What To Know Today
San Jose is slow to implement its new gun insurance and fee mandate, stakeholders say. Last month, we reported on a first-of-its-kind ordinance requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance and pay a $25 “gun harm reduction fee,” though the insurance would only cover shootings that occur under a narrow and specific set of circumstances, providing little incentive for gun owners to adopt safer practices, experts told us. Now, San Jose Spotlight reports, the community leaders recruited to spearhead the nonprofit that will collect the fee — for spending on gun violence reduction measures — have only met once, in January, with no plans to meet again. Some members expressed confusion over the process and said they were waiting for direction from Mayor Sam Liccardo, while the Mayor’s Office said the nonprofit was separate from the city. “We’re just helping to facilitate it. The details fall back on the ones who are organizing,” a spokesperson said. The ordinance is set to take effect in August. — Jennifer Mascia, news writer
Companies linked to Alex Jones filed for bankruptcy eight days before his first Sandy Hook defamation trial. The conspiracy theory site InfoWars was among the assets put under Chapter 11 protections, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court filings in Texas. The bankruptcy move could temporarily halt looming cases brought by Sandy Hook families, in which juries will determine how much Jones is liable for after losing several defamation cases. InfoWars owes between $1 and $10 million, according to the filings, but families alleged in a suit last week that had Jones tried to shield millions of his assets from defamation cases. “None of Mr. Jones’ ridiculous tricks have worked in the past,” read a statement from a plaintiff’s lawyer. “This one will fare no better.”
LA officers fired live bullets and “less-lethal rounds” in several fatal instances. There have been at least eight cases in which officers simultaneously fired guns with live bullets and weapons intended to mitigate deadly danger, according to a Los Angeles Times review of nearly 50 LAPD shootings since 2020. The incidents led to five deaths and in no case was the victim armed with a gun. Less-lethal rounds are already dangerous: The weapons have been subject to numerous police brutality lawsuits and experts have warned against their use at demonstrations.
More states are investing in mental health resources for schools. In September, Chip Brownlee reported on how schools were spending more money on resources to help student well-being. While the connection between gun violence and mental health is murky, experts told us that supporting students’ mental health will help keep them safe. Pew’s Stateline reports that 38 states enacted nearly 100 laws last year to support mental well-being in K-12 schools. “That’s a huge increase in legislative activity,” one expert said. At least 16 states also now require K-12 teachers to take training classes to recognize mental health distress. Related: In January, we reported that youth gun suicide was on the rise in 2010s, particularly among children of color.
Ex-Ohio police chief, gun dealers plead guilty in machine-gun trafficking scheme. Dorian LaCourse, the former chief of police in the village of Addyston, Ohio, was indicted for using his position to illegally assist two federally licensed firearms dealers — who pleaded guilty last month — to obtain and resell about 200 fully automatic weapons in Indiana using false documents. LaCourse faces up to 15 years in prison.
0 — the number of arrests made in 160 mental health calls since a pilot crisis team began operating in Chicago in September, according to city data. Two teams operate with a social worker, paramedic, and officer in hopes of preventing unnecessary use of force and hospitalization. The teams operate during the week in just five of the city’s 77 community areas, but Chicago plans to expand the model and include teams without cops. [WBEZ]