Newsletter: No Mass Shootings Thus Far in 2024

The Reload launched exactly three years ago today! I started this publication as an independent and informed outlet for gun journalism. In the time since, I think we’ve been able to deliver on our mission of providing sober, serious reporting and analysis.

Our stories have been cited in federal court rulings, on the floor of the Senate, and changed the course of presidential nominations.

None of that would have been possible without the support of our members, who provide the funding we need to pursue our unique brand of hard news reporting. We want to use this anniversary to recommit to providing the highest quality firearms journalism out there and exclusive access to our leading analysis to our membership. AND we want to make it easier for our other subscribers to become members!

That’s why we’re doing an anniversary sale. Buy now to get 20% off your first year!

In other good news, the murder rate is dropping again this year. And America has yet to see a single mass shooting. Experts provide insight into what’s going on, and I try to answer, in a member exclusive, whether we’ll see fewer mass shootings this year than last.

We also got a new estimate for how many so-called large-capacity magazines are in circulation. And one of the NRA’s legal struggles has come to an end. Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman also looks at the outcome of two recent state-level hardware ban challenges to see how that strategy is working.

Plus, the National Journalism Center’s director joins the podcast to discuss our program training young reporters on writing about guns.

A Metropolitan Police Department cruiser parked in Washington, D.C.
A Metropolitan Police Department cruiser parked in Washington, D.C./ Stephen Gutowski

Mass Shootings Absent, Murder Down 20 Percent So Far in 2024
By Stephen Gutowski

Americans have yet to experience a mass shooting this year, and the overall murder rate has declined as well.

2024’s numbers represent the continuation of a positive downward trend in deadly violence that began in 2023. There has not been a mass shooting, defined by The Violence Project as four or more people killed in a single public incident unrelated to other criminal activity, since the Lewiston, Maine shooting in October–the only attack of that kind to happen after July 2023. Additionally, despite a historic drop in the murder rate last year, early 2024 has seen another 20 percent decline.

“[M]urder is down around 20 percent in 2024 in more than 180 cities with available data this year compared to a comparable timeframe last year (as of the moment of this piece’s publication),” Jeff Asher, a crime data analyst, wrote in a post examining early 2024 murder trends in the nation’s largest cities. “Murder is down 20.5 percent in 183 cities with available data through at least January, down 20.2 percent in 174 cities with data through at least February, and down 20.8 percent in 59 cities with data through at least March 20.”

Click here to read more.

Police inspect a crime scene
Police inspect a crime scene / Photo by Campbell Jensen on Unsplash

Analysis: Will 2024 See Fewer Mass Shootings? [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

There hasn’t been a mass shooting so far this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see fewer than in recent years.

As of April 18th, The Violence Project (VP) hasn’t identified any mass shootings in 2024. That means there haven’t been any public shootings unrelated to gang or criminal activity where four or more people were killed.

It comes as preliminary data shows the murder rate has continued to fall through the beginning of the year as well. The same is true for all of the broader definitions of mass shooting employed by the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

Everything shows a downward trend.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to read the rest. If not, take advantage of our anniversary sale and get exclusive access today!

A disclosure from an NRA fundraising letter
A disclosure from an NRA fundraising letter / Stephen Gutowski

NRA Foundation Settles DC Lawsuit
By Stephen Gutowski

The National Rifle Association’s charitable foundation has agreed to implement a series of reforms as part of a deal to end a lawsuit brought against it by Washington, D.C.

The NRA Foundation, the 501(c)(3) arm of the nation’s largest gun-rights group, signed on to a settlement with DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb (D.) on Wednesday. The group will have to adopt a conflict-of-interest policy, a board and officer compliance training program, and new standards for lending money or doing business with other NRA entities. It also agreed to limit loans to the NRA’s other operations to only charitable purposes in line with the group’s educational mission. However, it admitted no wrongdoing and avoided the more severe sanctions the AG initially sought to impose.

Click here to continue reading.

A man loads ammunition magazines during range day at SHOT Show 2022
A man loads ammunition magazines during range day at SHOT Show 2022 / Stephen Gutowski

Report: Americans Own 717 Million ‘Large Capacity’ Ammo Magazines
By Jake Fogleman

Around three out of every four detachable magazines sold over the last 30 years have been capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

That’s according to the Detachable Magazine Report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), an industry trade group, on Friday. It estimated 963.7 million rifle and pistol magazines entered the commercial market between 1990 and 2021. 717.9 million of those magazines, or 74 percent, can hold 11 or more rounds.

The report provides fresh insight into just how popular so-called large capacity magazines—typically defined by states that ban them as those capable of holding more than ten rounds—have become among American gun owners. It suggests they remain highly sought after despite the political controversy surrounding them. The report’s findings are also likely to factor into ongoing lawsuits challenging state magazine bans, as gun-rights advocates continue to argue magazines with a capacity of 11 or more rounds are “in common use” for lawful purposes–a standard the Supreme Court has used to strike down handgun bans.

Click here to read more.

Podcast: How the National Journalism Center and I Are Training New Reporters on Gun Politics
By Stephen Gutowski

This week, we’re doing something a bit different.

I’ve been working with the National Journalism Center for a long time. They have a great program to train up and coming reporters. And we’ve been doing a range day as part of that training in recent years.

So, the program’s director T. Becket Adams joined me on the show to discuss what our gun reporting lesson looks like. He also gave his assessment of how much of the media covers firearms, the problem with the approach, and the solution to it. Part of that solution, he said, includes real-world training on key issues in gun politics as well as on how guns function.

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the show is available on our YouTube channel.

This week’s news update is also available in audio or video. Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I discuss the ATF’s new rule casting a cloud over used gun sales, Tennesee putting school safety training in schools, and much more.

A collection of magazines on display at the 2023 NRA Annual Meeting
A collection of magazines on display at the 2023 NRA Annual Meeting / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: State Court Rulings Against Hardware Bans Offer Bright Spot for Gun-Rights Activists [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

Two state courts in the Pacific Northwest gave gun-rights advocates some good news in challenges against magazine capacity restrictions this week. But is that sustainable?

On Friday, the Oregon Court of Appeals denied a request by the state’s attorney general to stay a lower court ruling declaring the state’s voter-approved ban on “large-capacity” magazines and permit requirement to purchase a firearm unconstitutional. It did so after finding that the gun-rights groups who challenged Measure 114 have “a legitimate likelihood of success on the merits” in the appeals process and that preventing the state from enforcing the measure merely preserves the status quo.

“Although the court acknowledges that the measure itself is intended to address an issue of great importance to the public, the motion does not present a sufficient basis to conclude that there is a nonspeculative likelihood of harm that will occur during the pendency of the appeal in the absence of a stay,” the court wrote in Arnold v. Kotek.

Meanwhile, just a few days prior, a Cowlitz County judge in Washington struck down the Evergreen State’s version of the ban as unconstitutional under both the state and US constitutions.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to read more. If not, buy a membership today for exclusive access to this piece and hundreds of others!

Outside The Reload

Maine legislature passes trio of gun control measures as session ends | Maine Public | By Kevin Miller

Nevada Supreme Court upholds state’s ‘ghost gun’ ban as constitutional | The Nevada Independent | By Riley Snyder

Colorado House passes bill banning sale of so-called assault weapons. | The Colorado Sun | By Jesse Paul

Former ATF Official Slams New Rule on Gun Sales | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards

Iowa lawmakers vote to let teachers, school employees get permits to carry guns at school | Des Moines Register | By Stephen Gruber-Miller

‘Rust’ Armorer Sentenced to 18 Months for Shooting Death of Cinematographer | The Wall Street Journal | By Alyssa Lukpat

That’s it for this week in guns.

If you want to hear expert analysis of these stories and more, make sure you grab a Reload membership to get our exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

I’ll see you all next week.

Stephen Gutowski
The Reload

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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