What To Know Today

Federal agency to end contract with manufacturer of ‘Rubber Dummies’ shooting target. Last week, we reported on the artist who launched a public awareness campaign in protest of the federal government’s contract with Kistabra, a company that makes shooting targets that resemble a Black man and sells them to U.S. agencies in bulk and at discount. Initially, a GSA spokesperson said they were aware of the artist’s effort to petition the government to cancel the contract and that the agency was “committed to reviewing this matter thoroughly.” After media coverage of the controversy, including The Trace’s story, a GSA spokesperson followed up and said the agency was using its authority to cancel its contract with the company at the end of May. 

NEW from THE TRACE: Are road rage shootings increasing? Police agencies do not release data on road rage shootings as a specific category of crime. But Gun Violence Archive figures show that incidents involving armed motorists are far deadlier than they were five years ago, our analysis reveals. Last year, there were 728 road rage incidents involving guns in the United States, resulting in 132 deaths and 390 injuries. That’s up slightly from 2020, when there were 701 incidents, resulting in 102 deaths and 306 injuries. Jennifer Mascia has more here — along with new visuals from Trace data editor Olga Pierce.

D.C. taxpayers spent about $1 billion last year as a result of gun violence. A report commissioned by the anti-violence group Peace for D.C. found that the city pays at least $1.53 million for every fatal shooting. The report, conducted by the Urban Institute and the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and provided to The Washington Post, examined the city’s 226 shooting murders and 904 nonfatal shootings last year, and estimates that a 20 percent reduction in gun violence rates would save the city up to $178 million each year. Peace for D.C. hopes to show that is an argument for why the city can afford to make greater investments in community-focused violence solutions.

The Washington Post

From 2002 to 2019, self-reported handgun carrying increased by 41 percent among young people. The study from Boston College researchers analyzed national survey data on adolescents aged 12 to 17, including whether they carried a gun in the previous year. As of 2019, about 4.5 percent of kids in that age range said they had recently carried. The increase was most notable among white, rural and higher-income adolescents, while carrying decreased among Black, American Indian, and lower-income students. 

Judge agrees to give Alex Jones time to defend bankruptcy plans against Sandy Hook families. Last month, companies linked to the far-right conspiracy theorist filed for Chapter 11 protections. Lawyers for the families say the move was an obvious attempt to sidestep looming jury decisions on how much Jones owes them after losing four defamation suits, and on Friday, a federal judge agreed to hear the Sandy Hook families’ motions to dismiss Jones’ “bad faith” bankruptcies, but gave him until May 27 to defend his claim.

Data Point

1 percent — from 2014 to 2020, the share of Pennsylvania gun dealers that were linked to 50 percent of crime guns, according to a database of state gun trace data analyzed by the gun control group Brady. [The New York Times]