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No Second Amendment Cases for the Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 Term…Yet, CRS Legal Sidebar (October 23, 2014)

November 6, 2014 Comments off

No Second Amendment Cases for the Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 Term…Yet, CRS Legal Sidebar
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

As the Supreme Court begins its 2014-2015 Term, it appears that there will be no cases involving the Second Amendment on its docket. Commentators have observed that the Court appears to have become “gun shy” regarding this issue, given that it has not taken up a Second Amendment case since its landmark rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010. During the summer, the Court denied review in at least two cases challenging state firearms laws. One would have questioned whether it is permissible under the Second Amendment for New York City to require residents to pay $340 for a three-year residential handgun license, which they are required to have under state law in order to lawfully possess a handgun. The second would have questioned whether it is permissible under the Second Amendment for New Jersey to require applicants wishing to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun to show a “justifiable need.”

Had the Court granted review in either of these cases, it would have further fine-tuned the scope of the Second Amendment, which thus far protects an individual right to possess a firearm and the use of that firearm “in defense of hearth and home.” Despite the lack of guidance from the Supreme Court, there has been much activity in the lower courts, with several notable decisions issued this summer.

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PTSD Research Quarterly — Impact of Mass Shootings

October 28, 2014 Comments off

PTSD Research Quarterly — Impact of Mass Shootings (PDF)
Source: National Center for PTSD (VA)

Norris (2007) provided an excellent introduction to the literature on mass shootings. Our goal is to provide an update on this literature. Norris focused on individual, as well as broader community factors in examining responses to mass shootings. Our guide focuses solely on quantitative studies examining factors at the level of the individual that appear to be related to adjustment following a mass shooting.

Our definition of a mass shooting involves an individual (with few exceptions, a male), acting alone and with generally personal rather than political motivation, entering a densely populated space and shooting as many people as possible. In addition, while not required in the definition, the shooter typically takes, his or her, own life. Our guide to the literature proceeds chronologically, with an emphasis on studies that use longitudinal data.

Police Weapons in Selected Jurisdictions

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Police Weapons in Selected Jurisdictions
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report examines the weapons and equipment generally at the disposal of law enforcement officers in several countries around the world. It also provides, for each of these countries, a brief overview of the rules governing the use of weapons by law enforcement officers. Precise and reliable information on the weapons and equipment of some countries’ police forces was often difficult to find.

Suicide by Cop (2014)

October 10, 2014 Comments off

Suicide by Cop (2014) (PDF)
Source: American Association of Suicidology

Facts:

  • Often occurs because the individual has the intent to die, but doesn’t want to kill him/herself.
  • There are two victims of SbC: the suicidal subject, and the firing officer. Officers involved in SbC often suffer from emotional difficulties, and sometimes Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), following the incident.
  • When facing an armed individual, officers often do not know if the individual’s firearm is loaded or not, and must defend themselves in case it is.
  • A study using data from 1998 to 2006, found that among 707 officer involved shootings, 36% were attempted /completed suicide by cop; 51% of subjects were killed.

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.

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.
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