Good morning, Bulletin readers. As happened in Virginia earlier this year, a special legislative session on guns in Wisconsin ended almost before it began. That story leads your Friday round-up.
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Lawmakers in Wisconsin ended a special session on guns with no debate. The GOP leaders of the state Assembly and Senate took just seconds to gavel in and gavel out a special session on guns convened by Democratic Governor Tony Evers. “There’s just not any momentum in the caucus to take up either one of the bills that the governor has offered,” Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said afterward. Evers’s bills would expand background checks and institute a red flag law. In a letter Thursday, he said the Republicans who control the legislature were “effectively ignoring the will of 80 percent of the people you and your colleagues represent.”
NEW from THE TRACE: The NRA’s donor base is steadfast — but aging. Despite leadership upheaval and revelations of financial mismanagement, the National Rifle Association can still draw support from a committed donor base: Its political action committee collected $9 million in the first nine months of this year, according to Federal Election Commission filings. In the same FEC reports, however, is an indicator that’s not so rosy for the NRA: This year, 56 percent of donors who reported their occupation or job status identified themselves as retired, up 16 percentage points from 2003, the first year for which complete records are available. Will Van Sant and Daniel Nass dig into the numbers.
Congressional Democrats push Trump to “confront America’s gun violence epidemic.” In a letter on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the president to “reaffirm your clear support for strengthening background checks,” reminding him that in August he said “we cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain.”
It may soon be easier for the government to export guns. This week marks the close of the interagency comment period for a rule change that would shift oversight of gun exports from the Commerce Department to the State Department. The policy could take effect by the end of this year. According to one estimate, the change could increase foreign gun sales by 20 percent. Alex Yablon reported in March that Commerce lacks the capability to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Most school attackers exhibited warning signs, according to a new review. The Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center looked at 41 incidents of deadly violence perpetrated by current or recent students at K-12 schools between 2008 and 2017. The report found that most perpetrators had a history of disciplinary actions or behavior that troubled others. Firearms, often obtained from the home, were the most common type of weapon used. Find the full report here.
Police probe Orinda mass shooting’s connection to 2015 killing. Police in California are looking into the possibility that the Halloween shooting in Orinda, which left five people dead, is linked to a quadruple homicide in San Francisco in 2015. Two Orinda victims have connections to the earlier shooting, and authorities are investigating whether the Halloween rampage was an act of retaliation.
So far this year, there have been 303 homicide victims in Philadelphia, the highest number since 2007. —Philadelphia Police Department