Daily Bulletin: Pandemic Gun Purchasers at a Heightened Risk for Suicide

Daily Bulletin: Pandemic Gun Purchasers at a Heightened Risk for Suicide

Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here. WHAT TO KNOW TODAY NEW from THE TRACE: Biden’s options for presidential action on gun violence. With control of the Senate hinging on the double-feature runoff in Georgia and Democrats positioned for a slim majority at best, party officials and advocates — as well as a collection of 85 gun reform organizations — are pressing the incoming Biden-Harris administration to take swift executive branch actions to curb gun violence. As my colleague Chip Brownlee breaks down, Biden does have significant power to direct agencies, launch rule-making processes, and appoint leadership around the agenda of strengthening gun restrictions and increasing resources for reducing shootings. Among the possibilities: cracking down on untraceable “ ghost guns ,” creating an interagency task force, banning the importation of assault weapons, and restructuring the ATF to enforce existing gun laws. You can read Chip’s explainer — which doubles as a scorecard for tracking Biden’s campaign promises on guns — here . Pandemic gun purchasers are more likely to have had suicidal thoughts. Researchers at Rutgers found that 69 percent of people who bought firearms amid this year’s historic gun sales surge had thought about ending their life, compared to 38 percent for non-gun owners and 37 percent for gun owners who didn’t purchase during the coronavirus crisis. “People who were motivated to purchase firearms during COVID-19 might have been driven by anxiety that leaves them vulnerable to suicidal ideation,” said Mike Anestis, the […]

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