In the late 2000s and early 2010s, officials from Remington Arms and its parent conglomerate Freedom Group pursued product-placement deals with video game companies to market their weapons to young people, according to internal emails and company records, and in 2009 signed a deal to put one of its rifles in an installment of the popular “Call of Duty” franchise. An undated Freedom Group memo described its video game marketing efforts as a “means for young potential shooters to come into contact with firearms and ammunition.” [The Wall Street Journal]
The Gun Machine
In America, the decision to buy a gun isn’t always about using it. For some people, it’s a political statement; for others, it’s a belief in something, whether that’s “Don’t trust the government,” “Society could crumble,” or just “Guns are fun.” But guns are also, pragmatically, tools of a trade — and one of those trades, explains The Trace’s Alain Stephens, is crime.
In the latest episode of The Gun Machine (a podcast from WBUR and The Trace), Stephens explores why gun crime in the U.S. has long outpaced other high-income countries, traveling from Prohibition-era San Antonio to present-day Springfield, Massachusetts, to take a closer look at the customers the firearms industry doesn’t want you to think about: criminals. Listen and download →
What to Know Today
The Supreme Court delivered another rebuke to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, lifting an injunction that barred the Biden administration from enforcing its 2022 ghost gun regulation — which requires manufacturers of the kits to comply with federal firearms laws — against two Texas-based companies. It was the second time in as many months that the high court blocked an O’Connor order on ghost gun regulation. [Reuters]
Murder and overall violent crime decreased in the U.S. last year, according to newly released FBI data, following historic spikes in 2020 and 2021 that were largely driven by gun violence. The bureau’s statistics also show that hate crimes rose for the fifth consecutive year in 2022, reaching the highest numbers on record. [The Washington Post/FBI]
California Attorney General Rob Bonta is expected to file a lawsuit against the city of Vallejo alleging that its Police Department — notorious for its high rates of fatal shootings and deeply flawed investigations of those killings — routinely violates people’s constitutional rights and must be reformed. The state Justice Department, which has been engaged in a years-long effort to help the city’s police implement reforms voluntarily, is also anticipated to place Vallejo under a “sweeping” and “comprehensive” consent decree. [Open Vallejo]
A Tennessee appeals panel heard arguments in the latest development of an unusual lawsuit over whether the writings of the shooter who carried out the deadly attack on the Covenant School in Nashville this year should be released to the public. The case before the panel, which will likely end up at the state Supreme Court, poses a complex legal question: What are crime victims’ rights, and who is a legitimate party to an open records case? [Associated Press]
It’s been four months since one person was killed and at least 22 others were injured in a mass shooting at a Juneteenth celebration in an unincorporated area near Willowbrook, Illinois. Residents say the county government’s response to the attack reinforced the feeling that they’re living in a “lost and forgotten community” — but now, there are signs that’s changing. [Chicago Tribune]
As More Politicians Lose Friends and Family to Gun Violence, Will It Change How They Govern?: The governor of Tennessee lost a friend to a shooting, joining the majority of Americans who have been affected by gun violence. He responded by signing an executive order.