What To Know Today
Californians living with handgun owners are more than twice as likely to die of homicide. Women are especially at risk. California researchers studied 17.6 million participants for up to 12 years and found that nearly 600,000 started residing with lawful handgun owners, two thirds of them women. That cohort was 2.8 times more likely to die from gun homicides than people who live in unarmed households. Among homicides occurring at home, cohabitants of owners were seven times more likely to be fatally shot by a spouse or intimate partner. Eighty-four percent of these victims were women. “It’s important to recognize that women bear the brunt of the elevated risks we identified,” Yifan Zhang, the study’s co-author, said in a press release. “The fatal assaults they experienced often took the form of being shot by men they lived with.” The research was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. (The Joyce Foundation, which has provided funding to The Trace, was among the five groups that supported the study.)
NEW from THE TRACE: Gun training loophole leaves Florida’s concealed carriers ill-prepared, instructors say. In 2016, the Florida Senate passed a law mandating gun license applicants to discharge a gun in the presence of an instructor. But some firearm instructors are doing the bare minimum to meet the “live fire” mandate, holding classes in conference rooms instead of at gun ranges and allowing students to shoot nonlethal rounds, which don’t contain as much gunpowder as regular bullets. Jennifer Mascia has that report on live-fire training in Florida.
NEW from THE TRACE: Sacramento mass shooting likely involved a converted machine gun: officials. A mass shooting in the California capital on Sunday left six dead and 12 wounded. Law enforcement sources tell us that witness reports, physical evidence, and videos of the events that night have led them to believe that at least one of the guns used was a fully automatic weapon, most likely one that was equipped with an illegal conversion device. “Both the duration of the gunfire and the number of casings recovered are consistent with full-auto fire,” said a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. You can read more in Alain Stephens’ latest collaboration with Vice News. Related: This follows our deep-dive into the rise of auto sears, the most common automatic conversion device.
Chicago gun violence is down so far this year. Prevention advocates are cautious. So far this year, there were 508 shooting incidents through March, compared to 582 at the same point through 2021. There were also 10 fewer homicides reported in that period, compared to last year’s 128. The number of people killed and injured in shootings is down 11 percent and 16 percent, respectively. But city leaders and advocates aren’t yet saying that these numbers show the city reversing a brutal two-year 60 percent spike in gun violence. “The first quarter is a step, just a step, in the right direction,” Arne Duncan, the managing partner of the violence prevention group Chicago CRED, told The Chicago Tribune.
Americans bought an estimated 1.3 million guns in March. This seasonally adjusted figure includes about 780,000 handguns and 540,000 long guns (rifles and shotguns). That’s down about 19 percent from the previous March but nearly identical to this February’s final numbers. Check out our gun sales tracker, which analyzes FBI background-check data.
728 — the number of road rage incidents in 2021 that involved a gun, the most since Gun Violence Archive began tracking such information in 2016. As a result of those incidents, 131 people were killed and 391 were injured. [Everytown for Gun Safety] [Everytown’s nonpolitical arm provides funding to The Trace; read our editorial independence policy here.]