Good morning, Bulletin readers. Reporting from The Trace and FiveThirtyEight about the inaccuracy of the CDC’s gun injury data again has legislators demanding a better fix. That story leads your Tuesday roundup.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: The CDC’s explanation of inaccurate gun injury data “falls short,” Senators say. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and four Democratic colleagues sent a letter Friday to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to increase pressure on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve its estimates for nonfatal gun injuries. This latest missive follows reporting by The Trace and FiveThirtyEight, which showed that the CDC’s numbers have grown increasingly unreliable in recent years. Read the letter here.
Four NRA board members are demanding an independent investigation into reports of financial impropriety. In a letter sent Monday to the National Rifle Association’s president, secretary, and full board, the members called for the formation of an “Outside Independent Special Committee” to probe the self-dealing and excessive spending first revealed by our reporting. The four directors — Sean Maloney, Timothy Knight, Esther Schneider, and Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown — have all said they were removed from committee assignments over their calls for reform. They’re also pushing for an outside review of the millions paid to the gun group’s primary lawyer, William Brewer III.
An NRA donor issued letter grades to board members. It was the latest step in a campaign by benefactor David Dell’aquila to reform the NRA from within. The ratings mimic those the NRA gives to political candidates. Dell’aquila, who is organizing a financial boycott of the group, gave most NRA directors a C for their oversight performance. Last week, Dell’aquila told Alex Yablon that he moved to act publicly after NRA leadership rebuffed his private concerns.
A new study suggests that increased gun ownership has an impact on intimate partner homicide. Researchers at the University of Indianapolis said states with the highest rates of gun ownership had a 64.6 percent higher rate of fatal intimate partner shootings compared to states with lower gun ownership. According to the findings, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the increased risk does not appear to extend to other types of homicides.
A Defense Department report found that suicides are higher for gun-owning active-duty service members. Two-thirds of suicides among active-duty personnel in 2017 involved a firearm, a DOD report released last week found. The suicide rate among gun-owning veterans was also higher than that of non-gun-owning veterans.
The Democratic official responsible for issuing concealed gun licenses in Florida has reduced wait times. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who succeeded Republican and NRA ally Adam Putnam, said the processing time for a concealed gun permit now averages a single day, down from 50 before she took office six months ago. Putnam’s tenure was plagued by major lapses in the background check process, including 300 concealed carry permits that were issued, but later revoked.
Florida police used the state’s red flag law to disarm a man who threatened a workplace shooting. A 26-year-old man was served a risk protection order and voluntarily surrendered his AR-15 and multiple magazines after he was charged for texting a family member that he was thinking of “killing everyone then shooting myself” at a Steak ‘n Shake from which he was recently fired.
A San Diego man who threatened to “shoot up” a local Pride parade was linked to a series of bank robberies. Police traced threatening phone calls that were placed to parade organizers in July back to a man who was in possession of a semiautomatic pistol, a disguise, and a bag of cash. He is now accused of involvement in three robberies dating back to 2016.
ONE LAST THING
A Democratic candidate for state office in Florida lied about treating Pulse shooting victims. Elizabeth McCarthy, a Democratic contender for the Florida House of Representatives, claimed that she was working as an emergency room doctor during the 2016 shooting, and tearfully recounted stories of victims’ trauma. But her campaign fell apart in June after Florida Politics revealed that she wasn’t licensed to practice medicine in the state. Earlier this month, she admitted to investigators in the state Health Department that she had lied. “I wanted to be somebody in the community, and I’m sorry,” McCarthy said. Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf tweeted, “I don’t know why she lied and used our grief for her gain.”