Good morning, Bulletin readers. The dissolution of the NRA’s relationship with one of its largest contractors has led to a series of revelations about the gun group’s top executive. The latest concerns Wayne LaPierre’s participation in a form of big game hunting that has stirred international outcry. That story and more in your Thursday briefing.
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NEW from THE TRACE: Unaired NRATV episodes show Wayne LaPierre trying to shoot an elephant. An official bio depicts the group’s leader as “a skilled hunter, from Chesapeake waterfowl to African Cape buffalo,” an image meant to create kinship with the sportsmen who are one of the National Rifle Association’s key constituencies. But a recent court filing alleges that LaPierre wanted to keep one of his hunting exploits out of public view. According to the documents, LaPierre took part in an elephant hunt in Botswana that was filmed for the NRATV program “Under Wild Skies,” then later ordered that the episodes “not be aired.” Per the filing, the footage shows “LaPierre firing multiple gunshots at an elephant in Botswana while attempting to kill it.” The episodes also feature “LaPierre’s wife, Susan LaPierre, cutting off the elephant’s tail… holding the elephant tail in the air, and proclaiming ‘Victory!'” Will Van Sant has the story.
Gun policy has become a bigger voting issue for suburban women. A poll commissioned by the gun reform group Giffords found that 64 percent of the women surveyed in five battleground states — Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas — would never support a candidate who didn’t support universal background checks.
New Jersey announced $20 million in grants for hospital-based violence intervention. The funding will establish programs in nine hospitals throughout the state using dollars from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). The goal of hospital-based violence interventions is to offer services and resources to gunshot patients immediately after they are injured to prevent them from becoming re-involved in gun violence. “These programs change the current ‘treat-and-release’ policies,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.
New York City officials announce indictments over gun trafficking ring. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said that a city Parks Department employee obtained dozens of firearms in Georgia and trafficked them to New York City. He was arrested last week along with four others. From the archives: Our immersive narrative takes you inside a gun-running ring whose weapons wound up at multiple crime scenes before it got caught.
Interim Chicago police chief says community trust is essential in stemming gun violence. Charlie Beck, a 40-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, told the Chicago Bar Association about a program he oversaw in three of L.A.’s most violent housing projects that installed a team of officers there. “I told them, ‘I don’t care if you never arrest anybody,” Beck said. “‘How you are being measured is, how healthy is the community you are serving?’”
South Dakota is the 14th state to take up extreme risk protection orders this session. A GOP state senator there filed legislation this week that would authorize law enforcement to petition a court to remove guns from people who have a “high probability” of “causing injury or death” to themselves or others. Here are the states weighing similar bills.
Iowa teens stage school walkout after string of gun incidents. Following an armed robbery in their parking lot and the fatal shooting of a student from a nearby high school, outraged students in the city of Cedar Rapids organized a demonstration where they handed out voter registration forms. “This is a fight so that school can once again become about learning,” said one of the students.
The gun reform group Everytown for Gun Safety announced this week that it will spend $60 million on the 2020 election cycle. Brady plans to spend $3.5 million. The NRA hasn’t yet announced its own 2020 pledges, but spent $30.3 million supporting Donald Trump and $54.4 million overall in the 2016 cycle. [The Hill]