What To Know Today

Gunman killed after trying to attack FBI office appeared to call for violence on social media. On Thursday, a 42-year-old man wearing body armor and armed with an AR-15 rifle and a nail gun tried to breach a bureau field office in Cincinnati. Failing to do so, he fled the scene, engaged in a hourslong stand-off with police in which he exchanged gunfire with officers, and was later shot dead. Authorities were investigating the man’s potential ties to extremist groups like the Proud Boys. Meanwhile, social media accounts linked to him — including on Twitter and the Trump-founded Truth Social — had called for violence. After FBI agents raided the former president’s Mar-a-Lago property earlier this week, an account with the man’s name posted on Truth Social: “Kill the FBI on sight, and be ready to take down other active enemies of the people.” The account also posted a message acknowledging the failed attack afterward. As the event unfolded yesterday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said, “Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans.”

Washington, D.C., wins suit against ghost gun company Polymer80. In 2020, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed suit against the Nevada-based firearms manufacturer and distributor, alleging that Polymer80 illegally sold and advertised unserialized ghost guns to consumers in the city. A D.C. Superior Court judge this week ordered the company to pay $4 million in penalties and barred it from selling ghost guns and ghost gun kits to residents of the District. Since D.C. filed suit, a number of other cities and states have taken their own actions against the company over its alleged facilitation of the illegal gun market, including Baltimore — which recently announced a lawsuit similar to D.C.’s — and New York, which called on the ATF —  which had previously raided the company — to revoke the company’s federal firearms license. Police in thosecities and elsewhere say a big share of ghost gun recoveries include Polymer80 parts. 

California Legislature passes bill to fund violence prevention with Medicaid. Days after the Senate passed it, the state House approved a bill to allow community violence prevention programs and recovery services, like hospital-based violence intervention, to be a covered benefit under the state’s Medicaid program. The bill goes to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, who is expected to sign it. “With this legislation, California enlists a more equitable approach to care for survivors of violence, the majority of whom are Black and brown boys and men who have historically been overlooked and ignored by our health systems,” said Fatimah Loren Dreier, the executive director of the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention (HAVI).

More developments after Bruen. There have been further changes to state policies and new litigation and arguments in court since we published our tracker looking at how the SCOTUS case has rapidly shaken up gun laws. They include:

  • Colorado: The Boulder County Commissioners unanimously passed five gun ordinances, including a prohibition on the carrying of concealed guns in “sensitive public places,” including public buildings, daycares, medical facilities, and polling places. 
  • Massachusetts: Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill amending concealed carry laws to comply with Bruen, including language that removes “a reasonable exercise of discretion” on the part of licensing authorities. The bill also requires in-person interviews with licensing authorities and adds new categories of prohibited carriers.
  • New Jersey: The Highland Park Borough Council proposed prohibitions on concealed carry in public buildings, including schools, except by police. A final vote is set for September 6.

Another data point showing the concentration of urban violence. A WRAL analysis found that about a fifth of the nearly 400 shootings in Durham, North Carolina, so far this year occurred in one square mile. Moreover, the neighborhoods with the most gun violence that accounted for 16 percent of shootings comprised only 2 percent of the population. Those two neighborhoods included between 61 and 77 percent of residents under 18 living below the poverty line.

Data Point

5 — the number of states that now have a law allowing state Medicaid agencies to cover costs for violence intervention programs like hospital-based violence intervention programs, according to a tally from the HAVI, an association of HVIP programs. [The HAVI]