After the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, residents banded together to pressure state officials to address gun access. They focused on a measure many thought of as a compromise: raising the minimum age to buy an assault weapon from 18 to 21. Now, as the Legislature slowly kicks into gear, the lawmakers who represent them are trying to do just that.
The Democrats who have introduced “raise-the-age” legislation — state Senator Roland Gutierrez and state Representative Tracy King — know that their efforts are unlikely to fare well in a state that has consistently responded to mass shootings by loosening gun laws. Still, The Texas Tribune reports, they’re committed to trying.
“We’re not taking anybody’s guns away,” Gutierrez said. “We’re regulating guns for what I would argue are minors, just like we do alcohol, just like we do cigarettes in Texas.”
What to Know Today
One person was killed and three people were injured in a shooting at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas. The mall is less than half a mile from the Walmart where 23 people were killed in a 2019 mass shooting. [El Paso Matters]
The Michigan State shooter took a plea deal to reduce a felony weapons offense to a misdemeanor, the county prosecutor’s office announced. A felony conviction would have prevented him from legally purchasing a gun. [CNN]
The Justice Department is allocating more than $231 million of the funding it received from the bipartisan gun safety legislation passed last summer for states to administer red flag laws and other crisis intervention measures. [The Hill]
If he wins the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will likely position himself as the gun-friendliest candidate in recent memory. That gamble could cost him the general election. [Bloomberg]
Police killings account for an estimated 1 in 20 gun homicides in the U.S., and the numbers aren’t falling. [The Guardian]
Club Q, the queer nightclub in Colorado Springs where a gunman killed five people in November, says it will reopen in the fall with additional security measures. Many sites of mass shootings never reopen. [Them/The Washington Post]
At least three Democratic candidates for Philadelphia mayor have indicated that, if elected, they might try to divert gun-related criminal cases from District Attorney Larry Krasner to state or federal authorities. [The Philadelphia Inquirer] Context: Krasner campaigned on holding bad cops accountable — and his success has come at a political cost.
After the Pulse nightclub shooting, a Washington, D.C.-based artist began melting down guns and bullet casings and turning them into bells — instruments she says carry the sound of mourning. [NPR]
Mayor Eric Adams encouraged New York City principals to hold weekly meetings with police commanders following a rise in shootings near school property in recent months. Many schools canceled arts, sports, and mental health programs after Adams’ administration cut their budgets last year. [Gothamist]
The gunman who killed 10 Black people in a racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, last year was sentenced to life in prison without parole. [NBC News]
“Is NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ Crime Reduction Strategy Ignoring Lessons of the Past?”: Adams, who campaigned on public safety, is under pressure to reduce violent crime in New York. The steps he has taken so far, however, have left some concerned that the city hasn’t learned from its past battles. (June 21, 2022)
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