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The Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in NRA v. Vullo, one of the major gun cases on the docket this session — though it isn’t directly about firearm regulation. At issue is whether a New York regulator violated the gun group’s free speech rights when she warned the state’s banks and financial services providers to consider the risks associated with providing services to the firearms industry. A majority of justices appeared likely to side with the NRA. [The New York Times/Reuters]


Even before Cherelle Parker was sworn in as Philadelphia’s 100th mayor, her critics and supporters were debating how she would make Philadelphia the “safest, cleanest, greenest” city in the country, as she promised during her campaign. 

Parker made her plan clearer last week in her first budget address to the City Council: The new mayor proposed a $6.29 billion budget, with police getting a lion’s share of the $150 million allocated for public safety. Expenditures include $45 million for a new forensics lab, $15 million for new police cars, $24 million for grants for community-based organizations’ victim advocate and anti-violence work, and an undetermined amount to hire 400 more police officers. The Trace’s Mensah M. Dean has the story.

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An independent commission investigating the October massacre in Lewiston, Maine — the deadliest mass shooting in state history — determined that the county Sheriff’s Department had cause to take the shooter into protective custody six weeks before the rampage, according to an interim report released Friday evening. The commission found that police relied on family members’ assurances that they would try to remove the shooter’s firearms instead of invoking Maine’s “yellow flag” law. [Maine Public

Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill that will fund annual training for teachers on defending classrooms from active threats and how to safely handle firearms in schools; teachers who take the training will be granted some liability protection if they use a gun on school grounds. Critics say the law — which builds on legislation enacted last year that waives concealed carry permit fees for educators — incentivizes teachers to carry guns in their classrooms. [The Guardian

North Carolina lawmakers earmarked $2 million in taxpayer funds for the Emerging Technology Institute, a company based in a small town that, on its face, promotes STEM education for kids. But ETI is also a well-connected defense contractor that offers military-style tactical training, including rifle and pistol marksmanship, and exercises against “emerging threats.” The company plans to use some of the state dollars for education, but a significant portion will go toward security equipment and other, unspecified uses. [NC Newsline

The Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision upended gun laws across the country, but the consequences of the ruling extend beyond the Second Amendment. In New York, the ruling was cited twice in February, in cases involving Fourth Amendment questions over probable cause for police stops and searches. [The New York Times

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb handed the firearms industry a win last week by signing a bill that apparently quashes the city of Gary’s 25-year-old lawsuit against a bevy of gunmakers. The law, which takes effect in July, retroactively bans the litigation and prevents other municipalities from filing similar suits. [Chicago Tribune]


How the NRA Helped Gunmakers Become Almost Impossible to Sue: In 1999, as the nation recovered from a decade of record homicides, more than 30 cities came together to hold major gun companies accountable. They faced a formidable foe — an NRA at the pinnacle of its power. (November 2023)