What To Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: Do not scapegoat young people for the increase in gun violence. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and New York Mayor Eric Adams are among the political leaders who have enacted or called for new laws targeting the role of young people in fueling violence. That focus is misplaced, argues David Muhammad, the executive director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, in a commentary for The Trace. “Historically, juveniles are responsible for a small portion of shootings and homicides,” he writes. “This remains the case today, even as regressive rhetoric resurfaces in America’s most hallowed national institutions.” You can read that piece here.
New York officials sue 10 gun companies over sales of ghost gun parts. In two separate lawsuits, Attorney General Letitia James and New York City officials allege that the out-of-state companies illegally sold tens of thousands of ghost gun parts to buyers in New York and helped fuel gun violence across the state. The lawsuits seek restitution and damages. The AG’s suit was filed in state Supreme Court and the New York City suit targets five of those companies in federal court. The NYPD says it has seen a 181 percent year-over-year rise in ghost gun seizures this year. The legal actions were the first under a state law enacted last year that classifies the unlawful or improper marketing or sale of guns as a public nuisance, allowing for suits against gunmakers that can sidestep federal liability protections.
New York looks to amend concealed carry law with “sensitive place” restrictions and new permit requirements. Governor Kathy Hochul previewed changes she and legislative leaders have agreed to make after the Supreme Court invalidated the state’s discretionary scheme for approving concealed carry permits. During a special legislative session later today, Hochul plans to sign a bill that would: ban guns on mass transit and in schools, government buildings, courts, health facilities, polling places, educational institutions, and places where children gather; make commercial private properties no-carry zones by default unless they indicate otherwise; prohibit people with histories of dangerous behavior from getting a concealed carry permit; require at least 15 hours of in-person training to receive a permit; and more. Will the new rules pass legal muster? Some experts are doubtful.
California DOJ details leak of gun owner info, says it affected up to six state-run databases. The office of Attorney General Rob Bonta acknowledged a broader exposure of private information than initially disclosed on Tuesday after it came to light that an updated Firearms Dashboard Portal had leaked the private data of state gun owners. Bonta’s office said the personal information, which was available “for less than 24 hours,” included names, dates of birth, gender, race, driver’s license numbers, addresses, and criminal histories for people who were granted or denied concealed carry permits between 2011 and 2021. Social Security and financial information were not disclosed, the AG’s Office said. It said the state’s Assault Weapon Registry, Handguns Certified for Sale, Dealer Record of Sale, Firearm Certificate Safety, and Gun Violence Restraining Order dashboards were also “impacted” and that the office was determining the extent to which personal information was exposed in those databases.
Feds arrest ex-Ohio National Guard member who allegedly made anti-Semitic threats. In a newly unsealed complaint, prosecutors levied several weapons charges against Thomas Develin related to making and selling ghost guns and possessing auto sears — devices that convert semiautomatics into fully automatic weapons. Develin regularly espoused anti-Semitic, white nationalist, racist, and misogynistic views on two online platforms, according to an affidavit supporting the criminal complaint. He was previously arrested for allegedly making numerous anti-Semitic statements and threats to shoot people while working for a security company that was contracted to protect synagogues and Jewish schools.
The Trace is hiring a community engagement reporter to work in Philadelphia, starting in the summer or fall of 2022. You’ll develop a strategy for making sure our journalism serves the needs of Philadelphians directly affected by gun violence and manage and sustain Up the Block, our community information hub in the city. We will accept applications until August 1. See more on the position here. [Note: This role is focused on community engagement reporting and is distinct from the local beat reporter we are also hiring in Philadelphia.]
8 — the number of mass shootings so far this week across the country, according to Gun Violence Archive. Incidents include eight people shot, one fatally, in Sutherlin, Virginia; seven people shot in Tacoma, Washington; and seven people shot, one fatally, in Blakely, Georgia. [GVA]