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Maryland lawmakers debated a number of firearm bills this year. Among those that were sent to the governor’s desk: A measure allowing the state and local governments to file civil suits against gunmakers that “knowingly” create public harm; legislation creating a Center for Firearm Violence Prevention under the Maryland Department of Public Health; and a ban on auto sears. Notably, a proposal to levy an 11 percent tax on the sales of firearms, ammunition, and gun accessories failed to pass. [The Baltimore Banner]

The Business of Guns

Since 1968, the Gun Control Act has required anyone “engaged in the business” of dealing guns to obtain a Federal Firearms License. Since 1986, anyone who sells firearms with the objective of “livelihood or profit” has been required to get one, too. Yet what, exactly, constitutes as either of those has long been ambiguous under federal law — a gap that’s allowed businesses or people to avoid becoming federally licensed dealers while routinely selling firearms at gun shows or on the internet. And if they’re not federally licensed, those dealers aren’t federally required to run background checks for gun sales.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced that it had finalized a rule to close that gap and reduce the number of guns sold without background checks. Under the new regulation, said Attorney General Merrick Garland, “if you sell guns predominantly to earn a profit, you must be licensed and you must conduct background checks.” The Trace’s Chip Brownlee has the story.

What to Know Today

The former assistant principal of a Virginia school where a 6-year-old shot and wounded his teacher last year was indicted on child abuse charges, court records show. In a lawsuit against the school district, the educator who was shot alleged that administrators ignored multiple warnings that the child had a gun. [NBC

Three people were shot and injured during an Eid al-Fitr celebration attended by roughly 1,000 people in West Philadelphia yesterday. Police said the shooting was between two rival groups. [WHYY

The head of Chicago’s police watchdog group sent a letter to the city’s top cop questioning whether a group of officers lied about their reason for conducting a traffic stop that ended in the death of the driver last month. Per the oversight agency, after five tactical officers pulled over driver Dexter Reed in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, Reed shot one of them in the forearm; the officers then shot nearly 100 rounds at Reed in less than a minute, and at least one officer continued shooting at Reed as he lay on the ground. Humboldt Park residents said their neighborhood has long been subject to over-policing. [Chicago Sun-Times/Block Club Chicago]

California’s homeless population has spiked over the past five years — and the growth has been accompanied by a boom in private security, as governments, nonprofits, and businesses hire guards to work in shelters and on the street. Clients increasingly expect security companies to replicate law enforcement, complete with guns and body cameras. The consequences can turn deadly. [CalMatters]

Data Point

4 to 1 — the proportion at which licensed security guards outnumber sworn law enforcement officers in California. [CalMatters]