What to Know Today
Judge blocks Philly rec center gun ban. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s ban on firearms at recreation centers and playgrounds, delivered via executive order last week, was always likely to be challenged in court. It held up for less than a week, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, before a Common Pleas Court judge ruled that the city could not enforce the ban. Monday’s ruling stems from a lawsuit by a gun rights group; the suit cites Pennsylvania’s preemption rule, which prevents local governments from enacting gun laws stricter than the state’s.
SCOTUS declines to hear challenge to federal bump stock prohibition — again. On its first day back in session, the U.S. Supreme Court denied appeals by a gun lobbyist and gun rights groups challenging the Trump-era bump stock ban, Reuters reports. The court also declined to hear an appeal in 2020. The rule, which went into effect in 2019, was issued after police recovered 13 rifles outfitted with the devices from the hotel room of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooter. What are bump stocks? Bump-fire stocks, The Trace’s Miles Kohrman explained in 2017, harness the recoil of a semiautomatic firearm to fire several shots in succession, mimicking automatic gunfire.
Violence intervention program in D.C. marred by missteps, miscommunication. The “People of Promise” initiative was supposed to be a key pillar of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s effort to combat crime. Researchers identified more than 200 D.C. residents potentially at risk of involvement in gun violence. The program aimed to connect them with government services, but five months after its launch, a Washington Post investigation revealed, the district has yet to contact about half the list. In the meantime, two people have been killed, at least eight have been shot, and more than a dozen have been charged in connection with nonfatal shootings or other crimes.
In wake of child’s killing, Chicago activist wants officials to launch campaign to reduce road rage shootings. After a 3-year-old was fatally shot last week, the director of the gang mediation group Violence Interrupters said officials should distribute 100,000 flyers addressing the growing dangers of violent road rage. “We need to have millions of flyers out there,” Tio Hardiman told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We need to inundate motorists in Chicago with flyer after flyer after flyer. … We’ve got to work harder to reduce the levels of violent thinking here.” Are road rage shootings increasing? In May, The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia found that incidents involving armed motorists are far deadlier than they were five years ago.
Americans bought an estimated 1.34 million guns last month, according to our tracker that analyzes FBI data. This seasonally adjusted figure includes about 820,000 handguns and 520,000 long guns (rifles and shotguns). The total figure was down 9 percent from the previous September and down 3 percent from August of this year.
Jewish gun owners sue New York officials over new ban on guns in places of worship. The complaint argues that the New York law, enacted after the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision voided state concealed carry regulations, infringes upon both the Second Amendment and religious freedom, The Times of Israel reported. In 2021, the number of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. reached an all-time high, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The lawsuit lists several attacks on synagogues — including the 2018 Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh, the 2019 Poway shooting in California, and a hostage situation in Texas this year — as evidence that “houses of worship have long been targeted for violent crime.” But Brad Orsini, a senior adviser for a security organization for Jewish people, told The Times of Israel that arming congregants was the wrong idea: “We always talk about a layered holistic security approach, and the last thing you do is put an armed presence in there.”
13 — the number of people identified for D.C.’s “People of Promise” program who were killed before the program was announced. [The Washington Post]