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FBI Releases Study on Active Shooter Incidents – Covers 2000-2013 Time Frame

September 26, 2014 Comments off

FBI Releases Study on Active Shooter Incidents – Covers 2000-2013 Time Frame
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Today the FBI is releasing a study of 160 active shooter incidents that occurred between 2000 and 2013 throughout the U.S. The primary purpose of the study? To provide our law enforcement partners—normally the first responders on the scene of these dangerous and fast-moving events—with data that will help them to better prepare for and respond to these incidents, saving more lives and keeping themselves safer in the process.

But we believe the information contained in this study can benefit anyone who could potentially be in an active shooter situation—like emergency personnel, employees of retail corporations and other businesses, educators and students, government and military personnel, members of the general public, etc.—by giving them a better understanding of how these incidents play out.

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Analysis of Recent Mass Shootings, 2014

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Analysis of Recent Mass Shootings, 2014
Source: Everytown for Gun Safety

Using FBI data and media reports, Everytown for Gun Safety developed an analysis of mass shootings that took place between January 2009 and July 2014. The analysis found that there have been at least 110 mass shootings in this five and a half-year period.
The FBI defines a “mass shooting” as any incident where at least four people were murdered with a gun. Below are some of the report’s more surprising findings:

  • Mass shootings represent a small share of total US firearm homicides.
  • There is a strong connection between mass shooting incidents and domestic or family violence: at least 57% of mass shootings surveyed were related to domestic or family violence.
  • Perpetrators of mass shootings are generally older than perpetrators of gun violence in the US as a whole. While the median age of known overall gun murderers in the U.S. is 26, the median age of perpetrators of mass shootings was 34.

Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths
Source: Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Federal data from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that between 2007 and 2011, an average of 62 children age 14 and under were accidentally shot and killed each year.

But our analysis of publicly reported gun deaths, highlighted in “Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths,” shows that the federal data substantially undercount these deaths:

  • From December 2012 to December 2013, at least 100 children were killed in unintentional shootings — almost two each week, 61 percent higher than federal data reflect.
  • About two-thirds of these unintended deaths — 65 percent — took place in a home or vehicle that belonged to the victim’s family, most often with guns that were legally owned but not secured.
  • More than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them.

Assault Weapons Revisited: Policy Options for Regulating Rifles, Shotguns, and Other Firearms 20 Years After the Passage of the Assault Weapons Ban

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Assault Weapons Revisited: Policy Options for Regulating Rifles, Shotguns, and Other Firearms 20 Years After the Passage of the Assault Weapons Ban
Source: Center for American Progress

This report considers how gun laws have evolved to address different classes of firearms and looks more broadly at how federal and state laws treat rifles and shotguns differently than handguns and whether all of those distinctions continue to make sense. It also examines data on the changing nature of gun violence and the increasing use of long guns and assault rifles by criminals, with a focus on Pennsylvania as a case study.
Additionally, this report offers a new framework for regulating assault weapons and other special categories of guns that balances the desire of law-abiding gun owners to possess these guns with the need to protect public safety from their misuse in dangerous hands. These policies include:

  • Require background checks for all gun sales
  • Require dealers to report multiple sales of long guns
  • Equalize interstate sales of long guns and handguns
  • Require federal firearms licenses for individuals that manufacture guns using 3D printers
  • Bar possession and use of machine guns by individuals under the age of 16
  • Require a permit for possession of assault weapons

States with stand-your-ground laws have seen an increase in homicides, reports task force

September 4, 2014 Comments off

States with stand-your-ground laws have seen an increase in homicides, reports task force
Source: American Bar Association

“Stand your ground” laws hinder law enforcement, are applied inconsistently and disproportionately affect minorities.

Those were the main findings from the ABA National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws. In a preliminary report (PDF) that was officially unveiled during a Friday session at the ABA Annual Meeting, the task force found that states which have some form of stand-your-ground law have also seen increasing homicide rates.

The task force, which was co-chaired by Leigh-Ann Buchanan of Berger Singerman and Jack Middleton of McLane Graf Raulerson & Middleton, conducted its investigation throughout most of 2013. It also found that stand-your-ground laws carry an implicit bias against racial minorities. In terms of the laws’ effects, the task force found that there was widespread confusion amongst law enforcement personnel as to what actions were justified and what were not.

The task force recommended that states either repeal stand-your-ground laws or refuse to enact them. Additionally, it encouraged the ABA to adopt an educational initiative to provide accurate information about these laws, as well as to correct the misconception that these laws provide carte blanche for people to use deadly force in public areas.

“We’ve heard nothing good about stand-your-ground laws,” said Middleton. “In fact, the more you look at them, the more problems you find. It’s our hope that the ABA as a whole will take a position against these laws.”

CRS — Gun Control Legislation in the 113th Congress (August 1, 2014)

August 14, 2014 Comments off

Gun Control Legislation in the 113th Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center)

Congress has debated the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition, with strong advocates arguing for and against greater gun control. The mass shooting in Newtown, CT, along with other mass shootings in Aurora, CO, and Tucson, AZ, restarted the national gun control debate. The Senate had considered a range of legislative proposals, including several that President Barack Obama supports as part of his national gun violence reduction plan. The most salient of these proposals would (1) require background checks for intrastate firearms transfers between unlicensed persons at gun shows and nearly any other venue, otherwise known as the “universal background checks” proposal; (2) increase penalties for gun trafficking; and (3) reinstate and strengthen an expired federal ban on detachable ammunition magazines of over 10-round capacity and certain “military style” firearms commonly described as “semiautomatic assault weapons,” which are designed to accept such magazines.

CRS — Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief

May 19, 2014 Comments off

Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Firearms are one of the leading causes of deaths for law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the line of duty. Since FY1999, Congress has provided funding to state and local law enforcement agencies to help them purchase armor vests for their officers. The Matching Grant Program for Law Enforcement Armor Vests (hereinafter, “BPV program”) provides grants to state, local, and tribal governments to purchase armor vests for use by law enforcement officers and court officers. The BPV program was first authorized by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-181). It has been subsequently reauthorized four times. The most recent reauthorization expired in FY2012. Since FY1999, appropriations for the program have generally been between $25 million and $30 million, with the exception of FY2012 and FY2013, when appropriations were less than $23 million.

Congress is considering legislation that would reauthorize the BPV program. S. 933, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2013, would, among other things, reauthorize appropriations for the program at $15 million for FY2014 and FY2015 and $30 million per fiscal year for FY2016-FY2018.

Armor vests can only save lives when they are actually worn. Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that an increasing percentage of police departments and sheriffs’ offices have instituted “mandatory wear” policies. Several factors can affect whether a law enforcement officer will wear an armor vest. Safety concerns are the most significant, followed by whether the officer’s department has a mandatory wear policy. Comfort and fit are also a factor.

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