Good morning, Bulletin readers. When we reported on the rise in road rage shootings two years ago, a Tennessee city topped the list. Now police there are taking action. Catch up on that development and more in your Monday news roundup.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: Former NYPD officer sues gunmaker over faulty handguns. Honor Defense is a Georgia company dogged by complaints about safety issues. Now the gunmaker has been taken to court by an ex-cop who claims one of its weapons malfunctioned and caused him serious injury. Honor Defense has repeatedly noted that its handguns meet industry standards for drop safety. Those standards, however, are not enforced by any federal entity. Alain Stephens has the story.
ICYMI: The NRA is discontinuing Carry Guard. After two years of state investigations and numerous lawsuits, the National Rifle Association has stopped offering its Carry Guard self-defense insurance products. The coverage drew the attention of regulators, most notably in New York, where firms are prohibited from providing insurance for criminal actions. Here’s more on the latest development for the NRA, which is struggling to reverse financial deficits.
Memphis is getting a task force to reduce road rage shootings. The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Operation Grizzly Bear is a six-week effort to quell highway violence. There have been more than 30 shootings on interstates around Memphis so far this year. Flashback: The city also had the highest total for roadway shootings when The Trace analyzed the sometimes deadly combination of angry drivers and firearms in 2017.
New York City police took down a gun smuggling ring. The Manhattan District Attorney said Friday that 10 people were arrested for selling more than 40 guns and 350 rounds of ammunition to undercover officers beginning last October. Several of the suspects are alleged members of the Trinitarios gang.
A program in Philadelphia aims to educate women on the dangers of straw purchasing. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is giving a $123,000 grant to Operation LIPSTICK, which will go toward educating women about the consequences of buying guns for people prohibited from purchasing firearms themselves because of their criminal records. Some 30,000 straw purchases are attempted in the United States each year, Shapiro claimed at the rollout. Women account for 80 percent of them.
A woman whose son was fatally shot by a serial killer is suing the store that sold the weapons. The mother of Johnny Coxie filed suit against Academy Sports and Outdoors in South Carolina, which sold 12 guns to an acquaintance of Todd Kohlhepp, who murdered at least seven people over a two-decade span. She’s arguing that the retailer should have known it was a straw purchase. Kohlhepp, a convicted felon, could not legally buy guns.
A Louisiana police officer threatened Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Facebook. An officer with the Gretna Police Department posted a story about the New York freshman congresswoman with the comment, “This vile idiot needs a round… and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve.” When shown the post by a reporter, the police chief said, “This will not go unchecked.”
ONE LAST THING
A Minnesota man was killed a block away from where his brother died nearly two years earlier. Gregory Hoskins, 37, was fatally shot in north Minneapolis early Sunday, July 21, just a block away from where his brother, Divittin Hoskins, 32, was killed on July 28, 2017. Gregory Hoskins, a father of three, worked for a construction company. “He was a nice person,” his nephew said. “He went to work and came home.” Police have made no arrests. Almost exactly two years earlier, Divittin Hoskins was ambushed and shot to death in front of his children, who were “hysterical,” police said at the time. The killer was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.