Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing: The gun industry’s “Trump slump” continued throughout 2018, despite the kind of reform push that used to goose sales. A Texas judge will allow a lawsuit to proceed against the store that sold the weapon used in the Sutherland Springs shooting. And the perpetrators of two multiple-victim shootings over the weekend were men angry at their ex-partners.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: Gun sales tumbled for the second year in a row in 2018, according to an analysis of background check totals by economist Jurgen Brauer. The drop in sales comes despite the Parkland shooting and sustained gun control activism that followed. In past years, similar factors have resulted in a wave of fear-based buying. Alex Yablon has more on last year’s numbers here.
A lawsuit against the gun seller in the Sutherland Springs shooting will move forward. The civil suit alleges that Academy Sports — which sold the assault-style rifle and accompanying high-capacity magazine used to kill 25 parishioners and injure 20 others in 2017 — is partially liable for the shooting because the gunman used his Colorado ID (where high-cap magazines are outlawed) for the purchase. In a letter Monday, a judge said that she would allow the suit to go to trial. Lawyers for the gun seller say they are protected by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a 2005 law that immunizes gun manufacturers and dealers from most negligence suits.
A Jewish congregation in Pittsburgh launched a new gun reform advocacy group. Months after they were targeted in the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history, members of the Dor Hadash congregation in Pittsburgh launched Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence, an advocacy group that will push for gun safety initiatives at the local, state, and national level. The socially progressive Dor Hadash was one of three Jewish congregations impacted by the massacre.
An Arkansas bill would expedite concealed carry licenses for domestic abuse survivors. The legislation would waive the training requirement for survivors who have petitioned for an order of protection and would give state police one day to approve or deny their temporary licenses. A domestic violence victims’ advocate is skeptical of the bill, saying that during such a stressful time, it’s hard to “have good judgment about life and death.”
A detective in Ohio was fatally shot after responding to a call from a suicidal man. Detective Bill Brewer and another officer were struck during the standoff on Saturday, and Brewer later died from his wounds. He leaves behind a wife and 5-year-old son.
Three people were shot in a Denny’s in upstate New York. Police say a 24-year-old opened fire in the diner early Sunday after a dispute with his ex-girlfriend, and appeared to be targeting her new lover. The handgun he used was legally owned, according to the county district attorney. All of the victims survived.
A Texas man shot three people and himself. Police found the bodies of a husband and wife at a Grand Prairie, Texas, home Saturday morning, along with two other people suffering from gunshot wounds. Police say the suspect and his wife, who both died, were in the process of separating. The two injured victims were at the home to help the woman pack up her belongings and move out.
ONE LAST THING
A gun rights payment processing site is contracting with alt-right social network Gab. Second Amendment Processing, an obscure Michigan company, will provide credit card processing for the extremist-friendly social network. Gab was dropped by the online payment company Stripe after it became public that the Pittsburgh synagogue gunman posted anti-Semitic rants on the website. In a statement last month, Gab recommended Second Amendment Processing “to any company with difficulty securing payment processing services for political reasons.”