A Texas House committee advanced a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase some assault rifles from 18 to 21, sending it on to the full House just hours before a key deadline. The measure was championed by the families of victims of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting in Uvalde, who celebrated and sobbed in the state Capitol after the vote. [The Texas Tribune]
Context: After the funerals, Uvalde residents continued to pressure Texas officials to address gun access. It may become a fight that spans generations.
From Our Team
Politicians and news media coverage have fueled a widespread belief that gun violence is mostly isolated within cities. But shootings are a universal issue — and many rural Americans experience gun deaths at a higher rate than their big-city counterparts.
A new research letter, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association late last month, explores the pervasive nature of gun violence and which communities are affected the most. “I do think that what the data points out is that this is everybody’s problem,” Charles Branas, one of the letter’s authors, told The Trace’s Fairriona Magee, “and that we all need to get together on the issue if we really are going to make a difference.”
What to Know Today
School districts nationwide are spending millions on gun detection technology powered by artificial intelligence. But many vendors market misleading and ineffective products with little to no track record that they work. [The Intercept]
The man who killed eight people at a mall in Allen, Texas, over the weekend was a suspected neo-Nazi, according to two senior law enforcement officials. Federal agents are reviewing social media accounts associated with the shooter that contain hundreds of hate-based, violent extremist posts. [NBC]
Amid intensifying scrutiny toward the Los Angeles Police Department’s SWAT team, a whistleblower expanded allegations that the elite unit — which he characterized as the “SWAT Mafia” — has a culture of violence that’s led to excessive use of force and subsequent cover-ups. [Los Angeles Times]
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is poised to sign an extreme risk protection order, or red flag law. Some sheriffs say they won’t enforce it. [Associated Press] Context: The person accused of killing five people at a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs last year could have been the subject of a red flag order. It appears officials in the county, a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” may have chosen not to disarm the alleged shooter.
A little over three years after Texas passed a law mandating that schools establish threat assessment protocols and provide counseling to students of concern, only 10 percent of districts are fully in compliance. Many school officials appear unaware of the safety requirements. [Texas Observer]
The Air National Guardsman accused of leaking a trove of classified documents was fixated on mass shootings and shared false conspiracy theories that their perpetrators were “groomed” by the government, according to chat logs. [The New York Times]
Rhode Island artist Scott Lapham and his students create sculptures exploring American gun violence with a mold of a semiautomatic pistol. Lapham’s project, “One Gun Gone,” started with a glass sculpture — a transparent firearm that conveys the “fleetingness and the evanescence of life.” [ABC]
The school district for Flint, Michigan, banned backpacks through at least the end of the academic year amid rising concerns about campus shootings. Some experts are skeptical that such bans have any effect. [The New York Times]
More than $45 million — the amount that about 65 school districts across the country have spent buying or testing artificial intelligence-powered weapon detection systems. Much of that was funded by the public. [The Intercept]