Will Georgia’s Gun Laws Cost Atlanta the Democratic Convention?

Georgia’s permissive gun laws are costing Atlanta: Since a state appeals court upheld last year that organizers of private events cannot ban guns on public lands, at least three music festivals have been canceled or relocated to private venues over safety concerns. Well, as the New York Times reported last week, the laws could also ruin the city’s bid to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

Two members of the Democratic National Committee, who requested anonymity so they can speak freely, told The Trace they were concerned about the potential for political violence in Atlanta. Although guns are banned wherever the Secret Service is present — events involving current and former presidents and vice presidents supersede state law — many of the city’s proposed venues are barred from banning firearms under Georgian law. And recent attacks on Democratic officials in New Mexico and the husband of then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in California have raised concerns that gathering lawmakers in close proximity to illicit, untrained undercover porters could put them at risk.

“I think the laxity of the gun laws makes it really potentially dangerous to hold the convention there,” said one DNC member. “Just the fact that you have visitors who might come in and carry a gun.”

Another problem is the optics. Chicago is Atlanta’s main competitor, and Illinois recently passed a sweeping gun reform bill that drew national attention for including a ban on assault weapons. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, meanwhile, signed a permit-less law into law last year. One DNC member questioned the symbolism of rewarding a Republican-run state that systematically undermines gun laws with the DNC’s resources. “It’s important to look closely at what the party’s values ​​are trying to demonstrate,” said another. “If you don’t meet them, that’s a total disregard for what the Democratic Party is.”

At the end of the day, a DNC member asked, “What message is it sending?”

Jennifer Mascia and Chip Brownlee contributed to this report.

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What you should know this week

Roger Benitez, A gun-friendly US District Judge based in San Diego is under investigation for ordering a US Marshal to handcuff a 13-year-old girl during her father’s parole hearing to keep her from using drugs. A 9th Circuit judge is reviewing the allegations of misconduct. [Los Angeles Times]

Louisville, Kentucky Police Department was known for misconduct and brutality well before its officers killed Breonna Taylor in 2020. As the department awaits a scathing report from the Justice Department on its practices, many officials agree residents are right to question the institution’s authority. [The New York Times Magazine]

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a bill that would allow concealed carry license holders to bring their firearms onto campuses of public colleges. At a public hearing last month, nearly all of the 40 speakers opposed the bill, which is due to come into force in July 2024. [WV News/CBS News]

Michigan’s Attorney General said she was among officers who were attacked by a man who allegedly threatened to kill Jewish state government officials. The arrested man had three handguns registered with the State Police Department. [CNN]

An eighth grader from Texas who feared her school could be the target of a shooting, was suspended and assigned to an “alternative school” after suspicions that she was texting friends made their way to an administrator. The district eventually reversed its decision, but the girl’s mother says the harsh punishment made other students less likely to report threats. [The Dallas Morning News]

San Jose, California has no data on whether their estimated 52,000 gun owners have purchased liability insurance under a regulation since Jan. 1, nor has the city collected any of the annual “damage mitigation” fees the rule requires. [San Jose Inside]

Alerting About a “National Day of Hate” Organized by a tiny Iowa neo-Nazi group that is unlikely to turn violent or garner media attention, have anti-anti-Semitism organizations like the ADL inadvertently amplified a white racist message? [Jewish Currents]

In 1973, indigenous activists occupied the city of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in a 71-day standoff with the US government and other law enforcement agencies. The legacy of the siege that shed light on the Native American civil rights movement lives on 50 years later. [ICT]

prosecutors argue In cases of gun restrictions, racist laws from the 18th and 19th centuries have been cited as evidence of the primacy of firearms regulation. Legal scholars say the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision is to blame. [The Wall Street Journal]

For Rainbow Reload members, a gay and transgender shooting group in New Hampshire, their interest in guns is more than a hobby – they are preparing to defend themselves against hate groups. It’s one of several such clubs across the country. [NPR]

Chicago’s mayor is out and their top two challengers face a runoff. Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson both placed ahead of incumbent Lori Lightfoot and will face off in April. [Chicago Sun-Times]

1 in 3 victims of shootings in Baltimore So far this year, they have been high school age or younger, and the vast majority of these victims have been between the ages of 13 and 18. Many of these shootings happened near schools. [The Baltimore Banner]

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In memory

Charles Puckett Jr., 24, had “a heart of gold,” his loved ones recall. Puckett, known as “Lil Chuck,” was shot and killed while quitting his job at a grocery distribution center in Louisville, Kentucky last week. He was competitive and loved playing sports and video games. He was also a family man: a “mother’s boy through and through” and a devoted father of three small children, he became the day before his son Charles III’s third birthday. murdered. “He was a good natured person,” Puckett’s mother told local ABC affiliate. “He had a real light about him.”

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draw quote

“If I heard anything else that could be a threat, I honestly wouldn’t tell anyone.”

– A 13-year-old who reported an alleged school shooting and was severely punished, her mother told the Dallas Morning News