Featured Story

The Wyoming House passed legislation that would ban gun-free zones in public places, with few exceptions, and prevent local governments from creating their own rules for where guns can be carried. Two amendments created carve-outs: School districts would still be able to regulate concealed carry among their employees, though not among members of the public entering schools, and localities would still be able to prohibit open carrying in government facilities. [WyoFile]


In 1988, amid fears that the recently invented Glock handgun could bypass X-rays and metal detectors, Congress passed the Undetectable Firearms Act, which mandates that all firearms contain at least 3.7 ounces of metal to set off detection equipment, or be visible to airport security scanners. It’s been renewed three times since President Ronald Reagan signed it into law — but now, reports The Trace’s Alain Stephens, the measure’s reauthorization is uncertain

With the looming threat of mass shootings, ghost guns, and the rise in DIY gun-making technology, a small bipartisan group of lawmakers has kicked off an effort to reinstate the regulation. They don’t have much time: The law is set to expire this Friday.

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Gun Policy

The University of Maryland’s Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore sees at least 600 gunshot wound victims in a year. Treating them can cost thousands of dollars — and with many patients uninsured, lifesaving procedures often place a financial burden on families, the state, and its medical systems. 

The Maryland Legislature is considering a bill that would align the resources for these treatments “with the burden of the disease,” Dr. Thomas Scalea, head of trauma at Cowley, argued before a committee last month. The legislation would levy an 11 percent tax on the sales of firearms, ammunition, and gun accessories, with most of the revenue going to fund trauma services like those offered at Scalea’s center. 

Maryland isn’t alone in considering such a tax: Since California enacted a similar bill last year, lawmakers in seven states have introduced legislation to tax the gun industry to support hospitals, violence intervention and prevention programs, and services and compensation for victims of gun violence. The Trace’s Chip Brownlee has more.

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What to Know Today

Violent crime went down in the U.S. last year, preliminary data shows, but the decrease wasn’t evenly distributed. What might be behind the drop, and what does that suggest about crime in 2024? [Vital City

Republicans in the Arizona Legislature are advancing a bill that would expand the state’s Castle Doctrine to allow property owners to legally kill or threaten undocumented immigrants who cross their land. The legislation comes as a rancher in the state awaits trial on murder charges stemming from the shooting death of a migrant on his property. [NBC/Arizona Mirror

Gun ownership has historically been concentrated among white men. As polarization and fears about the future of the U.S. rise, that’s changing: Members of marginalized groups are picking up firearms, and challenging a gun culture that’s long been dominated by the right wing. [Washingtonian

After a school shooting in Perry, Iowa, hundreds of young people in the state demanded that lawmakers pass new measures to regulate firearms. There’s little indication that reforms are coming. [The American Prospect

The Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision upended firearm laws across the country. But the legal shift on the Second Amendment is extending far beyond guns, creating court battles over regulations on billy clubs, butterfly knives, and other weapons. [Los Angeles Times

In January, police in New York entered an apartment shared by two brothers and found a cache of guns, ammunition, body armor, threatening manifestos, and homemade bombs. Neighbors were shocked, though they said the family always seemed odd. How did they miss the warning signs? [Gothamist]

Data Point

25 percent — the drop in shootings in New York City in 2023. [Vital City]