What To Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: What will the first federal gun reform law in three decades actually do? In a new analysis, Chip Brownlee focuses on three provisions in the recently passed bill that relate more directly to firearms and who can purchase them: keeping guns out of the hands of people who abuse their dating partners by addressing the so-called boyfriend loophole, clarifying who needs to seek a Federal Firearms License, and enhancing background checks on gun purchasers under 21. “This federal legislation is a starting point, because it is channeling resources, it is putting other things in play, and gun policy occurs after a piece of legislation is signed,” said Daniel Webster, of Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. See more here on how the new law affects the three baskets above.

How portrayals of shooting victims can influence support for gun policies. Researchers examined three different kinds of gun policies — those at the point of sale; those about carrying, using, or storing; and those about who can possess or purchase. They then created an experiment in which respondents viewed different news stories about shootings with different aspects of the story changed. The researchers found that respondents were much less supportive of all gun regulations after reading news stories with Black gun crime victims. A similar pattern held for Hispanic victims, but it was not as consistent. The study also found that respondents were more supportive of gun laws after a high-profile mass shooting than other gun violence incidents, even as the latter are far more common. The study “shows that media depictions and framing can influence public support of gun policies. And it also underscores the responsibility that the media has for accurately covering gun violence in America and providing fact-based accounts,” said co-author Daniel Semenza, a Rutgers sociologist.

In light of the Bruen decision, SCOTUS returns four pending Second Amendment cases to lower courts. The high court issued so-called GVR orders and returned the cases involving bans on gun magazines holding 10 rounds or more (in California and New Jersey), a restrictive open carry law (in Hawaii), and a ban on assault weapons (in Maryland) to lower courts “for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen.” 

New York is on the verge of making big changes to its concealed carry law after the Bruen case. State lawmakers will vote as early as today on finalized legislative text that includes bans on guns in numerous “sensitive” locations and new training and background requirements for approving concealed carry permits. It also has language broadening the state’s recent ban on civilian body armor. From the Trace: As we reported, that law — passed in response to the Buffalo shooting — wouldn’t have covered the armor worn by the perpetrator.

Other states that moved to bolster gun restrictions this week include:

  • New Jersey, where the Legislature advanced bills that Governor Phil Murphy will sign that: mandate gun training to get a gun purchaser ID card and permit to buy a handgun; ban certain high caliber guns; require new state residents who own guns to register their out-of-state wares and obtain a gun purchaser ID card; require people engaged in the business of selling guns to maintain electronic record on ammo sales; permit the state AG to bring legal actions against gunmakers over public nuisance violations; and require retailers to sell microstamped guns when viable. 
  • Delaware, where Governor John Carney signed bills that: make it the first state to repeal a PLCAA-like state law shielding gun makers from some suits; ban the sale of assault weapons; ban magazines carrying more than 17 rounds of ammo; raise the minimum age to purchase or possess most guns from 18 to 21; clarify that devices that convert semiautomatic guns into machine guns are illegal; and create a new state agency to monitor background checks.

House committee budget would more than double gun violence research, add funding for community-led intervention. The House Appropriations Committee finalized marking up a FY2023 funding bill for government agencies that includes $60 million for federal gun violence research at the CDC and NIH, more than double last year’s enacted amount, $85 million toward a new CDC grant program to support community-led violence intervention programs, and $150 million for community-based violence prevention programs at the DOJ, more than triple last year’s amount.