Columbus, Ohio, sees drop in homicides after two record years

What you need to know today

Columbus, Ohio, is seeing a respite from gun violence as leaders hope to sustain improvements. As of yesterday, 34 people were killed in homicides in the state capital, up from 62 at the same time last year. The decline comes after two consecutive years of record homicides, 82% of which involved a firearm in 2020, according to a study last month. In February, Mayor Andrew Ginther declared gun violence a public health crisis and The Despatch of Columbus highlights some of the changes the city is trying to make with this designation, including expanding the city’s support for community-focused interventions and a new effort to study public health policies that other cities use to reduce violence.

A black law enforcement group registers its support for ATF’s Marvin Richardson after he was demoted. Last week, the Biden administration announced it was hiring U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino as its new acting director, to succeed ATF veteran Richardson, who took office last year. In a letter obtained by The Reload, the Black Agents and Professionals Law Enforcement Association defended Richardson’s credentials, but did not openly criticize the Biden administration’s decision. The letter also appeared to push back against critics who said Richardson was too close to the gun industry. “His understanding of the relationship between the firearms and explosives industry did not have to be acrimonious,” the letter read. “It’s no surprise that industry leaders have backed him.”

The case of gun rights versus workplace gun laws. Twenty-four states have laws that prohibit private landowners from banning guns on land they own, and now Iowa lawmakers are considering their own version. Lawyer Ilya Somin argues in The Washington Post that the laws reflect an ill-conceived view of the Second Amendment, which only limits government action. “State laws requiring reluctant private landowners to allow guns on their land are both an affront to property rights and a violation of the Constitution,” he wrote. “Even staunch supporters of gun rights should oppose it.”

In New York, the lasting toll of gun violence on children. At least 40 teenagers and children have been shot this year, or about one in 10 victims. year, in which 138 young people were hit by bullets. “The past two years have been full of trauma,” said an art teacher in Brooklyn. The New York Times. “Students are put in a situation where I think years from now it’s going to continue to affect them.”

A new ghost gun rule is expected to be published today in the Federal Register. The ATF introduced its 364-page final rule two weeks ago, and its official release expected today means the rule will go into effect in 120 days – or August 24, 2022.

Data point

$135 million — the estimated total public funding for violence prevention programs in Chicago in 2022, according to a tally by anti-violence group Chicago CRED. By comparison, the Chicago Police Department’s budget is nearly $2 billion. [The Chicago-Sun Times]

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