Good morning, Bulletin readers. The federal crackdown against domestic abusers with guns lands fresh charges. New calculations provide another reminder that homicide = gun homicide in most cities. And Memorial Day weekend showed why the fight against community gun violence remains urgent. Your news roundup begins below.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Three Ohio men drew federal charges in a new joint initiative against domestic abusers with guns. The U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Ohio and the Columbus City Attorney on Tuesday announced the prosecutions, part of a coordination among the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, local police, and domestic violence victim services agencies. Context: In March, the Trace looked at how U.S. attorneys’ offices are increasingly using federal statutes against domestic abusers who unlawfully keep guns.
There were at least 10 multiple-casualty shootings in the U.S. over Memorial Day weekend, according to Gun Violence Archive. The incidents included fatal shootings in Trenton, New Jersey, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
One of the victims was the dean of students at a New Orleans charter school. Reginald Field of Andrew H. Wilson Charter School was killed outside a sports bar just after midnight on Saturday. The CEO of InspireNOLA, which operates the school, said he’s had the “troubling experience” of attending three students’ funerals this academic year. “Now I will be attending the funeral of a devoted staff member.” Five people were fatally shot in the city over the long weekend.
Ninety percent of killings in Philadelphia this year have been committed with guns. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said at a press conference on Tuesday that the ratio, about five percentage points higher than in recent years, was “alarming.” The department plans to deploy more officers this summer to combat gun violence. At least 131 people have been killed in the city since January.
President Trump nominated the leader of the nation’s largest police group to run the ATF. Charles Canterbury, longtime president of the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), was tapped on Friday to replace acting director Thomas Brandon, who retired last month. Canterbury has previously noted his strong support for gun rights, but at least one Second Amendment group — the National Association for Gun Rights — responded to the nomination by calling him an “anti-gunner.” That was due in part to the FOP’s support last year for a bipartisan criminal justice bill requiring the feds to alert state law enforcement if someone prohibited from gun possession tries to buy a firearm.
The Houston police chief said a bill that lets people carry guns without a license for a week after natural disasters “will embolden gang members.” Art Acevedo blasted the measure, which was passed by Texas state lawmakers on Sunday. He tweeted that it “wasn’t needed” after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 “and isn’t needed now.”
A California judge blocked a county from denying concealed carry licenses to green card holders. Three gun rights groups filed a lawsuit last October on behalf of a legal permanent resident who sought to reverse a Riverside County policy of “dissuading, discouraging, and preventing non-United States citizens from applying for a CCW license.” Last week, U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson issued a permanent injunction against the county east of Los Angeles.
ONE LAST THING
Akron, Ohio’s Gun Violence Reduction Team has seized more than 500 firearms in five years. In 2014, the Akron Police Department received a federal grant to launch a unit that works alongside narcotics officers to remove guns from the community. After the grant ran out, the department incorporated the cost into its annual budget. In addition to seizing guns during drug busts, the four-detective squad tracks social media accounts to find illegal gun possessors. “We recognize areas in the city that have a propensity for gun violence,” Lt. Jason Malick, who oversees the unit, told a local news outlet. “Our guys target the guys who are committing the crimes, so it’s not random.” Police said many of the retrieved firearms are test-fired and entered into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network where they can be connected to shootings in other cities and states.