Featured Story

The University of Texas at Austin claimed that pro-Palestinian demonstrators brought “guns, buckets of large rocks, bricks, steel-enforced wood planks, mallets and chains” to a recent protest on campus, but the county prosecutor said her office hasn’t seen a single weapons charge. Campus police plan to file “at least one” felony charge for gun possession, the university said Friday, but it declined to comment on when the charge would be filed. Meanwhile, at Columbia University in New York, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office confirmed that a police officer fired his gun inside a building where students were demonstrating. [KUT/Austin American-Statesman/THE CITY]

Public Health

Black children and teens make up just 10 percent of the total youth population in rural communities, but they are disproportionately at risk of being killed by gunfire. That’s according to a new study analyzing youth deaths between 1999 and 2022 using the CDC Wonder database and led by researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Results showed that, since 2013, firearm deaths have quadrupled among Black rural children and teens, primarily because of a rise in homicides.

The findings push back on a predominant narrative of gun violence and homicide — a story that has, for decades, framed the issue as an urban plight disproportionately affecting Black communities in densely populated Northeastern and Midwestern cities. According to the analysis, firearm deaths among young Black people in rural areas are on par with, if not higher than, those in cities. In her latest story, The Trace’s Fairriona Magee shares more on the findings, how researchers approached the study, and what might have contributed to the rise.

Read more from The Trace →

What to Know Today

Americans bought an estimated 1.22 million guns in April 2024, according to an analysis of FBI data. That’s an 11 percent drop from April 2023. [The Trace]

American children are at high and increasing risk of losing a parent to a drug overdose or gunshot wound, according to a new analysis of publicly available vital and census data. Between 1999 and 2020, an estimated 1.19 million kids, defined as people under 18, had a parent die by drug poisoning or firearms in the U.S. [JAMA/CNN

Police in Wisconsin last week shot and killed a student who pointed a pellet rifle at officers outside a middle school last week, the state Justice Department announced Saturday. The school went into lockdown after an emergency call about a person carrying “what appeared to be a long gun.” No other children or educators were harmed. [CBS

In a rare finding of judicial misconduct, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, a San Diego-based judge with a history of ruling against gun regulations, was publicly reprimanded by a 9th Circuit panel for engaging in “abusive or harassing behavior” when he ordered a U.S. marshal to handcuff a defendant’s 13-year-old daughter during a hearing in February 2023. The panel also barred Benitez from accepting new criminal cases for three years. [San Francisco Chronicle/The San Diego Union-Tribune

ICYMI, via The Trace’s Weekly Briefing newsletter:

Anti-government and far-right extremists — many of whom are animated by gun rights — are using Facebook to recruit new members and coordinate local militia activity across the country; they are also advertising combat training and urging followers to prepare for “war.” Facebook bans paramilitary organizing, yet of the around 200 groups and profiles identified by reporting, most remain active on the platform. [WIRED

National Rifle Association members have elected a slate of reform-minded candidates to the group’s board of directors. Phillip Journey, Rocky Marshall, Jeffrey Knox, and Dennis Fusaro ran in opposition to the regime of recently departed CEO Wayne LaPierre. Several candidates viewed as LaPierre loyalists failed to win seats. The NRA has a 76-member board, so the bloc of avowed reformers remains relatively small. However, Journey, Marshall, and Knox were among the top vote-getters. “The members have spoken loud and clear,” said Journey, who expects a showdown over the direction of the organization at the group’s annual meeting later this month in Dallas. “Now the real work begins.” —Will Van Sant

Data Point

324 percent — the increase in gun-related incidents at K-12 schools in the U.S. in the decade ending in 2023. As of April 29, 111 incidents have occurred nationwide so far this year. [Axios]