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The Supreme Court agreed to consider whether the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can regulate ghost guns, firearms without serial numbers and made from kits that people can assemble themselves. The regulation, which took effect in 2022 and changed the definition of firearms to include unfinished parts, was struck down last year by a district judge in Texas. [ABC]

In Guns We Trust

The National Rifle Association was once a program-oriented organization, focusing on marksmanship, hunting, and gun safety, but over the last few decades it has mostly left that legacy behind. Today, the NRA typically calls to mind a powerful Second Amendment lobbying group, recently brought down by self-dealing and other shady business practices. So, what caused this transformation?

On the third episode of “Long Shadow: In Guns We Trust,” host Garrett Graff recounts the influence of Harlon Carter, former head of U.S. Border Patrol, who developed the NRA’s lobbying arm and erected a rapid-fire communications hub capable of getting mailings to members in record time. Then there’s Carter’s successor, superlobbyist Marion Hammer, whose three-decade influence over the Florida Legislature turned the Sunshine State into a pro-gun laboratory.

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What to Know Today

Gold bars worth $14.5 million, stolen last year from Toronto Pearson Airport in Canada, were traded for cash and used to buy guns in the U.S., according to Canadian law enforcement officials. The arrested suspects planned to smuggle the firearms into Canada to sell on the black market, where they can fetch 10 times their original price. [BBC]

A bill that would allow medical marijuana users in Pennsylvania to own firearms was introduced in the General Assembly last week. Pennsylvanians have been allowed to treat certain medical conditions with marijuana since 2016. [WETM]

Gun reform advocates gathered at the Illinois State Capitol last week in support of “Karina’s Bill,” proposed legislation to protect victims of domestic violence. The bill would require police to confiscate guns if a protection order also includes a “firearm remedy.” Karina Gonzalez’s husband, who at the time had an order of protection against him, allegedly shot and killed her last year. [Capital News Illinois]

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Jon Tester, called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase the number of full-time mental health care workers in rural parts of the country. Tester’s plea was partially in response to two veterans who shot and killed their mothers while struggling to get treatment at the same VA clinic. [ProPublica]


Dealers Are Already Skirting Biden’s Ghost Gun Rule: Less than a month after the ATF required serial numbers and background checks for “buy-build-shoot” kits, sellers have found a workaround. (Sept 2022)