Good morning, Bulletin readers. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws that allow for temporarily disarming gun owners deemed to be a threat. But just having the law doesn’t mean it gets used, and a group of advocates in Illinois are hoping to set an example for how to effectively publicize the policy. That story leads your Friday round-up.
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NEW from THE TRACE: Inside the campaign to raise awareness of Illinois’s red flag law. Just 41 gun removal orders have been issued in the state since the law was enacted in January. As The Trace has reported, red flag law implementation varies widely by state, and many localities have been slow to use the tool. To address that, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence is conducted a months-long, statewide push to educate the public and law enforcement agencies. Activists in other states, hoping to bolster implementation of their own red flag laws, are taking note. Champe Barton has the story.
The New York AG and the NRA sparred in court over the gun group’s attempt to prevent a subpoena. Letitia James’s office is investigating the NRA’s tax-exempt status, and in July it subpoenaed former NRA PR firm Ackerman McQueen for records. In court Thursday, the NRA said because its relationship with Ackerman was so close, it has attorney-client privilege over the requested documents; a lawyer for James countered that the NRA was illegally threatening a lawsuit against Ackerman to prevent it from complying with the subpoena. The judge said she would issue a ruling at a later date on the state’s desire for an order forcing subpoena compliance.
Police arrested a suspect in the Texas homecoming party mass shooting. A witness told police that the suspect, 23, opened fire after a dice game at the gathering in the town of Greenville on Saturday. Two people were killed and six others were wounded in the incident.
An NBA player lost a second sister to gun violence. Keiosha Moore, 22, sister of New York Knicks player Reggie Bullock, was fatally shot in Baltimore on Monday. Five years ago, Bullock lost another sister, Mia Henderson, 26. “I failed as a brother to protect you from the harm of these streets,” a devastated Bullock wrote.
A law enforcement group recommended a protocol for reducing “suicide by cop.” Per The Washington Post, experts estimate that out of 1,000 fatal police shootings in the United States every year, approximately 100 are cases where an individual compels an officer into fatally shooting them. The Police Executive Research Forum this week released a new three-part protocol to guide a police officer in such a situation: 1) ensure your own and the public’s safety; 2) refrain from aiming a gun at a potentially suicidal person; 3) move away from a suspect and try to talk to them instead of shouting commands.
Two Texas jurisdictions are trying to keep guns from abusers. San Antonio on Wednesday unveiled a plan to curb domestic violence, which includes streamlining gun confiscation procedures. On Tuesday, Harris County, which includes Houston, expanded its gun surrender program to all of the county’s felony courts. The county is also implementing a five-day deadline for law enforcement to report criminal convictions to a state database and launching a task force to study gun violence.
The gun suicide rate among military veterans increased 33 percent between 2005 and 2017. —U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention