Good morning, Bulletin readers. Mass shootings on Sunday left at least five people dead and 16 others wounded. Plus, a breakdown on the broad legal protections enjoyed by gun businesses, which are now facing fresh challenges from a pair of lawsuits that are headed toward the critical discovery phase. Your Monday roundup begins below.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
There were at least four mass shootings on Sunday. Shortly after midnight, six people were shot following a party at a popular Salisbury, North Carolina, restaurant. Several of them are reportedly students at nearby Livingstone College. An hour later in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, five people were shot after a fight broke out at a banquet hall. At around 2 a.m., six people were shot, two fatally, inside a bar in Hartsville, South Carolina. At around 8 a.m., three members of a family were fatally shot and a fourth was wounded in a home invasion in Newburgh, New York. A 9-year-old boy is among the dead. Police believe the family knew the killer.
Loved ones of community gun violence victims are often traumatized a second time — by indifferent cops. Researchers from Berkeley Law’s International Human Rights Law Clinic studied family members of unsolved murder victims in Oakland, California, and report that they were subjected to “lackluster police responsiveness and often disrespectful and discriminatory treatment… and stigma and safety concerns that not only often go unaddressed but are exacerbated by the criminal justice system’s cramped approach to justice.” Explore unsolved shootings in your city: Here are the takeaways from our investigation of the decline in clearance rates for gun homicides and assaults in major cities, raw data from more than 50 local law enforcement agencies around the country, and a guide to filing public records requests for police data.
NEW from THE TRACE: A guide to the gun industry’s unique legal protections. Over the past 15 years, lawsuits against gun businesses have consistently crumbled, seldom making it to trial. The reason? The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, a 2005 federal law that gave the gun industry broad immunity from legal responsibility for harms inflicted by the weapons it produces and sells. But the recent progress of two ongoing lawsuits could point to cracks in that shield. What’s different about those cases? And what could they mean for other plaintiffs hoping to hold the firearms industry to account? Champe Barton has our explainer.
A security guard who shot two students while trying to intervene in a school shooting was sentenced to community service. The guard, a former Marine, wasn’t supposed to be armed when he fired in the direction of law enforcement officers responding to the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado last May. The bullets pierced the wall of a classroom and wounded two students. He won’t face criminal charges because Colorado law allows “deadly physical force” to be used if someone fears for their life.
Leading proponent of #ThisIsOurLane movement says he received a threat tied to gun rights rally. Dr. Joseph Sakran, a trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a gunshot survivor who advocates for stronger gun laws, wrote on Twitter that he found a drawing of a gun on his car last week with the caption “the end is near.” Sakran told The Baltimore Sun that he believes the timing coincided with the MLK Day gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia.
An Indiana preschooler was wrestling with his father when the man’s gun went off. The 4-year-old boy was roughhousing with his dad last weekend when the man’s gun fell from his waistband and discharged, striking them both in the head. The toddler died of his wounds on Thursday. The handgun, a Glock, is being tested to determined why it fired. No word on criminal charges.
A gun violence educator shares his story of Kobe Bryant’s kindness toward a Philadelphia shooting survivor. After news broke of the death of the 41-year-old former Lakers star on Sunday, Scott Charles, the trauma outreach coordinator for Temple University Hospital, posted a tribute: In 2007, Bryant, who was born in Philadelphia, invited gunshot survivor Chinika Perez and her family to a game. Bryant also bought the young mother — who lost her legs in a 2006 shooting — a wheelchair-accessible van. “To this day, the family still has the van,” Charles tweeted.
“In some East and West Oakland neighborhoods, less than one in three homicides resulted in an arrest during the last decade.” — Berkeley Law