What To Know Today

The characteristics of New Jersey’s ~1.5M people living in armed households. An annual representative survey on guns from the state-funded New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center at the Rutgers School of Public Health had several interesting insights about gun owners in the state. About one in five adults live in homes where guns are usually kept, with men being about twice as likely as women to live with a firearm. Broken down by race: About 24 percent of white residents live in an armed household, the most of any group, compared to 68 percent without; about 11 percent of Black people live in homes with guns, versus 77 percent without; and 13 percent of Hispanic respondents lived in homes with guns, compared to 73 percent without. Black respondents were twice as likely to refuse to answer the question as white residents. Questions of security: While the approximately 75 percent of respondents who said they store guns securely is relatively high, according to NJGVRC executive director Mike Anestis, the survey found that fewer than 10 percent of respondents said that a healthcare provider had ever asked them about gun access. That, public health and gun violence researchers have frequently said, is an important way to promote firearm safety.

A tech company promised its AI-based gun screening would be efficient and effective. Some clients paint a different picture. Massachusetts-based Evolv Technology markets its weapons scanner as a faster, easier way than traditional metal detectors to identify concealed weapons among entrants at sports stadiums, venues, and schools. That has landed Evolv plum contracts, including schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, and beyond. But in a new investigation based on public records requests, Vice Motherboard finds that the onboarding of Evolv’s system in places where it has contracts has been rough, and the devices — which, Vice reports, are not the subject of any peer-reviewed efficacy studies — have not lived up to marketing promises. School board administrators have reported mistakes in the company’s scanners, including detecting computers as guns or not spotting handguns at all when tested. “Today was probably the least safe day,” a principal said in an email the day the scanners were installed at her school.

Also in New Jersey: A look at one of the state’s nine hospital-based intervention programs. The state recently renewed funding for its programs that work to break cycles of retaliation by providing services within hospitals after someone has been shot. One of those programs, the Paterson Healing Collective, says it has helped more than 130 gunshot victims since it launched in 2020 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, while the Newark Community Street Team, which serves a larger population, has worked with more than 500 survivors since its 2018 launch. “It’s a public health emergency,” Dr. James Pruden of St. Joseph’s Hospital said about gun violence. “We have money for AIDS. We have money for diabetes. We have money for asthma. Why don’t we have money for violence intervention?”

At least 20 gun companies have moved from blue to red states in the last decade. That’s according to reporting from The Washington Post, which offers the latest comprehensive look at the regionalization of American gun and ammo production. Much of it is a result of gun restrictions in Democratic-controlled states that the companies say will hurt their bottom line, but gun-friendly states have also lured companies with inexpensive labor costs and tax breaks. One of the latest high-profile cases was Smith & Wesson’s decision in September to move its headquarters from Massachusetts to Tennessee. 

25 years on, a convicted school shooter faces the possibility of parole. In 1997, a 14-year old high school student killed three fellow classmates and wounded five others in West Paducah, Kentucky. Tried and convicted as an adult, he will have his first parole hearing next month. While experts think his release is unlikely, The Washington Post reports on the community grief the case has revived along with questions about what should happen to a minor convicted of an atrocity when they become eligible for release.

Data Point

1 — the number of public carry permits issued in Hawaii since the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Before the ruling, police chiefs in Hawaii issued six permits in 21 years, according to data from the state. [The Associated Press]