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More guns and ammo are making their way to U.S. airports this summer as Americans travel in record-breaking numbers. An increase in U.S. gun ownership and states’ deregulation of gun buying and possession laws have contributed to a steady rise of intercepted firearms at airports over the last decade, according to Tim Carey, a law and policy advisor at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

It’s legal to fly with firearms in the U.S., but only if they’re unloaded, packed and locked in a hard case, stored in a checked bag, and declared at a baggage drop. When guns are intercepted by TSA, the most common reason given is “I forgot I had it in my bag,” said spokesperson Alexa Lopez. Last year, the agency intercepted more than 6,700 firearms in carry-on bags, and 93 percent of them were loaded.

Read more from The Washington Post.

What To Know Today

Mass shootings and other forms of violence often surge during the summer months, with the Fourth of July being one of the deadliest days of the year. Criminologists point to increased alcohol consumption, teenagers with more free time, and a greater number of crowded gatherings. Studies have also linked hotter temperatures with rising tempers. [The Associated Press]

Homicides have remained a persistent problem in Springfield, Massachusetts, while other big cities saw overall reductions last year. In 2023, Springfield had 31 homicides, double the previous year’s total and the highest in more than a decade, much of it driven by gun violence. The city’s homicide rate in 2023 was 20 per 100,000 people — nearly three times the national average and more than three times higher than Boston’s. [The Boston Globe]

Ammo can now be purchased from vending machines in a handful of locations in Alabama and Oklahoma. The machines, built by the company American Rounds, scan customer IDs and use facial recognition technology to verify their identities. The company’s chief operating officer claims the machines are more reliable than a real person, who may not always check a customer’s ID. [WVTM13]

The involuntary manslaughter convictions of the parents of Ethan Crumbley — the 15 year old who shot and killed four classmates at Michigan’s Oxford High School in 2021 — set a historic precedent. To win those convictions, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald endured death threats, pushback from her staff, and a judge-imposed gag order.  [The Washington Post]


The Oxford Mass Shooting Shows the Limits of ‘Hardening’ Schools: The desire to keep kids safe has spawned a multibillion-dollar industry promising to turn schools into fortresses. Oxford High School is a prime example of that effort. (Dec 2021)