Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s roundup: A new threat to the NRA’s finances, fresh money for gun violence prevention programs, and the end of a Democratic candidacy uniquely built on aggressive gun control. Let’s get to it.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
“It’s time to defund the NRA,” says popular gun rights website. In an editorial published Monday at The Truth About Guns, managing editor Dan Zimmerman wrote that Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s CEO, has “unquestionably become a liability” to the organization. Echoing the recent call from some prominent NRA donors, Zimmerman encouraged readers to hold off on donations to the NRA, citing reporting — including from The Trace — about how the gun group’s leaders have spent money inappropriately.
A glimmer of bipartisanship for Virginia’s special session on gun legislation? As lawmakers prepare to convene in Richmond today, Republican state Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. introduced a bill that would tighten gun restrictions at government buildings around the state and increase the penalty for violations. The announcement, though modest compared to the gun reforms Democrats and Governor Ralph Northam are seeking, goes further than other state GOP proposals, The Washington Post notes.
Community gun violence prevention programs get an infusion of public dollars. In St. Louis, the nonprofit Better Family Life was awarded more than $400,000 from Project Safe Neighborhoods and the regional crime commission. Among the many programs it operates, Better Family Life aims to help de-escalate conflicts that could result in gun violence. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam announced that localities can apply for up to $150,000 in grant money to prevent gun violence or study the issues contributing to it. CONTEXT: The Trace produced this guide to programs shown to be effective at preventing community gun violence.
NEW from THE TRACE: A presidential campaign built on gun reform comes to an end. California Congressman Eric Swalwell is the first Democratic contender to drop out of the 2020 presidential race. He made gun violence prevention policies the crux of his candidacy. Swalwell was the only candidate to propose a mandatory buyback for military style rifles, but his aggressiveness on gun reform wasn’t enough to distinguish him from a field that’s gung ho about advocating for stricter gun laws, as the Trace’s 2020 Democratic candidate guide shows. Alex Yablon has the story.
DA, NYPD clash over uptick in Brooklyn shootings. Shootings in one policing district of Brooklyn have increased 28 percent from last year, versus a 7.1 percent increase in the city overall. Terrence Monahan, the Chief of Department of the New York Police Department, said too many defendants are receiving lenient sentences; Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzales’s office argued too many shootings remain unsolved by detectives.
More gun dealers correlates with more domestic violence homicides. That’s according to a new study from two professors at Rutgers University-Camden that linked the number of firearm dealers in urban counties and the number of intimate partner homicides. The study, which will be published in the journal Preventive Medicine in September, did not observe this connection in rural counties, where the researchers noted that people are more likely to already own a gun. One theory the study offered for the urban connection is that greater access to legal firearms could make it easier for someone to buy a gun before they can cool off from an argument.
Trial begins for a 13-year old accused of attempting to shoot his teacher. On Monday, a jury began hearing the case of the Iowa middle schooler who was charged with attempted murder after bringing a loaded handgun into his classroom last year and allegedly pointing it at his teacher and fellow students.
ONE LAST THING
With so much gun violence in D.C., children don’t feel safe getting to school. A piece from The Washington Post looks at strategies families have employed to get their kids to school when they fear their commutes could put them at risk. The reporter, Perry Stein, writes that almost everyone interviewed for the piece knew someone who had been killed after school hours.