Hunter Biden’s felony gun charge — possession of a firearm by a person who uses or is addicted to a controlled substance — isn’t actually brought all that often, legal experts say. In recent years, it’s mostly been used in high-profile cases in which the underlying conduct doesn’t obviously violate other criminal statutes. [NBC]
Context: The constitutionality of the charge is also under question in federal courts. An invalidation could be a big win for criminal justice reform advocates.
From Our Team
Many young people in Chicago struggle to feel a sense of peace in their city. They say they rarely feel safe in their neighborhoods, and often travel elsewhere just to enjoy a calm day outside. It’s a refrain that comes up nearly every summer, as rising temperatures and a lack of summer programs can contribute to a rise in gun violence.
Enter Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club, a nonprofit founded and led by Englewood resident Joseph Williams, who’s locally known as the “Black Mr. Rogers.” And just like the friendly television neighbor who celebrated children’s individuality, Williams works with other fathers to build up the young people in his community, using literacy and mentorship to nurture the social-emotional learning of young Chicagoans so that they are better equipped to handle the world around them.
What to Know Today
A 3rd Circuit judge ruled that New Jersey can once again limit where people can carry concealed firearms, the latest development in the court battle over the state’s new gun restrictions. [New Jersey Monitor]
Incumbent Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, a reform prosecutor in Fairfax County, Virginia, won his contentious primary election by 10 percentage points. Since taking office in 2019, Descano has worked to reduce gun violence, including by launching a dedicated red flag law team to disarm potentially dangerous people. [DCist]
It’s been months since two friends, Juantonja Richmond and Ronisha Anderson, were found shot to death in Columbus, Georgia. Why have authorities been so tight-lipped about their investigation into the shootings? [NBC]
The Maryland Supreme Court ruled that forensic firearm analysis, in which gun experts link crime scene bullets to a specific weapon, is not reliable enough to be used as testimony in most criminal proceedings. A growing body of research indicates that the practice, which has been used in court for more than a century, might be junk science. [The Baltimore Sun/The Watch]
The Justice Department released a damning report on racism and brutality within the Minneapolis Police Department earlier this month. But the force’s history of malpractice goes much further back than what’s detailed in the DOJ findings. [The New Republic]
A year and a half has passed since Bibi Cornejo was shot in Bloomington, Illinois, leaving her with severe injuries in her left arm. But the damage of being caught in a shooting extends beyond her physical wounds. [WGLT]
Larry Krasner’s Lonely, Radical Crusade to Solve America’s Gun Problem: The progressive prosecutor wants to fight gun violence with a light touch. His critics say he’s crazy. His defenders say he’s onto something. (January 2020)