What to Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: Gas stations become a magnet for violence in Philadelphia. Since 2021, nine people have been killed at gas stations in the city, up from zero in 2018, 2019, and 2020, according to police. The slayings are a tiny fraction of the total number of homicides across Philadelphia — but new data from the Police Department shows that they’re part of a chilling trend, with universal consequences. Read the full report by The Trace’s Mensah M. Dean, published in partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer, here.

Oregon voters approved a strict gun measure. Some sheriffs say they won’t enforce it. Measure 114 — a ballot initiative mandating permit-to-purchase and banning the sale of high-capacity magazines, among other restrictions — narrowly passed last week, but its implementation still faces several hurdles. Lawmakers and police have to write regulations for issuing permits, and at least three sheriffs say they won’t enforce it. Gun rights groups are also preparing to mount legal challenges.

Federal judge says banning guns from domestic abusers is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge David Counts ruled that because precedent is “glaringly absent from the historical record” before 1994, people subject to a restraining order or with domestic violence convictions can’t be prohibited from possessing firearms. In September, Counts struck down a ban barring people under felony indictment from purchasing guns. “Before Bruen, the Second Amendment looked like an abandoned cabin in the woods,” the judge wrote. “Starting with the Federal Firearms Act in 1938, laws were passed with little — if any — consideration given to their constitutionality. That is, until the Supreme Court intervened.” The bar for obtaining a protective order is high, and restricting firearms from the subject of one isn’t automatic in many states — with deadly consequences. The Trace is tracking the fallout from the Bruen decision here

Grandmaster Jay sentenced to seven years in prison. Earlier this year, the leader of the Not Fucking Around Coalition was found guilty of “assaulting, resisting or impeding” officers for brandishing a firearm during a 2020 rally in Louisville, Kentucky. (The protest ended without incident.) He was sentenced last week. The NFAC, an armed group that says it’s dedicated to protecting Black lives from police brutality, exploded in popularity at the height of the 2020 protests. In online videos, Grandmaster Jay has called for his followers to meet police and white supremacist violence with violence. But, as Will Carless and The Trace’s Alain Stephens reported last year, the federal government’s case against the controversial leader follows a long-standing pattern of clampdowns on Black Americans who arm themselves.

Could the ad industry fix the gun crisis? An ad for preventing school shootings won an Emmy this year, the second time in three years that such an ad has won the award. The industry is trying to take a page out of the anti-smoking campaign playbook — but the gun violence prevention battle faces more challenges than the fight against Big Tobacco. There is no federal funding for a public health campaign targeting gun violence, and the movement has a messaging problem, Mac Scherwin argues in The Atlantic. In addition to going up against the NRA’s powerful lobby, the “gun violence prevention” name is itself clunky, and it’s difficult to talk about policy changes through advertisements.

Data Point

57 — the average number of women per month killed with a firearm by an intimate partner. [Center for American Progress]