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International smugglers are exploiting a gap in U.S. regulations to legally purchase components to build untraceable assault rifles. In Latin America, criminal gangs are now often better armed than the authorities patrolling them. [Bloomberg]


Toward the end of 2022, The Trace’s Chicago team asked themselves a simple yet powerful question: What would the story of gun violence in Chicago be if we allowed survivors to lead the way?

Engagement reporter Justin Agrelo dedicated the next year to answering that question. He launched the Survivor Storytelling Network, an initiative for survivors of gun violence and their loved ones to tell their own stories, and guided its inaugural cohort of writers through the ins and outs of essay writing, storytelling, and journalism basics. Throughout the summer and fall, their stories were nurtured — and, at the end of the process, blossomed into “Chicago Stories of Survival,” a collection of essays that went live yesterday, co-published with local media partners including the Chicago Sun-Times, Block Club Chicago, the Chicago Reader, and Southside Weekly. 

Each essay offers a glimpse into the different ways gun violence contours and rearranges a life — they’re narratives about heartache and grief, redemption and regret, justice and lack thereof. Each essay, and the collection as a whole, offers a more complicated story of gun violence in Chicago, from the people who know it most intimately. 

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What to Know Today

An unprecedented surge in gun violence among young people in Indiana prompted a Democratic state lawmaker to revive a bill that would promote safe firearm storage and penalize parents who fail to do so. [Indiana Capital Chronicle

Federal prosecutors plan to retry the Louisville, Kentucky, officer accused of violating Breonna Taylor’s civil rights the night police shot and killed her in 2020. The decision came a month after a judge declared the earlier case a mistrial when the jury could not reach a unanimous decision. [NBC

The man accused of killing six people in a gun rampage across Texas last week had been detained in Austin for mental health reasons in 2018, charged with assaulting three family members in 2022, and wanted on three active warrants for family violence at the time of the spree. He was still able to purchase a gun. [The Texas Newsroom]

When body-worn cameras were introduced a decade ago, it seemed like they would be a revolutionary tool to hold police accountable for misconduct. But without deeper changes, the measure was bound to fall short: Departments were left with control over recording policies, and today routinely refuse to release footage, even when officers kill. [ProPublica and The New York Times

Ohio Democrats have proposed a series of bills to address gun violence in the new year. These bills are focused on measures like incentivizing safe storage and keeping guns away from domestic abusers. [WTVG]


An Unlikely Peace: Survivors of Gun Violence Find Solace in Glassblowing N’Kosi Barber lost a friend in a shooting. Now, he’s helping Chicagoans who have endured similar losses move on through the craft of glassblowing. (July 2023)