Featured Story

U.S. Representative Tony Gonzales, a Republican whose sprawling Texas district includes Uvalde, is used to angering his colleagues: He has a centrist voting record and no qualms about criticizing fellow members of the GOP. But that hasn’t deterred party leadership from backing him against challenger Brandon Herrera in a primary runoff this month. Some Republicans fear that if Gonzales loses to Herrera, a pro-gun, Holocaust-mocking YouTuber who this week made a campaign stop with Kyle Rittenhouse, the rabble-rouser is likely to inflame party infighting, or they’ll lose the seat to a Democrat. [Politico/El Paso Matters]

Long Shadow: In Guns We Trust

In the 1990s, Congress approved two pieces of legislation that amounted to the first federal gun reform in the United States in 25 years. It started with the Brady Bill in 1993, which required licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks nationwide for the first time. Then, in 1994, President Bill Clinton signed a ban on assault weapons — focused on a set of guns including the AK-47, the Uzi, the Tec-9, and, notably, the AR-15 — into law as part of his crime bill.

But neither bill was ironclad. There were gaps in the Brady Bill, one of which — the “gun show loophole” — enabled the Columbine killers to get guns. Meanwhile, the federal assault weapon ban expired after a decade, and had the unintended consequence of making the guns more popular. 

In the fourth episode of “Long Shadow: In Guns We Trust” — a podcast produced by Long Lead and Campside Media in collaboration with The Trace, and distributed by PRX — Wall Street Journal reporter Cameron McWhirter and former NRA lobbyist Richard Feldman tell host Garrett Graff how a law intended to rid the streets of weapons designed for combat expired just in time for the the AR-15 to be rebranded as a gun that could protect America in its war on terror.

Listen, or read a transcript of this episode.

What to Know Today

New York lawmakers are considering legislation, introduced Tuesday, that would make it a felony for gun manufacturers and dealers to sell pistols that can be modified to fire like machine guns. State Senator Zellnor Myrie, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, said the proposal is a response to the growing use of attachments like auto sears. [The Wall Street Journal

Almost two-thirds of Louisiana voters believe Governor Jeff Landry and state lawmakers went too far in passing a measure to allow people 18 or older to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, according to a new poll. Support for requiring concealed carry permits ran across political, racial, and gender lines. [NOLA

Antonio Lee and Antonio Moore didn’t just share a name — the friends were similarly charismatic and ambitious, each leaving an impression in East Baltimore, where they grew up together. Both took steps to leave the struggles of their childhood behind, but only Moore moved forward; Lee was shot and killed last summer. Now, Moore wants to help young people exit the cycle of gun violence that took Lee’s life. [Associated Press]

After 16-year-old Seandell Holliday was shot and killed in Chicago’s Millennium Park in 2022, then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot expanded the city’s decades-old curfew for young people, and banned minors who don’t have an adult with them from entering the park after 6 p.m. between Thursday and Sunday. While the policy is set to resume later this month, it’s facing opposition from a park advisory council and sitting Mayor Brandon Johnson. [Block Club Chicago]


Young People Dream Up a Safer Summer in Chicago: After Mayor Lori Lightfoot expanded the citywide curfew in response to a shooting, teenagers spoke about Chicago’s gun violence crisis and their relationship to the city. (June 2022)