Featured Story

Many crime victims in Maryland are denied compensation, often for technical issues like filing an application late. A new bill would reform the system by expanding eligibility requirements, creating new diversity requirements for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and upping financial aid for funeral costs, crime scene clean-up, and mental health counseling. [The Baltimore Banner]

Community Violence

In the 1990s, the city of Gary, Indiana, was made infamous by a grim moniker: “murder capital.” The label was printed in headlines nationwide, and left an indelible mark on those who lived there, shaping the city’s identity and often overshadowing its rich history. In the decades since, residents have worked to disrupt the violence that gave Gary its reputation — and they’re starting to see encouraging results. In 2023, the city recorded a 13 percent decrease in homicides from the previous year.

Community organizers, law enforcement, and local activists have united to interrupt cycles of violence once ubiquitous in Gary, reclaiming their city along the way. They’ve held community forums, organized fundraisers and anti-violence basketball games, and formed coalitions to encourage interaction between police and residents. In partnership with The Trace, nonprofit newsroom Capital B Gary’s Maddy Franklin, Jenae Barnes, and Javonte Anderson profile the community members leading this work, examine the programs that are making a difference, and question the history of the “murder capital” moniker.

Read more from The Trace →

What to Know Today

After Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson announced that the city would stop using ShotSpotter, he frantically hammered out a nine-month, $8.6 million contract extension to give the Police Department time to transition away from the controversial gunshot detection technology. According to some sources, the deal he negotiated might be illegal. [Chicago Sun-Times

In Louisiana, a bill that would allow anyone 18 or older to carry a concealed firearm without a permit or training is close to hitting Republican Governor Jeff Landry’s desk; Landry has already signaled his support for the measure. Meanwhile, legislation to establish a legal process to remove guns from people deemed a danger was effectively shelved. [Louisiana Illuminator

Florida lawmakers are advancing legislation to address gun violence among young people by imposing steeper criminal punishments on minors who carry firearms. Violence prevention advocates say the Legislature should focus more on education and mental health support — and hold adults who negligently store guns accountable for helping kids get access to them. [WUSF

The Supreme Court will hear arguments today in ​​Garland v. Cargill, a challenge to the ATF’s ban on bump stocks and its authority to interpret federal law. It’s not the agency’s first time in court this week: A federal judge in California ruled Monday that the ATF must tighten its restrictions on ghost guns. [CBS/San Francisco Chronicle/Courthouse News

On Sunday, an active-duty airman set himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, to protest U.S. support for Israel in its war with Hamas. Why did a responding Secret Service agent point a gun at him? [Reason]

Data Point

61 percent — the proportion of victim compensation claims in Maryland that were denied in fiscal year 2023. [The Baltimore Banner]