Good morning, Bulletin readers. Fresh drama at the NRA saw the resignation of its chief lobbyist, right on the heels of its breakup with the marketing firm responsible for shaping the group’s bellicose image. Your Thursday briefing begins below.

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NEW from THE TRACE: Another day of turmoil at the NRA. In a letter, Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s chief executive, informed board members and staff that Chris Cox, the organization’s top lobbyist and second-ranking official, had “tendered his resignation.” Last week, Cox was suspended for his alleged role in an attempt to oust LaPierre during the NRA’s annual meeting. (Cox denies the accusation.) The news about Cox came less than 12 hours after the gun group announced it was dissolving its business relationship with Ackerman McQueen, resulting in the end of new programming for NRATV. Also yesterday: NPR reports that a Democratic congressman requested documents from LaPierre, launching yet another probe of the group’s nonprofit status. Tom Kutsch has our story.

Democratic presidential candidates joust for the gun reform mantle. At the first debate of the 2020 election cycle, several of the contenders grabbed the opportunity to voice their support for stronger national gun laws and other safety measures:

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren stressed that gun violence should be treated like “a national health emergency.”
  • Senator Cory Booker talked about living in a neighborhood where gun violence is routine and declared the issue personal for him. He pitched his plan for a federal permit-to-purchase system: “If you need a license to drive a car, you should need a license to buy and own a firearm.” Some observers declared Booker the winner of the gun control round of last night’s face-off. 
  • Representative Tim Ryan advocated for “trauma-based care in every school” to reduce the carnage of school shootings.
  • Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke pushed for an assault weapons ban and red flag laws, and praised young Parkland survivors for “making our democracy work.”
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar echoed that: “If we get bested by a bunch of 17-year-olds, it’s the best thing that ever happened.”
  • New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said that in order to stop shootings and get guns off the street “we have to have a very different relationship between our police and our community.” 

We’ll be following along again tonight as the second slate of Democratic candidates gets their turn at the lectern. Read more about their positions on guns in our guide to the Democratic field.

The city of Philadelphia is closing “nuisance” businesses to combat gun violence. A week after a woman was murdered in front of a strip of South Philly storefronts, city agencies issued violations and temporarily shuttered four of them on Tuesday. “The public drinking, gambling, things that may [occur] on the exterior of the store, it causes a lot of problems,” the City Council president said.

A Kansas City couple is suing the manufacturer of the gun that killed their son. Alvino and Beverly Crawford filed a negligence lawsuit against Jimenez Arms, the Nevada-based manufacturer of the gun used in the 2016 shooting of Alvino Dwight Crawford Jr. They say the company knowingly sold its guns to illegal traffickers who were not federally licensed dealers.

A California woman was arrested after her 12-year-old son killed his twin with an unsecured gun. She was charged with felony child cruelty after one of her boys found a gun in her bedroom and killed his brother with it in San Bernardino on Monday. No adults were home at the time.


At least one person is shot at work each day in the U.S. That stat opens a new series from NPR’s Marketplace examining gun violence in the workplace. In 2017, a total of 351 people were intentionally shot to death at work. Entire industries have sprung up around workplace gun violence, including active shooter insurance and workplace violence and trauma consultants.