Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing: The first Second Amendment case of the Kavanaugh era could have major consequences for gun rights across the country. Miami prosecutors are considering a hate crime charge for a man who drew his gun on teenage anti-violence protesters. And a Colorado man was arrested after making online threats to kill women in a mass shooting.
Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here.
WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
The Supreme Court is taking up a gun rights case for the first time in nearly a decade. The court on Tuesday agreed to consider a case questioning the constitutionality of New York City’s strict rules for carrying legally owned guns outside the home. The petition is the first Second Amendment case the Supreme Court has agreed to hear since 2010, when it overturned long-held precedent by establishing an individual right to bear arms, and the first to be taken up by the court’s new conservative majority. Progressive legal scholars are concerned; other court-watchers think the justices may use the case to expand gun rights in a more “quirky and incremental” manner.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is looking into the Trump 2016 campaign’s ties to the NRA. Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg told CNN that he was asked about the campaign’s dealings with the National Rifle Association during a February 2018 interview. Nunberg said Mueller’s investigators asked about Trump’s 2015 speech at the group’s annual meeting, which took place just months before he announced his presidential bid, and despite Trump’s past apostasy on gun rights (he once backed an assault weapons ban). CNN reports that the special counsel’s team was still looking into the relationship between the campaign and the gun group as recently as last month.
Washington State lawmakers will consider four gun-related bills. The proposals submitted Monday include a ban on untraceable firearms, limitations on high-capacity magazines, and a bill to allow police to seize weapons during domestic violence calls. The gun reform organization behind the bills is calling this legislative session its most ambitious yet.
And three gun-related bills were introduced in Connecticut. The measures, all introduced by 22-year-old Democratic Senator Will Haskell, include a ban on “ghost guns” without serial numbers, a one-per-month limit on firearm purchases, and a bill requiring people to show their open-carry permit to police upon request. “The common theme in these bills is that they would each empower law enforcement officers to keep our communities safe,” Haskell said in a press release.
A bill in Maryland would expand gun restrictions to people on probation for stalking. Under current law, Marylanders who might otherwise be in jail for stalking charges are able to keep their weapons while on probation. The bill introduced Monday would expand prohibitions to these offenders. Its sponsors cite evidence that people convicted of stalking and domestic abuse are more likely to commit violent crimes.
Chicago protesters took to the streets to demand justice for Laquan McDonald. The Monday demonstrations followed last week’s news that the police officer who shot the 17-year-old 16 times in 2014 would spend 81 months in prison, and the three officers accused of participating in a cover-up were acquitted of all charges.
“Wheels Up, Guns Down” protesters in Miami were harassed by a man with a gun. The 51-year-old man was arrested Monday after a viral video showed him approaching the teenagers while holding a handgun and hurling racial slurs. Local news reports that the young men were blocking traffic as part of an annual “Wheels Up, Guns Down” day of action. The man is facing a felony charge of carrying a concealed firearm, and prosecutors say they are exploring an additional hate crime charge.
A Colorado man who threatened a mass shooting was arrested in Utah. Provo police say the man threatened to kill “as many girls as I see,” citing his virginity and constant rejections. “This is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter,” he wrote on Facebook. Police say they were concerned that the man might target a local Women’s March.
ONE LAST THING
The government shutdown is hindering federal gun investigations. In a report Tuesday, the FBI Agents Association details how the shutdown is slowing down its operations. According to the report, the bureau is not able to use government money to purchase equipment or to pay informants. During the shutdown, “operations that require using government funds to purchase narcotics or firearms from gang members…a method we use to get drugs and guns off the streets” have been put on hold.