility, is suing the city, alleging that it participated in a “coordinated effort” to prevent records of the shooting from being released. [CNN]
The Memphis Police Department’s brutal practices extend far beyond the Scorpion unit that dominated the news after the death of Tyre Nichols. Rank-and-file officers also broadly employ aggressive tactics, and Memphis police arrest more people, mostly Black men, than other Tennessee departments. [The Marshall Project and The Institute for Public Service Reporting]
95 percent — the proportion of people arrested on gun charges in Memphis in 2021 who were Black. Although Black residents only make up 65 percent of the city’s population, they accounted for 86 percent of all arrests in Memphis that year. [The Marshall Project and The Institute for Public Service Reporting]
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