The FBI issued more gun seizure orders — referrals to take back weapons from likely ineligible buyers — in both 2020 and 2021 than at any time in the history of the federal background check system, per agency data. [USA TODAY]
From Our Team
We’ve heard for years that there are more guns in the U.S. than people, but without a national firearm registry, precise accounting remains elusive. For the latest Ask The Trace, Jennifer Mascia tries to quantify America’s civilian gun stock, explaining why it’s so complicated to do so — and how the numbers we have correlate with gun deaths.
What to Know Today
The Oxford school district and its staff can’t be sued over the November 2021 mass shooting at Oxford High School, a Michigan judge ruled Friday, stating that the district has “government immunity” from civil lawsuits and dismissing all such suits by victims. [Detroit Free Press]
Texas lawmakers from both parties support legislation requiring courts to disclose to the federal background check system any records of involuntary mental health hospitalizations of people age 16 and older, after an investigation revealed that local clerks were not reporting that information for minors. [The Texas Tribune and ProPublica] Context: The federal gun reform law passed last summer strengthened background checks for those under 21, but participation in the enhanced checks is entirely voluntary for states.
Identity theft is on the rise in buy now, pay later services. What happens when a stolen identity is used to purchase gun parts and ammunition? [The New York Times]
A downstate judge struck Illinois’ assault weapons ban, but the ruling’s scope is in dispute: Attorneys for the plaintiffs say it applies statewide, while Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office argues the opposite. The case now heads to the state Supreme Court. [Chicago Tribune] Context: Illinois’ sweeping gun law is garnering pushback largely for the assault weapons provisions, but reform advocates have their own concerns about the state’s long-term approach.
Republicans in several states are working to prohibit or limit banks and payment processors from using merchant codes to track gun sales. Major credit card companies committed to the new categorization for firearm purchases last year. [Reuters]
Donna’s Law, named after a New Orleans woman who fatally shot herself during a mental health episode, allows potential gun buyers to put themselves on a do-not-sell list. Three states have passed a version of the legislation, and a fourth recently held hearings. [CBS News]
Most gun owners keep at least one firearm unlocked, and nearly 1 in 5 store weapons unlocked and unhidden, according to a 2022 survey of more than 2,000 people. [Forbes] Context: One of the most significant splits among gun owners may concern how they store their firearms.
Over 1,000 American kids and teenagers, age 17 and under, have been killed or injured by gunfire in 2023, as of this past weekend. In 2022, the country didn’t reach that number until March 17. [Gun Violence Archive]
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58 percent — the proportion of gun owners who reported storing at least one weapon unlocked and hidden in 2022. [JAMA Network Open]