Hello, readers. In today’s briefing: Colorado lawmakers introduce a new red flag bill as Delaware’s governor signs his state’s own version into law. Also, a new Level I trauma center opens on Chicago’s South Side, while a program in Philadelphia will tackle gun violence’s psychological scars.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Five semiautomatic weapons were seized from a self-proclaimed white supremacist in Vernon Hills, Illinois. The 19-year-old, who wore a shirt in support of a prominent hate group, was the target of a college campus threat assessment, following an anonymous tip. Police searched his home on April 12 and found the guns, along with rounds of ammunition, firearm magazines, and other accessories.
Colorado lawmakers introduced a red flag bill. The proposed legislation is named in honor of a county deputy who was shot and killed in 2017 by a man whose mental health issues were known to law enforcement. State Republicans say they anticipate the National Rifle Association will oppose the bill. Meanwhile: Governor John Carney of Delaware signed a red flag law in his state. The Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act will restrict gun access to people deemed a danger to themselves or others by mental health professionals.
New Jersey lawmakers are moving forward with a measure to raise the minimum age to purchase rifles and shotguns. The bill includes some exceptions, including for active-duty military, licensed hunters, and people involved in shooting competitions or training.
A push to get gun reform on the 2018 ballot is underway in Washington State.The initiative would set new guidelines for semiautomatic rifles, including expanded background checks, a waiting period, and a higher age requirement. It also includes a ban on bump stocks and a penalty for people who fail to secure their weapons from children and people prohibited from firearms.
Thousands of Minnesota gun owners staged a protest at the State Capitol this weekend. The protesters, some of them openly carrying guns, rallied against calls for new gun restrictions. “The Second Amendment affirms my God-given right of self-defense,” one NRA board member said in a speech. The demonstration came four days after a state lawmaker staged a sit-in for gun reform that failed to force votes on two stalled bills. Related: Second Amendment advocates gathered at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Monday for their 12th annual “Rally to Protect Your Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”
A man unintentionally shot his daughter at a Pennsylvania McDonald’s. Police say the man was adjusting his pants in a York City outpost of the fast food chain when he accidentally discharged his gun, wounding his 4-year-old daughter. Similar story, different dateline: Police say a woman in Jacksonville, Florida, was cleaning her gun on Sunday night when it discharged and hit her 14-year-old daughter.
The teens behind the National School Walkout plan their next steps. When The Trace talked to Lane Murdock, the 16-year-old Connecticut sophomore behind the nationwide student protests on April 20, she told us: “This is not the finale for us. It’s the launchpad.” Now, she and her fellow organizers are moving forward with plans for another “mass national engagement,” in Vice’s categorization (Murdock declined to share details), and a youth-led civic education campaign. “We’re trying to create a long-term strategy to get young people really, really involved,” she said, “and to demystify how politics move in the United States.”
A leader in trauma research and treatment is offering free therapy for Philadelphia students. A new program run by the Joseph J. Peters Institute will offer counseling to students who attend school in North Philadelphia neighborhoods with high rates of both gun violence and poverty.
DEBUT OF THE DAY
A new trauma center has opened on the South Side of Chicago. After years of community activism, the University of Chicago Medicine will open its new Level I trauma center today. For the past 30 years, patients critically injured by gunfire on Chicago’s South Side, an area with some of the highest rates of gun violence in the country, had to be transported to trauma centers as far as 10 miles away.
As The Trace’s Elizabeth Van Brocklin pointed out last week, researchers believe that the increasing number of shooting victims dying before they can receive treatment may be partly because of the distance some victims have to travel to the closest trauma center. A review from 2005 found that more than 30 percent of Americans did not have access to a Level I trauma center within 45 minutes.