What to Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: The Rittenhouse shootings started a debate in Kenosha that hasn’t ended. It’s been more than two years since Kyle Rittenhouse, responding to a call to arms by a former Kenosha alderperson, arrived in the small Wisconsin town with a semiautomatic rifle and killed two men and injured a third. He was acquitted of homicide and reckless endangerment charges last year — but the jury’s finding that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense only deepened locals’ concerns about the city’s treatment of Black residents, repression by law enforcement, and the role of guns. As community members and leaders grapple with how to regulate firearms locally, the events of the summer of 2020, and the Rittenhouse shootings in particular, continue to define the conversation. Read the story by Isiah Holmes, published in partnership with the Wisconsin Examiner, in full here.
Another study notes increased violent crime in states that have relaxed concealed carry laws. The average rate of gun assaults rose nearly 10 percent over forecasted numbers in the decade after 34 states relaxed their concealed carry permitting requirements, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study also found a 24 percent increase associated with states that let people with violent misdemeanor convictions obtain a concealed carry permit. Context: This is the latest in a long line of studies linking less restrictive concealed carry laws with increases in violence.
“Stand your ground” law under scrutiny again as a Georgia man receives maximum sentence for a shooting he said was self-defense. On Tuesday, Marc Wilson, who is biracial, received the maximum sentence for his felony involuntary manslaughter conviction related to a June 2020 incident near Statesboro. Wilson’s attorneys argued that he exercised his rights under Georgia’s “stand your ground” statute when he fired his legal handgun at a truck of white teenagers who he alleges were shouting racial slurs and trying to run his vehicle off the road, killing a 17-year-old girl in the back seat. The judge said the sentencing decision was “colorblind,” but Wilson’s family disagrees. “If you put me in Marc’s shoes, there’s no way that I would’ve been prosecuted,” Wilson’s cousin, who is white, said. “Odds are I would’ve been given a medal — probably gotten a parade in my name.” Context: An investigation earlier this month from Reveal found that prosecutors have rejected “stand your ground” claims more frequently from people of color and women experiencing domestic violence, suggesting an unequal application of the law.
Washington, D.C., contests lawsuit pushing to allow guns on the Metro. The federal suit, DCist reports, was filed by three D.C. residents and one Virginia resident days after the Supreme Court decided New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine argued in a 44-page response that the city’s public transit system is a “sensitive place,” in line with Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion that jurisdictions would still be able to regulate gun bans in such spaces. Since the Bruen ruling, several lawsuits challenging D.C.’s gun laws have been filed. We’re tracking them, and efforts across the nation, here.
Columbia, South Carolina, now requires residents to report lost or stolen guns to police. A new ordinance, passed yesterday by the City Council, mandates that gun owners report missing firearms within 24 hours. In March, the council rolled back several gun regulations after the city faced a lawsuit by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and pressure from state lawmakers with close relationships to the National Rifle Association.
1,209 — the number of kids under 18 who have been killed by guns so far in 2022. [Gun Violence Archive]