Devon Rideout, a 24-year-old Navy corpsman, was shot and killed in 2018 by a former Marine whom military psychiatrists found not mentally competent to stand trial at a court-martial proceeding. In a new lawsuit, Rideout’s family says her killer should never have been able to buy the gun, alleging that the Pentagon again failed to fully comply with federal background check law. [American Homefront Project]
Context: Five years before an Air Force veteran killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017, he was court-martialed for attacking his then-wife and her infant daughter. A federal judge found that the Air Force failed to send the shooter’s criminal history to the FBI.
From Our Team
Gun reform groups and members of Congress have spent years urging President Joe Biden to establish a federal office dedicated to gun violence prevention. The calls began even before his inauguration: In November 2020, some 85 advocacy organizations told his transition team such an office could help coordinate a national response to the crisis.
Now, The Washington Post and Politico report that Biden could announce the creation of the office as soon as tomorrow — a move that would signal a heightened focus on the issue at a time when legislation in Congress is largely stalled and Biden is gearing up for a reelection campaign. The Trace’s Chip Brownlee breaks down what we know about the office and how it could make a difference. Read more →
ICYMI: The Gun Machine, a new podcast from WBUR and The Trace, brings you a story that most Americans never learned in history class — about the firearms industry’s grip on our country. It debuts October 4, but you can subscribe to the show now to listen to the first episodes as soon as they drop. Subscribe and download →
What to Know Today
A D.C. Council member released a package of plans to address violent crime in the city, including increasing penalties for gun crimes and allowing police to randomly search people charged with violent offenses who are on pretrial release — prompting immediate pushback from judges. [The Washington Post]
New Mexico’s top insurance regulator ordered major medical health insurers to expand access to behavioral health services, following Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s emergency public health declaration over gun violence in Albuquerque. [Associated Press]
A Philadelphia judge revoked bail for Mark Dial, the police officer charged with first-degree murder for shooting and killing Eddie Irizarry, sending him to jail until his next hearing. In an atypical move when Dial was charged earlier this month, another judge granted him bail, which was quickly posted by the city’s police union. [The Philadelphia Inquirer] Context: Irizarry’s killing has become the latest flashpoint in the strained relationship between cops and Philadelphians. Its aftermath could be a test for how the city polices its police.
The Wyoming agency that certifies law enforcement officers has been repeatedly denied access to personnel records necessary for misconduct investigations, according to its director. The issue came to light as the agency investigated a county sheriff who shot and killed an unarmed man experiencing mental illness. [WyoFile]
Parkland shooting survivor Kai Koerber watched his classmates, and himself, struggle to heal from the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — and wanted to do something to help others recover from tragedy. The result was Joy, a smartphone app that uses artificial intelligence to suggest mindfulness activities based on how users are feeling. [Associated Press]
Birmingham’s Young Mayor Promised to Radically Rethink Criminal Justice. Then Shootings Spiked: Randall Woodfin’s struggle to balance police reform with gun violence prevention. (August 2021)