What To Know Today
A Texas background check law to screen for mental health hospitalizations has omitted juveniles. In 2009, Texas passed a law that would require the state to report court-ordered mental health hospitalizations to the federal gun background check system. But a ProPublica and Texas Tribune investigation found that local courts have not been reporting records of juvenile inpatient mental health treatment to the state’s top law enforcement agency as required because of confusion over the statute’s language and how state agencies are interpreting and enforcing it. The revelation takes on added relevance after the enactment of federal legislation that gives the FBI up to 10 business days (compared to the current three) to investigate background checks for gun purchasers under 21 in order to search state databases for juvenile records that may be disqualifying. The current gap in Texas could mean federal investigators would miss many court-ordered juvenile commitments. More from The Trace: Chip Brownlee went deeper on how the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act enhances background checks for those under 21.
Parents open to discussing gun safety with their child’s pediatrician and changing gun storage practices. That’s according to a study by University of Pennsylvania researchers who surveyed parents on a program called Suicide and Accident Prevention Through Family Education that encourages pediatricians to talk to parents about keeping guns from kids. Eighty-four percent of parents said they would recommend such a program for others with kids and 75 percent said they trusted the advice of their pediatricians on gun safety. Of the nearly half of parents in the study who were gun owners, 64 percent said similar programs would lead them to change how they stored guns. “Our findings add to a growing evidence base that a nonjudgmental, empathetic, and collaborative approach to firearm storage counseling enhances acceptability and potential effectiveness for behavior change,” said lead author Katelin Hoskins.
Officer who brought civil rights case against Boston PD returns to lead the department. More than 25 years ago, former Boston police officer Michael Cox sued the department after colleagues beat him after mistaking him for a shooting suspect. Now, the 57-year-old, who is Black, is returning to become the commissioner of his hometown department after working the same job in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Cox has promised to diversify the department which has long fallen short of meeting such pledges. From The Trace: The experience of Marilyn Thompson, a Black police officer in Arkansas.
Baltimore Police officer arrested for selling drugs, information on murder case, and a ghost gun to outlaw bike gang. The feds arrested Steven Angelini, who has been suspended without pay since August 2020, and also accused him of selling an ammunition magazine and hollow-point ammunition to the Infamous Ryders Motorcycle Club. As an officer, Angelini accumulated a bevy of other complaints.
New York’s ban on assault weapons draws legal challenge. In federal court, the Firearms Policy Coalition argued that the state’s 2013 law violates the Second Amendment and that the SCOTUS Bruen decision changes the judicial test that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals previously used in upholding the ban. The challenge is one of a handful of others against state assault weapons bans and part of an expected flurry of challenges to gun laws after Bruen. Meanwhile, gun rights groups filed three lawsuits this week challenging how New York amended its public carry law after Bruen.
About half — the share of American gun owners who store their guns locked, according to the most up-to-date evidence. Another one-third store all their guns locked and unloaded. [RAND]