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A panel of the 5th Circuit ruled that the ATF’s pistol brace regulation is likely illegal, finding that the agency finalized the measure without giving the public sufficient opportunity to comment on it. The case was sent back to a lower court in Texas to decide whether, or how broadly, to block enforcement. [Reuters/5th Circuit]

Context: The pistol brace rule, fiercely resisted by pro-gun groups and Republicans since it was introduced, requires owners of guns equipped with the device to register them with the ATF as short-barreled rifles.

From Our Team

Two years after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the formation of Atlanta’s first-ever Office of Violence Reduction, any hope among activists that the city was ready to invest in community-based solutions has all but evaporated. The office has been without a director for months, and it has yet to launch even its first initiative. Meanwhile, Atlanta has nearly doubled its pledge to Cop City, a controversial police training facility, and left taxpayers on the hook for a mammoth $67 million investment. 

The trajectory of the Office of Violence Reduction is “a pretty explicit example that politicians are good at using language,” said Dr. Mark Spencer, an Atlanta-based physician and advocate for nonpolicing alternatives to violence prevention, “but a majority of that funding was going to the police, anyway.” The Trace’s Fairriona Magee has the story, published in partnership with Capital B Atlanta.

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What to Know Today

The legal battle over whether ghost gun kits should be subject to federal background check and serial number laws has reached the Supreme Court’s “shadow docket,” matters that justices decide on an expedited basis, without a full briefing or oral arguments. [Vox] Context: The case concerns a Biden administration rule that went into effect on August 24 of last year. It only took days for ghost gun dealers to find a workaround.  

Pamela A. Smith, D.C.’s new chief of police, isn’t a typical pick for the District’s top cop: The “pistol-packin’ preacher,” as she bills herself, is relatively new to the force, with few connections to city leaders but a preternatural ability to stir a crowd. Amid a rise in shootings and carjackings, can Smith keep the city safe? [The Washington Post]

A federal jury unanimously voted to impose the death penalty on the shooter who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018. The massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue was the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history. [NBC/CNN

In San Francisco, the Police Department is short-staffed and the private security industry has been under scrutiny since a guard shot Banko Brown, a Black trans man who was experiencing homelessness when he was killed. To address public safety concerns, some local officials are floating the idea of bringing back “patrol specials,” private law enforcement agents who are licensed by the city. [The San Francisco Standard

A hospital in North St. Louis County is ending its trauma services next month, meaning that emergency workers will have to transport gunshot victims to the next-closest hospital, 10 miles away. Civil rights advocates and emergency workers say the move widens the gap between the health care that low-income and Black people receive, and the treatment that’s accessible in wealthier areas. [St. Louis Public Radio

A New Jersey program that pairs plainclothes cops and mental health workers to respond to mental health-related 911 calls expanded to Newark, the state’s largest city. The program is part of New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin’s goal to reduce the police’s use of force. [Gothamist


Why Don’t Restrictions on Guns Cover the Police?: Experts address a reader’s question on law enforcement exemptions in U.S. gun laws. (November 2022)