Good morning, Bulletin readers. Ackerman McQueen filed a countersuit against the NRA a day after the gun group accused its longtime PR firm of engineering a coup. Plus, researchers found further evidence of a link between concealed carry laws and increased violent crime. Those stories and more in your end-of-week wrap-up.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
The NRA and its longtime PR firm have escalated their legal feud. For the second time in two months, the National Rifle Association has brought suit against marketing firm Ackerman McQueen. This time, Ackerman is firing back. Less than 24 hours after the gun group filed a $40 million lawsuit accusing the Oklahoma-based company of using threats and targeted media leaks to pursue a “coup” against NRA boss Wayne LaPierre, Ackerman responded with a countersuit. Ackerman, which is seeking $50 million in damages, argues that the NRA’s allegations are bogus, and an effort to hide its own internal strife.
Right-to-carry laws are associated with an increase in state violent crime rates. States with “shall-issue” laws that compel law enforcement authorities to issue concealed handgun permits experienced a 13 to 15 percent rise in violent crime in the decade after the laws were adopted, according to an analysis published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Homicide and property crime rates appeared unaffected. Gun researcher Daniel Webster told BuzzFeed News the report was “the most rigorous of studies of right-to-carry laws to date.”
Nearly 80 percent of Illinois residents whose gun licenses have been revoked may still be armed. According to a Chicago Tribune analysis of newly released police data, 27,000 Illinois residents whose Firearm Owner’s Identification cards have been revoked in the last four years still have guns because police departments never confiscated them. Related: On Wednesday, our Brian Freskos wrote about legislation that would revamp the state’s gun licensing system.
A mass shooter’s father said he begged police to take his son’s guns. Emanuel Samson is on trial for a 2017 shooting at a Tennessee church that left one person dead and six others wounded. His dad said in court on Wednesday that he had called officers and asked them to take his son’s guns after the 27-year-old threatened suicide. “They said no, it was his sacred right and they cannot do it,” Vanansio Samson said, adding that if authorities had taken the guns, “this tragedy would not have happened.” Tennessee is one of 35 states that do not have a red flag law allowing guns to be removed from people who present a clear risk to themselves or others.
The ATF launched a new initiative to catch repeat gun offenders in Baltimore. The bureau launched the strategy on Monday by placing seven billboards throughout the city that advertise rewards of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest of felons and drug dealers who possess guns or use them to commit violent crimes. The billboards will run for the next two weeks and again during the Fourth of July.
Lawmakers in gun-friendly New Hampshire advanced a raft of gun control bills. The legislation, which cleared the state Senate on Thursday, would impose a three-day waiting period on all firearm purchases, require background checks on private gun sales, and prohibit the carrying of guns on school property.
A North Carolina teacher was arrested for threatening a school shooting. Kristen Michelle Thompson, a special needs teacher at an elementary school in Hillsborough, was charged on Tuesday with communicating a threat of mass violence. Police say she told three co-workers that she’d give them a coded message when she was about to shoot up the school. A judge banned her from possessing guns.
A 13-year-old led a gun violence protest in Philadelphia. Ryshee Shaw, who lost his father in a shooting when he was two weeks old, helped organize a march to City Hall on Tuesday against gun violence and mass incarceration. “I was so proud that a 13-year-old would stand up and take the initiative that people twice and three times his age don’t do,” his mother told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
High school students in Illinois held a die-in to draw attention to gun violence. Teens from Evanston Township High School say the demonstration was a response to both the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch and a lockdown following a shots-fired incident earlier this month.
ONE LAST THING
A grieving Miami mom gave two teen boys the prom her son never had. Sirena Saul’s son Isaiah Solomon would have been graduating from high school this year, but he died in a 2016 shooting. Saul reached out to a teacher at Miami Norland Senior High School with a proposal to honor her son ahead of the senior prom he should have been attending: She wanted to pay for two students who otherwise could not afford it. In addition to the ticket costs, she would buy them a suit and shoes and pay for a photographer. WLRN’s Nadege Green accompanied Saul as she went tuxedo shopping with Miami Nordland student Jason Lewis and Christian Namphy, who attends Miami Central Senior High School. When Namphy asked his mom which suit to get, she deferred to Saul. “She lost her baby forever,” Namphy’s mother said. “She can have this moment.”