What To Know Today

House Dems throw support behind push for a national director of gun violence prevention. “Currently, federal efforts to combat gun violence, including research on the impacts and causes of gun violence and law enforcement efforts to combat it, are silo-ed across agencies,” reads a letter to President Biden spearheaded by Representatives Lucy McBath and Joe Neguse and signed by nearly three dozen congressional Democrats. Noting the disproportionate toll that gun violence takes on communities of color, they’re asking for the new position to be tasked with reducing shooting deaths and injuries by 50 percent over the next decade. The action comes a week after advocacy group March for Our Lives, with support from the Community Justice Action Fund, called for the creation of a gun violence prevention czar with cabinet-level authority. 

A truck with a militia decal was parked at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Investigators have determined its owner: an Illinois state legislator. Republican Chris Miller, the husband of Congresswoman Mary Miller, had the logo of the far-right Three Percenters militia on his vehicle. Miller is denying any involvement with the militia, claiming he hadn’t known what the decal represented. In conflicting statements, he said that the sticker was given to him by a friend in the Army — and, alternatively, that it was given to his son by a family friend. Democrats in Illinois have called for an investigation. At least five people affiliated with the Three Percenters militia have been arrested for their roles in the Capitol insurrection. 

Ban on open carry at state Capitol, public protests advances in Washington State. The measure would apply to the Capitol complex and permitted events of 15 or more people statewide. It passed the state Senate in a party-line vote last week and is moving through the House, also controlled by Democrats. Armed protests were a frequent occurrence in Washington last year, and two post-election demonstrations on the grounds of the Capitol in Olympia led to shootings. “We know that neither the First nor the Second Amendment is absolute, we know that there have been restrictions, reasonable restrictions placed on each of them,” said the sponsor of the bill

Virginia’s legislature sends further gun reforms to the governor’s desk. Nearing the end of its current session, the General Assembly has passed a bill that would ban guns anywhere on the grounds of the Capitol or any state-owned building. The General Assembly also passed measures to keep guns out of polling places and to close the so-called Charleston loophole, which allows dealers to proceed with a gun sale if the buyer’s background check takes longer than three business days. What’s not included: An assault weapons ban, which supporters put on hold last year after opponents in the state Senate kept it out of a historic package of new gun safety laws. 

ICYMI: New York lawmakers float a plan for more consistent violence interruption funding. In our weekly newsletter (get it by updating your subscription), Jennifer Mascia wrote about a proposal to allow street-level and hospital-based violence interruption programs to receive federal funds collected and distributed through the Victims of Crime Act. Having access to an additional revenue stream via the federal program “would enable these groups to have longer-term stability and adapt to emerging trends and community needs,” said state Senator Zellnor Myrie, who is spearheading the measure. You can read more here.

Data Point

At least 13 — the number of lawsuits brought against Sig Sauer since 2017 over its P320 model firearm, which has been found to misfire and has led to accidental injuries and at least one death. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]