What To Know Today

In fresh blow, a federal judge dismissed the NRA’s claims in a 2018 lawsuit against New York State leaders. The National Rifle Association had alleged that politically hostile officials tried to blacklist the gun group and coerce banks, insurers, and other businesses into shunning it. Officials had discriminated against the NRA because of its views on guns, the group charged, and violated its First Amendment rights. An early decision in the case allowed the First Amendment claims to proceed, and the NRA initially touted a victory, but setbacks followed. In Monday’s decision, Judge Thomas J. McAvoy found that Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state’s Department of Financial Services, having acted in their official capacities, were immune to the remaining free speech violation claims. The high-profile lawsuit had been a touchstone of NRA fundraising and messaging. — Will Van Sant, staff writer

FBI data from 2020 shows that homicides were up ~25 percent nationally. The preliminary numbers — the final tally will be released in September — echo previous estimates about last year’s rise in violent crime amid broader declines in other categories. The data showed killings rising between 15 and 35 percent in cities and counties of all population sizes. “A 25 percent increase in murder from 2019 would mean there were over 20,000 murders in the U.S. for the first time since 1995,” crime analyst Jeff Asher noted. Caveat: The FBI’s crime data is based on voluntary submissions, and the latest release includes reports from about 70 percent of 18,592 law enforcement agencies across the country. A number of big cities with huge shooting spikes last year — including Chicago, New Orleans, and New York — were not included.
New York City to pilot innovative violence interruption model. Advance Peace, a program that started in California in 2010 and has been linked to significant reductions in community violence, will launch in five precincts across the city’s boroughs in July, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams announced yesterday. Advance Peace provides resources — like education, job training, and counseling — to young people most at risk of being a perpetrator or victim of gun violence, and provides program participants with a stipend when they achieve specific goals. From the archives: In 2019, The Trace’s J. Brian Charles wrote about Fresno’s halting attempts to bring the model there. (The program finally got approval there last fall.)

Pennsylvania’s largest gun show promoter will no longer allow the sale of ghost gun kits. The state’s attorney general announced the agreement with Eagles Arms Productions and said it was the first gun show in the country to take such a step. Specifically, the action means that Eagle Arms gun shows will stop selling 80 percent lower receivers, a partially finished firearm that dozens of companies sell that makes it easy to assemble and build your own unserialized ghost gun. Pennsylvania’s announcement comes as ghost gun recoveries continue to rise nationally and locally — recoveries were up 152 percent in Philadelphia last year.

Ammon Bundy arrested after failing to appear in court. A judge issued a warrant for the anti-government ideologue’s arrest after he skipped the start of a trial for obstruction and trespassing during an Idaho special legislative session last year. Bundy and several family members rose to prominence as a result of two armed standoffs against government officials — once in 2014 on his family’s Nevada ranch, and again in 2016 when he helped occupy a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Data Point

60 percent — the share of mass shootings with four or more casualties in which the perpetrator had a history of — or was in the act of — domestic violence, according to an analysis from 2014 to 2019. On Sunday, a mass domestic shooting in Indianapolis left four people dead, including one child. [Bloomberg]