[JURIST] According to an FBI [official website] report [text, PDF] released Wednesday, the number of mass shootings in which a gunman wounds or kills multiple people has increased dramatically. The study focused on 160 active shooter incidents that occurred between 2000 and 2013, including the 2012 shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with the goal of compiling data to better prepare local law enforcement to respond to these incidents. According to the report, active shooter incidents are becoming more frequent: the first seven years show an average of 6.4 incidents annually while the last seven years show an average of 16.4 incidents annually. The incidents resulted in a total of 1,043 casualties, and in 21 of the 45 incidents where law enforcement had to engage the shooter, nine officers were killed and 28 were wounded. Special Agent Katherine Schewit, who heads the FBI’s Active Shooter Initiative, says that she hopes the study “demonstrates the need not only for enchanted preparation on the part of law enforcement and other first responders, but also for civilians to be engaged in discussions and training on decisions they’d have to make in an active shooter situation.”
Several states have enacted new gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, many of which have faced challenges and lawsuits from advocacy groups. In January a judge for the US District Court for the District of Connecticut upheld [JURIST report] the constitutionality of the statue’s new gun control law, while still acknowledging the Second Amendment [text] rights of gun owners. Last December the same federal court dismissed [JURIST report] a challenge to the law that was brought by the Connecticut-based firearms trade association National Shooting Sports Foundation. In January of last year New York enacted [JURIST report] a law aimed at restricting gun and ammunition sales, and the National Rifle Association denounced the new law and indicated at the time that it would pursue legal challenges. Connecticut’s new measure was signed [JURIST report] into law in April 2013 and is considered one of the most far-reaching gun-control laws in the country. The law added more than 100 new weapons to the list of banned assault firearms and creates the nation’s first database of dangerous weapon offenders. A day later Maryland also enacted [JURIST report] a new firearms law, imposing stricter requirements to obtain a license for certain types of firearms. In May 2013 Colorado County Sheriffs filed [JURIST report] a lawsuit against their state’s two new gun-control laws, also enacted early in 2013. Those laws also included magazine capacity limits and increased scrutiny over those purchasing firearms.