What to Know Today

Some key gun-related news emerging from election night. These races have already been called:

  • Maxwell Frost, who centered gun violence prevention in his campaign, will be the first Gen Z member of Congress. The 25-year-old was favored to win the solidly blue Orlando-based seat. 
  • Mary Moriarty will be the next top prosecutor in Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis. The race between the progressive former chief public defender and Martha Holton Dimick, a former county judge who ran on a law-and-order platform, focused heavily on police shootings and public safety.
  • Iowans voted to incorporate Second Amendment language into their state Constitution. The now-required “strict scrutiny” test means that new gun laws must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest — presenting a difficult legal hurdle for new restrictions.
  • Overall, Democrats’ midterm showing was surprisingly strong in an election cycle in which public safety was a flashpoint. Republicans were predicted to gain control of Congress, but that hasn’t panned out yet. Many races have yet to be called.

Federal judge blocks sections of New York gun law (again). The night before the election, District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby temporarily blocked the state from enforcing parts of its gun restrictions law: New Yorkers can carry guns in mental hospitals, places of worship, public parks, and protests, and permit applicants will not have to provide social media histories or contact information for partners and roommates. The ban on guns in Times Square, public playgrounds, libraries, nurseries, and preschools still stands, Gothamist reports. Passed in the wake of Bruen, the Concealed Carry Improvement Act has been the subject of a dramatic back-and-forth in the courts.

After St. Louis school shooting, Missouri lawmakers consider school security measures. According to the Missouri Independent, Republican state Senator Rick Brattin is exploring legislation to mandate armed security in schools. Seven unarmed security guards were stationed inside Central Visual and Performing Arts High School on the day of the shooting last month; the St. Louis school district prohibits firearms inside buildings. Missouri Democrats are advocating for stricter gun laws, like universal background checks and red flag laws. They aren’t likely to get very far, the Independent reported: Republicans, who hold supermajorities in both chambers of the state Legislature as well as the governorship, have largely rejected those proposals.

A 9-year-old allegedly brought a gun to school. An Arizona prosecutor charged him with two felonies. The Pinal County fourth grader faces one count of a minor in possession of a firearm and one count of interference with or disruption of an educational institution, NBC News reports. The county attorney did not press charges against the child’s parents, against police recommendation, saying there was “no reasonable likelihood of conviction.” According to police, the Associated Press reported, the child’s mother said that the parents kept the gun in the top drawer of a dresser. 

  • Prosecuting parents: A kid can’t shoot anyone without getting a firearm from an adult. But, The Trace reported in 2018, gun owners are rarely held accountable for negligence when a child obtains their firearm. 
  • Why would a 9-year-old bring a gun to school? According to sociologist Paul Hirschfield, who spoke with The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia in 2015, there’s a certain show-and-tell element at play, and because kids’ risk assessment ability is still developing, they’re less likely to be concerned about the consequences.

Americans bought an estimated 1.29 million guns in October, according to our tracker that analyzes FBI data. This seasonally adjusted figure includes about 780,000 handguns and 500,000 long guns (rifles and shotguns). The total figure was down 4 percent from September and down 11 percent from October 2021.

Florida TSA agents find gun hidden inside raw chicken. Officers at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport detected the gun in a traveler’s carry-on luggage, CBS News reports, and proceeded to have a pretty good time with the incident on Instagram. The agency’s official account shared a post peppered with poultry puns, “We hate to beak it to you here, but stuffing a firearm in your bird is just a baste of time.” Agents have caught more than 700 guns at Florida airports so far this year, and nationally, the TSA is on track to surpass last year’s record number of firearms detected at checkpoints, Forbes reported earlier this month.

Data Point

5 out of 6 — the number of Floridians who say they would support tougher gun restrictions. [Team Friday and ThinkNow via Florida Politics]