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Gunman Opened Fire in Maryland, Severely Injuring Two People

A gunman shot and injured two people in Frederick, Maryland on Tuesday morning. The police have not identified the gunman publicly, but the US Navy reported that he was a Navy hospital corpsman. 

The gunman, a 38-year-old man, opened fire in a business at Riverside Tech Park, striking two men. The victims were in critical condition and are now receiving treatment at a hospital in Baltimore. 

As more COVID vaccines are administered and the country begins to open up, we have seen an uptick in shootings in public places. This tragedy follows the mass shootings in Boulder and Atlanta over the last few weeks. 

In an overwhelming majority of cases, men are the shooters. According to a report from Statistica, men were the shooters in 116 of the 121 mass shootings since 1982. 

The House of Representatives recently passed two bills in an attempt to curtail gun violence: HR8, sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson, and HR1446, sponsored by Rep. James Clyburn.

Under current law, the FBI has three days to complete background checks for gun buyers. If the FBI cannot meet that deadline, which often occurs because of high demand for guns, the seller can legally offer the buyer the gun. HR1446 extends this deadline to 10 days and allows for a 10 day grace period. 

HR8 addresses the loophole of unlicensed sellers, mandating that unlicensed and private sellers would need to conduct background checks as well.

If passed, these measures will likely have an immediate effect on gun purchasing. According to Everytown, about 10 percent of people who have bought guns on the marketplace (e.g. at gun shows, from friends), would not have passed a background check submitted by a licensed seller. According to Giffords Law Center, a gun control advocacy group, 22 percent of all guns are sold without background checks.

Sources: New York Times 4/6/21; CNN 4/6/21; Statistica 3/23/21; Vox 3/23/21

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