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News and notes on guns in America

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Daily Bulletin: Kentucky Is the 16th State to Eliminate Concealed Carry Permit Requirements

Good morning, Bulletin readers. You have probably heard that President Trump’s 2020 budget request includes another (doomed) call for money for a border wall. But we were more intrigued by another provision, concerning the ATF, which broadly echoes proposals for improving the agency put forward on the left. Read more about the plan, and the other news of note from the gun beat, below.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

NEW from THE TRACE: The Trump administration wants to take the A and T out of the ATF. The White House’s 2020 budget proposal would have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives give up its work regulating alcohol and tobacco, leaving the agency to focus on violent crime. Policymakers from across the ideological spectrum have argued that reconfiguring the ATF could make it more effective: In 2015, the Center for American Progress, a Democratic-aligned think tank, suggested merging the firearm and explosives divisions of the ATF into the FBI.

A bill in Congress would notify police when a person banned from having guns tries to buy one. The bipartisan proposal would require state law enforcement officials to be notified whenever a person barred from gun ownership fails a background check. The bill was first introduced during last year’s legislative session but failed to pass. From The Trace archives: As many as 160,000 people are denied a gun purchase each year after falsely stating on a background check form that they are allowed to possess firearms. Very few are arrested or charged.

Dick’s Sporting Goods will stop selling guns altogether at some of its stores. The retailer announced Tuesday that it would remove firearms from 125 of its locations, replacing them with sports gear and outdoor recreation equipment. After Parkland, the company stopped selling guns to people under 21 and removed all assault-style weapons from its shelves.

Kentucky just became the 16th state to allow gun owners to carry concealed firearms in public without training or a permit. Governor Matt Bevin on Monday signed into law an NRA-backed bill that scraps the licensing requirement for concealed carry. Lawmakers approved the measure earlier this month despite opposition from police, some gun owners, and an overwhelming majority of state residents. It will go into effect in July. More: Permitless carry, explained.

New Jersey will start releasing data on the manufacturers of guns used in crimes. Since last year, the state has been releasing monthly public reports showing the origins of New Jersey crime guns. (More than 80 percent come from outside the state.) On Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy announced that he would expand the GUNStat program to also include data on the manufacturers of the state’s crime weapons. “We cannot just name and shame those states whose lax laws allow the weapons to flow freely across state lines,” he told reporters. “We must also wake up the manufacturers.”

A bill in Florida would arm some paramedics. The proposal introduced by Republican Senator Ed Hooper would create a force of “SWAT medics” — armed paramedics and medical professionals who accompany police officers on high-risk operations, such as active shootings, drug raids, and hostage incidents. The medics would be required to obtain concealed carry licenses.

Chicago now has fewer “trauma deserts.” After the University of Chicago opened its trauma center last year, racial disparities in trauma care access fell significantly, a new study published in the journal JAMA Network Open found. Before the opening, about 73 percent of black Chicago neighborhoods were at least five miles from advanced trauma care. The share is now 31 percent.