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Six months after the deadliest mass shooting in Maine’s history, the state Legislature has passed sweeping gun safety legislation that is expected to be signed by the governor this week: background checks on private gun sales; gun purchase waiting periods; and criminalizing the sale of guns to those prohibited from having them. [ABC]


A pilot program in Philadelphia aims to relieve residents of the gruesome task of cleaning up crime scenes. Many Philadelphians are unaware of existing programs that offer assistance after shootings and other episodes of violence. That’s why city residents and community organizers, working with the city’s Office of Anti-Violence Partnership, lobbied for a formalized process to clean up blood from homes and sidewalks. Professional clean-up services can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. And not all insurance policies cover it.

Philadelphia engagement reporter Afea Tucker touched on this issue in her first piece for The Trace in October 2022. She wrote about her brother’s friend who was shot and killed on her mother’s doorstep, it fell on her mother to clean up after the tragedy.

Tucker’s story provided a personal account of something that Samantha Caiola, a gun violence reporter for WHYY in Philly, was also looking into. Her reporting on the problem, along with Tucker’s essay, contributed to the city’s decision to launch its cleanup program, which began on April 1 in the Kensington neighborhood. In her latest post, Tucker explores how the new program came to be, and why the process to launch it took so long.

Read more from The Trace →

What To Know Today

Students at North Community High School in Minneapolis live under the threat of gun violence, and they say there’s a disconnect between what they need to feel safe — armed school resource officers — and what the government is offering: mental health resources, metal detectors, and staff training. After the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the city’s schools stopped using SROs. At North High, this position was filled by someone students trusted — the head football coach. [NPR]

A bill banning assault-style rifles in Colorado was approved by its State House a week ago. Whether or not it makes it out of the five-member State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, before going to the Senate for a wider vote, could come down to Tom Sullivan — a Democratic Senator who is currently undecided about how he will vote. Sullivan first ran for office after his son was killed in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting. [Colorado Public Radio]

The White House’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention held its first meeting last Friday to develop a federal protocol for responding to mass shootings. It included officials from several federal agencies, including the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. [Politico]

Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law on Friday allowing teachers and other school employees to carry guns. Additionally, armed school employees will be granted qualified immunity — legal protection if they harm someone on the job. The law also requires the state’s largest school districts to have school resource officers in their high schools, unless local school boards opt out. [Des Moines Register]


Will Maine’s Permissive Gun Laws Change After the Lewiston Shooting?: The state has high rates of gun ownership, yet mass shootings were virtually unheard of — until now. (October 2023)