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Study finds link between police shootings and illegal transportation laws

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Shootings by police rose 12.9% in 10 states that eased public transportation restrictions. That’s according to a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that looked at states that made it easier to carry firearms without a license between 2014 and 2020. Using data from the Gun Violence Archive , the authors compared the states to a group of 26 others that retained licensing requirements. “The trend for more states to allow civilians to carry concealed weapons without permits may influence the perceived threat of danger to law enforcement,” said Mitchell Doucette, lead author and affiliate researcher at the center, in a press release. “This could contribute to higher rates of fatal and non-fatal shootings involving officers.” Since the end of the study period, a large number of additional states have enacted unlicensed transportation laws, bringing the total number to 25.

US appeals court overturns California’s near-total ban on sales of semi-automatic shotguns to under-21s. In a 2-to-1 vote, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that the ban violated the Second Amendment, which “protects the right of young adults to own and bear arms, which includes the right to buy them”. The decision overturns a U.S. District Court judge’s ruling in defense of the 2019 state law. At the same time, the Ninth Circuit committee upheld the requirement that persons under the age of 21 year olds must obtain a hunting license to purchase a long gun. California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office said it is reviewing the decision. If he appeals, a full Ninth Circuit court panel could rehear the case, which could work in California’s favor. This happened recently when a bench panel of the same court reversed a decision of a three-judge panel and upheld California’s ban on high-capacity magazines.

New York City leaders are asking the ATF to revoke the FFL of a major ghost gun manufacturer. Polymer80, a Nevada-based company that sells ghost gun kits without serial numbers, is a major player in the profusion of homemade and untraceable firearms. He was also raided by ATF agents and faced a number of lawsuits and state subpoenas related to his alleged facilitation of the illegal firearms market. The company denies its activity is illegal, but the NYPD says approximately 90% of the ghost weapons it recovers include Polymer80 parts and a recent NBC News report showed that 1,722 of the 1,921 ghost weapons recovered by the LAPD last year were made from Polymer80 kits. New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Everytown for Gun Safety sent a letter to the ATF Acting Director requesting the company’s federal firearms license be revoked. Without renewal, Polymer80’s firearms license is set to expire in September. [Through its nonpolitical arm, Everytown provides grants to The Trace. You can find our donor transparency policy here, and our editorial independence policy here.]

Illinois Governor signs bill funding more “co-responsor” programs. The model pairs social workers with police responding to mental health calls and is part of the growing movement to remove cops from situations that often preceded violence. The pilot program will cover four cities in the state, not including Chicago, which has already implemented a similar program. Meanwhile, in Chicago: With shootings currently down from a year ago, the police chief on Wednesday called for more investment in community street outreach, education, employment, mental health and social services. drug treatment after two mass shootings in the south of the city.

Data point

$487 — the cost per resident of the Philadelphia Police Department in Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed budget for next year. When he took office in 2016, it was $26 less. [Philadelphia City Office of the Comptroller]