What to Know Today

Half of U.S. states now allow permitless carry. An Alabama law authorizing eligible residents to carry a concealed handgun without a state permit went into effect on New Year’s Day, making it the 25th state to remove licensing requirements to carry firearms. While permitless carry does not mean that it is lawful to carry guns everywhere, this means that about one-third of Americans currently live in states with permitless carry laws on the books, according to HuffPost. Live fire: As The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia and Chip Brownlee reported, since early 2022 at least 32 states let people carry guns without learning how to shoot one.

Pennsylvania judge rules effort to impeach Philly DA doesn’t pass muster. Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler said last week that the articles of impeachment filed against Larry Krasner don’t meet the standard for “misbehavior in office,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, though it’s not yet clear how the decision will affect legislative proceedings to remove him from office. Republicans in the state Legislature have blamed the progressive district attorney for Philadelphia’s ongoing gun violence crisis. But while Krasner takes the flak, Mensah M. Dean reports for The Trace, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw is getting the benefit of the doubt.

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Elsewhere in Philadelphia: “There’s so much that could be done that hasn’t been done.” At 8:20 p.m. on October 24, 17-year-old Dominik Herrera was shot and wounded just outside his family’s home in the Mayfair neighborhood, less than half an hour after police had responded to a call from Herrera’s mother about an attack and threats she weathered from some neighbors. Herrera and his mother told Metro Philadelphia about the shooting, and how its aftermath led the family to leave the city.

How should law enforcement respond to heavily armed people in public? In states with weak gun restrictions, there’s no clear way for police and prosecutors to respond when a person openly brandishing firearms causes panic in a public space. After the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, The New York Times reports, the debate will likely get muddier.

Federal judge throws out challenge to D.C. Metro’s gun ban. The lawsuit, Law & Crime reports, lacked a basic argument: proof that the plaintiffs, or anyone else, had been personally affected by the statute. The challenge, from four D.C.-area residents, was part of a federal suit against legislation prohibiting carrying guns in a number of “sensitive places,” including public transit. 

ICYMI: Gun violence in 2022, by the numbers. Data can help us understand the contours of America’s gun violence crisis. In 2022, gun deaths remained at near-record levels — but it was also a banner year for firearms law, from Congress’s first gun reform law in decades to a landmark Supreme Court ruling expanding gun rights. Here are the numbers that stood out to us.

Data Point

6,125 — the number of children and teens who were injured or killed in shootings last year. That’s the most on record. [Gun Violence Archive via USA Today]