What To Know

Promising early results for pioneering violence-reduction programs in Chicago. A group of academics has spent more than three years studying anti-violence groups like READI and CRED, which offer employment, education, and other resources to people at the highest risk of being victims and perpetrators of gun violence. WBEZ wrote on some of their initial findings. Gun victimization had dropped by about 50 percent among CRED participants, according to Andrew Papachristos, a Northwestern University sociologist. Meanwhile, people who have participated in READI have experienced an 80 percent reduction in arrests for homicides and shootings, according to Cornell professor Max Kapustin, who evaluated READI with the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab. Both experts said the key to maintaining and expanding such results is sustained funding. “We need to invest in infrastructure that is locally coordinated, that has the support of the city and the state and federal government,” Papachristos said.

Illinois declares gun violence a public health crisis, seeks $250M for community-led interventions. Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the move as part of his Reimagine Public Safety plan, which also creates a new state Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. He said he plans to fund part of this boost with $50 million in new spending from a mix of the state budget and federal stimulus dollars. The state plans to use that money to fund competitive grants that local violence prevention and youth development organizations can apply for. The governor will then seek $100 million in additional funding from the legislature in fiscal years 2023 and 2024. 

Federal judge greenlights private suit against the NRA over allegations it violated election law. Last month, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for D.C. ruled that the Federal Election Commission must determine within 30 days whether the gun group illegally used a network of shell companies to coordinate spending with the campaigns of former President Donald Trump and other Republican candidates. The ruling stems from a suit that the Campaign Legal Center and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence brought against the FEC for failing to take action on four complaints Giffords submitted alleging that the NRA violated the Federal Election Campaign Act. The FEC complaints were spurred by our reporting laying out evidence that the NRA and its vendors used apparent shell companies to evade rules prohibiting coordination between outside groups and the campaigns they support. Yesterday, Sullivan ruled that as a result of the FEC’s failure to act on his order, the plaintiffs’ could launch a civil campaign finance suit directly against the NRA “to remedy the violations involved in the original complaints.”

Texas abortion case has Kavanaugh asking: Could state restrictions on guns be next? During oral arguments yesterday, Justice Brett Kavanaugh pushed Texas’ solicitor general on whether the state’s new abortion law — which was designed to evade federal judicial review by deputizing private citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” abortions — would lead other states to create similar carve-out laws restricting other rights. “We can assume that this will be across the board, equally applicable as the Firearms Policy Coalition says, to all constitutional rights?” Kavanaugh asked, referencing the gun rights group who filed an amicus brief against the Texas abortion law.

Americans bought 1.55 million guns last month. That’s according to our updated analysis of FBI data. This seasonally adjusted figure includes about 960,000 handguns and 590,000 long guns (rifles and shotguns). Last month’s total was down 21 percent from October 2020. Even so, it’s still one of the 20 highest monthly totals since the current background check system launched in 1998.

Data Point

39 percent — the share of Americans who approve of the way President Joe Biden is handling gun violence, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll. Sixty percent disapproved. It’s not a huge change: In the outlets’ four previous polls during Biden’s presidency, his approval rating on the issue has hovered between 37 and 44 percent. [ABC News/Ipsos]