Featured Story

On Friday night, police officers in Utica, New York, tackled, punched, and then shot and killed 13-year-old Nyah Mway, a recent middle school graduate who allegedly pointed a pellet gun at them. Officers said they believed Mway was wielding a real firearm, but later determined that he was holding a toy that closely resembled a Glock handgun. As The Trace’s Alain Stephens reported in 2019, police departments have long worried about officers’ ability to tell the difference between real guns and ultra-realistic replicas. To Mway’s family, however, the police narrative seemed to be “trying to criminalize him a lot more and trying to protect the police officers.” [Associated Press]

From The Trace

Amid a slew of landmark decisions, the Supreme Court recently overturned a 40-year-old legal precedent known as Chevron deference, which allowed federal regulators to broadly interpret ambiguous laws passed by Congress. The decision came last week, in a 6-3 opinion led by the conservative majority. The invalidation of Chevron could dilute the power of every agency in the executive branch — including the ATF, the bureau in charge of regulating firearms.

“The opinion will affect gun regulations like it’ll affect all agency regulations, and perhaps more,” a legal expert told The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia.

With the ruling, justices tasked the judiciary, rather than the experts and scientists working for the government, with deciding whether the implementation of federal laws is in line with Congress’ intent. In the ATF’s case, that means it’ll now be up to the courts, whose judges aren’t necessarily gun experts, to interpret federal statutes. In her latest story, Mascia explains how the decision could change the ATF’s rulemaking process — and how gun rights groups participated in the case.

Read more from The Trace →

What to Know Today

Mothers Keeping Boots on the Ground, a Detroit-based organization founded by three moms who lost their children to gun violence, acts as a liaison between crime victims’ families and the Police Department to address the gap in services for cold cases. The three met in 2023 in a homicide support group for grieving families and bonded over their frustrations, especially the lack of answers and communication from detectives. They now provide comfort and transparency to other families whose children’s killings remain unsolved. [Detroit Free Press]

José Alfaro was named the new executive director of Community Justice, a national nonprofit led by people of color that supports community-led gun violence prevention. Alfaro is the first Latino person to lead a national gun violence prevention organization. [NBC

On Thursday, a jury found a suburban Seattle police officer guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree assault for shooting and killing Jesse Sarey, who was homeless, outside a convenience store in 2019. This is the first conviction under a Washington state law that facilitates the prosecution of law enforcement officers for on-duty killings. [Associated Press] 

As West Virginia University works to balance a $45 million deficit, school officials estimate they’ll spend $1 million to implement the state’s new “campus carry” law. The measure, which took effect on Monday, requires public colleges to place gun storage cabinets on campuses — but legislators allocated no funding to install them. While only five WVU students have requested a locker, more than 300 employees have requested “No Deadly Weapon” signage for their offices. [West Virginia Watch

Alma Beauvais contributed to this section. 


The Mothers Holding Onto the Likenesses of Children Lost to Gun Violence: Five Chicago moms talk about how life-size cardboard cutouts have allowed them to continue motherhood — and create new memories — after losing a child. (May 2024)