The new van is equipped with state-of-the-art forensic equipment to examine the markings left behind on casings expelled from fired guns, which can be matched to a database of crime-scene casings. It will travel to places where law enforcement might not have the resources to analyze ballistic evidence.
Wendy and Kansas Lavarnia claimed that their 2-year-old son had grabbed a loaded 9-millimeter handgun, pointed it at his 9-year-old brother and pulled the trigger. But the parents have been charged with murder in Phoenix after an investigation suggested that they had taken time to clean up the shooting scene before seeking help.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will expand the use of Project Exile, a program to reduce gun violence that FBI Director James Comey helped start in Richmond two decades ago when he was a federal prosecutor there. “We’ve seen a priority that’s slipped away from firearms on the federal level,” Sessions told law enforcement officials. “Firearms prosecutions have gone down. This downward trend is going to end.”
Under a change pending in the legislature, the burden of proof would be shifted to prosecutors, and defendants would no longer have to present evidence to prove their claim of self-defense. Instead, prosecutors would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt — the highest legal standard — that the use of force was not justified.
Bill favored by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police department would provide higher sentences for repeat gun felons but it could save the state $62 million over 10 years because the measure also would ease penalties for some drug crimes.
One defendant was caught boasting about gun trafficking and mocking Virginia’s gun laws. “In Virginia, our laws are so little we can give guns away,” the man says. NYC prosecutor Eric Gonazalez says, “When you hear a trafficker boasting about the weak gun laws in Virginia, it is crystal clear that this needs to be addressed.”
Missouri gun store paid woman $2.2 million for selling her mentally ill daughter a gun that was used to kill her father, despite being warned it could happen. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says there are at least 10 similar civil cases pending, including in Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas.