Good morning, Bulletin readers. A new suit alleges negligence by an online ammunition dealer that previously fended off a similar challenge. That story leads your Friday roundup.
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An online dealer is accused of selling ammo to an underage school shooter. Everytown Law, which is representing families of victims of the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas, says in an amended civil suit that the 17-year-old perpetrator purchased ammunition from Tennessee-based Lucky Gunner. The complaint argues that the retailer should be held liable for not verifying his age, which was below the federal minimum. Lucky Gunner also sold ammunition to the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooter but fended off a suit brought by the family of one of the victims of that massacre. (Everytown Law is a division of Everytown for Gun Safety, which provides grants to The Trace through its nonpolitical arm. Here’s our list of major donors and our policy on editorial independence.)
Texas will poll 500,000 educators about preventing school shootings. The survey is part Governor Greg Abbott’s response to the Santa Fe shooting, which has so far focused on school hardening and mental health initiatives, rather than reducing gun access.
A gun violence research fund will underwrite a framework for studying how gun laws affect lawful owners. When the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research last year issued a first round of grants worth nearly $10 million, none of the money went to measuring how gun laws and programs harm or benefit firearm owners. The collaborative says that may be because no method for conducting such an evaluation exists. Now it’s launched a new competition for proposals laying out a framework for future studies of the repercussions of gun laws on gun owners.
Gun sales soared in Virginia for the fourth straight month. The state’s February total was up 63 percent over the same time last year, according to an analysis by a firearm industry trade association, and reflected a sharper jump than the nationwide rise posted last month. Booming gun sales in Virginia are attributed to buyers stocking up in anticipation of the new gun laws coming to the state.
A public awareness campaign’s message: put down the (pellet) guns. Officials in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are preparing for a city ordinance that will make it illegal for children under 16 to possess BB-guns and other lookalike firearms without adult supervision. ICYMI: Last year, The Trace’s Alain Stephens revealed that gun manufacturers cut lucrative licensing deals that allow toy companies to make replicas of their products. Since 2015, police have killed more than 150 people wielding them.
New murder stats released by Washington, D.C., Police Department serve as a reminder that people of color are disproportionately affected by American gun violence: 92 percent of homicide victims in the District last year were black. — NBC 4 Washington