Judges Strike Down California’s Under-21 Ban On Semiautomatic Rifle Sales

Saying it violated the constitutional rights of those aged 18 to 20 to bear arms, a panel from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overruled a lower court that allowed California’s ban on such sales to young adults to stand.

The New York Times: California Can’t Keep Semiautomatic Guns From Young Adults, Court Rules

An appeals court panel ruled on Wednesday that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to adults under the age of 21 violated the right to bear arms found in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Judge Ryan Nelson, writing for a two-to-one majority in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, struck down a ruling by a federal judge in San Diego that upheld what Judge Nelson called an “almost total ban on semiautomatic” rifles for young adults. (Thrush, 5/11)

Los Angeles Times: California’s Under-21 Sales Ban On Semiautomatic Rifles Overturned

Some gun control advocates have blamed the shift on Trump appointees taking seats in courts across the country and in California in recent years, a sentiment some shared Wednesday as well. “Trump judges continue to shred the Constitution,” state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) wrote on Twitter of the 9th Circuit decision. “The latest: 18 year olds have a ‘constitutional right’ to own mass killing machines.” (Rector, 5/11)

EdSource: Students From Across California Share Experiences With Campus Gun Violence

Since the Columbine school shooting in 1999, more than 292,000 students have faced gun violence in their schools. As of April 2022, there have been 23 school shootings in the US this year, according to Education Week’s school shooting tracker. With the recent introduction of California bills such as SB 906, requiring parents to disclose their possession of firearms at home, debates about whether states and schools are doing enough to keep their students and staff safe have only intensified. As California leads the nation in the number of mass shootings in the past 40 years, students, teachers and parents are seeking ways to ensure safety in schools. We asked students who have survived a school shooting or shooting threats about how those experiences have impacted them. (Torres, Tagami, Berny, Gutierrez, Verano, Blanco-Rico and Adams, 5/10)

In related news on gun violence —

NBC4 Washington: New Plan Lays Out Recommendations For Reducing Gun Violence In DC

In the face of a countrywide increase in violent crime, the nation’s capital is getting a new road map to reduce gun violence within its borders. Researchers say the District already has the resources to decrease the violence, but now its office of gun violence prevention has a detailed plan to use them in the most effective way. Written by the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, the Washington, DC Gun Violence Reduction Plan lays out over a dozen recommendations based on prevention, intervention and community transformation. (Morris, 5/11)

NBC News: Many Cities Are Putting Hopes In Violence Interrupters, But Few Understand Their Challenges

As calls for alternatives to intensify policing, several cities have set their sights on interruption of violence to solve the problems of gun violence and over-policing in communities of color — but many say they need more social and professional support to succeed in the job long term . … Over the last two years, lawmakers in Indianapolis; Savannah, Georgia; and Knoxville, Tennessee, have either started or expanded violence interruption programs — which aim to reduce gun violence through community-based mediation — and even the Justice Department said last year it would give $444 million in grants to support a wide variety of violence reduction efforts , including community-based violence intervention and prevention strategies. (Ali, 5/10)

In other news about suicide and mental health —

AP: North Carolina Sees Increase In Child Homicides, Suicides

The number of North Carolina children who died by either homicide or suicide has more than doubled over the past decade, and a report released this week shows homicide was the leading cause of death among children from age 1 to 17 in 2020. The state Child Fatality Task Force’s report said that in 2020, 92 children died as a result of homicide, making it the leading cause of death for that age group. It was the second-leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 4, news outlets reported. (5/11)

The Boston Globe: Advocates Renew Call For Suicide Prevention Barriers On RI Bridges After Latest Incident

A co-founder of Bridging the Gap for Healing and Safety, Bryan Ganley, said three people have jumped from the Newport Pell Bridge in the past three months. “Those three suicides show us there is a deficit in our ability to keep our people safe in this state,” he said. “There is something seriously wrong.” Ganley – a 40-year volunteer for The Samaritans of Rhode Island who has been advocating for suicide-prevention barriers on local bridges since a friend took his own life in the 1980s – called for state officials or the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to put up temporary barriers while they pursue a more permanent solution. (Fitzpatrick, 5/11)

Stat: Mental Health App Makers Brace For FDA To Tighten The Reins

In April 2020, as the horrors of the pandemic were beginning to unspool, the Food and Drug Administration announced an emergency policy giving companies wide berth to release apps to address a mental health crisis that experts feared would only get worse under lockdown. The policy was intended to aid people in need while relieving pressure on the health care system and FDA. But it was also a boon to emerging companies developing novel, software-based treatments — sometimes called digital therapeutics — for depression, ADHD, substance use, and other conditions. In the years since, they’ve been able to test drive their products in the real world without seeking FDA marketing authorization, which can require years of expensive clinical trials. Now, companies that took advantage of the freedom to advance their product pipelines are watching anxiously as FDA prepares to roll back the allowances. (Aguilar, 5/12)

The Baltimore Sun: Maryland Selling Spring Grove Hospital Campus In Catonsville To UMBC For $1; Facility To Shutter In Coming Years

The Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved the sale of the Spring Grove Hospital Center’s 175-acre campus in Catonsville to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for a nominal $1, despite concerns from mental health groups that the state lacks detailed plans to replace services provided by the centuries-old psychiatric facility. The university’s retiring president, Freeman A. Hrabowski III, told state officials that acquiring the sprawling property neighboring UMBC’s campus has been an ambition of his for three decades. Hrabowski said the university has no plans yet for the property, which it will lease back to the state for years to come. (Stole, 5/11)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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