What To Know Today
DOJ takes steps on two of Biden’s gun violence agenda promises. The Justice Department fulfilled two pledges announced in April by President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland. First, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives proposed a rule regulating pistol-stabilizing braces. The accessories, which can increase the accuracy of AR-style pistols, came under scrutiny after one was implicated in a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in March. Under the proposed rule, which will have a 90-day comment period, the ATF would regulate the items under the National Firearms Act and require federal registration. Secondly, the DOJ wrote a model legislation for states wanting to enact laws that allow judges to temporarily take guns away from people deemed a threat. “The Justice Department is determined to take concrete steps to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in our communities,” said Garland in a statement.
San Francisco DA spreads the word about the state’s red flag law. As we covered yesterday, a survey out of UC Davis found a majority (66 percent) of Californians were unaware of the state’s gun violence restraining order law, even though a majority — including a majority of gun owners — also indicated support for such orders. To overcome the awareness gap, the office of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin launched a new public information campaign in English, Spanish, and Chinese, calling the effort to teach people how to use the law “a critical component in keeping our community safe.” More from The Trace: The outreach evokes efforts by San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, who has become a national leader in using red flag orders.
After a record-setting 2020 dip, jail populations are creeping back up. That’s according to data from the Vera Institute of Justice first shared with The Marshall Project and the Associated Press. The number of people in county jails serving short sentences or awaiting trial dipped under 600,000 last year, amid pandemic lockdowns, for the first time since 2000. But after sharply dropping from 758,000 to 573,000, the numbers have gone back up to nearly 650,000, close to the pre-pandemic mark. That’s a notable divergence from the decline in people serving longer sentences in federal and state prisons, which currently stands at 1.2 million — the lowest level since 2000.
U.S. marshals fatally shot a Black Minneapolis resident last week. His family wants answers. Winston Boogie Smith, Jr., 32, died after members of a federal task force shot him while serving a search warrant on a gun charge. Smith’s family is demanding more transparency in the case, including releasing any video footage. But the state body investigating said such video doesn’t exist because local officers deputized as U.S. marshals aren’t allowed to wear body cameras. A February investigation by The Marshall Project found that U.S. marshals regularly shoot people at higher rates than police departments, and often face less accountability.
$100 million — the Justice Department’s budget request for “emerging domestic terrorism threats,” including beefing prosecutorial power for ongoing cases and hiring new agents and other positions targeting domestic terrorism. The total requested budget for all international and domestic terrorism is $1.6 billion. [HuffPost]