What To Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: ATF moves to revoke the license of gunmaker tied to Jimenez Arms. The bureau took the action against JA Industries, a Nevada-based gunmaker that declared bankruptcy and rebranded itself more than once in an attempt to sidestep lawsuits and investigations over its alleged unscrupulous business practices. The development was revealed in a March 30 letter by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is presiding over a lawsuit that seeks to strip the gunmaker of its license. The suit, filed in January 2021 by Illinois and Kansas City, Missouri, followed an investigation by The Trace and the Daily Beast that showed that the company, originally known as Jimenez Arms, had been repackaged to avoid lawsuits and regulatory scrutiny. Jennifer Mascia has more on the development and what it means.
GOP edges Democrats on gun policy. But support for gun restrictions finds a majority. A new Politico/Morning Consult survey of registered voters found that 45 percent trust Republicans in Congress to handle gun policy, compared to 38 percent trust in their Democratic counterparts, and 17 percent who were undecided. Still, a majority of respondents supported legislation that would further restrict gun ownership (29 percent considered it a top priority while 22 percent considered it an important but lower priority). Thirty percent said further restrictions “should not be done.”
Sandy Hook families reject Alex Jones settlement offer ahead of trials. On Tuesday, in one of four lawsuits accusing the far-right conspiracy theorist of spreading lies and misinformation, the families of Sandy Hook victims rejected Jones’ offer of $120,000 each. The plaintiffs called it an obvious attempt to “escape a public reckoning under oath with his deceitful, profit-driven campaign.” Jones lost all four defamation suits brought against him in Connecticut and Texas in relation to the 2012 school shooting. The first trials are set to begin next month and will determine how much Jones owes the plaintiffs. Related: A Connecticut judge said Jones would be fined between $25,000 to $50,000 per weekday until he appears for a deposition in the case after finding him in contempt of court for missing a previous date. “What kind of person calls a mass shooting a hoax?” Three years after Sandy Hook, The Trace took a look.
Smith & Wesson sues Hawaii over public records fees. The gun manufacturer is targeting the state Attorney General’s office over high-cost public records requests. Smith & Wesson filed three requests in 2020, including one asking for communication between the AG’s office and a coalition of local violence prevention groups. The fees, which total as much as $27,000, would cover hours of firearms records review and segregation, the office said.
A new research center for gun violence prevention. On Wednesday, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention & Policy and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence announced that they were merging to form the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. The new center will be co-led by Daniel Webster and Joshua Horwitz — who led the separate organizations — and is broadly focused on researching and advocating for public health approaches to gun violence reduction.