Good morning, Bulletin readers. A potentially landmark lawsuit against a gunmaker will proceed after the Supreme Court decided not to intervene. The development could have big implications for a federal law that protects the gun industry from most liability. That story leads your mid-week roundup.
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SCOTUS declined to block a lawsuit against Remington brought by families of Sandy Hook victims. The gunmaker appealed to the nation’s highest court after the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in March that the suit against the company, which made the rifle used in the Newtown attack, could proceed. The lawsuit contends that Remington violated state law by irresponsibly marketing military weapons to civilians. The justices’ decision not to hear the case means that Remington may now be subject to discovery, potentially bringing company secrets into the public record. NEW from The Trace: See our updated explainer about the huge implications the case could have for the gun industry, which is currently shielded from most legal claims by a 2005 federal law.
Please remember to check out FIRSTHAND: Gun Violence in Chicago, our new six-part partnership with WTTW, the city’s PBS station. Last night, Chicago gun violence prevention activists whose stories were featured in the series gathered at a Kennedy-King College panel discussion. Our Brian Freskos listened in. “The better the South and West Sides are, the better the city is going to be,” Vaughn Bryant of CP4P, an alliance of outreach groups in Chicago, said during the discussion. Here’s Brian’s deep dive into the anti-violence agenda of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
About 200 people are injured by gunfire every day in America. The new estimate comes from a report by Everytown For Gun Safety, which analyzed 30 million discharge records from 950 hospitals and emergency rooms. That data is more comprehensive than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nonfatal injury estimates, which are derived from a survey of just 2 percent of American hospitals. (Everytown provides grants to The Trace through its nonpolitical arm. Here’s our list of major donors and our policy on editorial independence.) Previously from The Trace: The CDC removed 2016 and 2017 nonfatal gunshot injury estimates from its website after The Trace and FiveThirtyEight raised questions about their reliability. In response to our reporting, U.S. senators have been pressing the agency to fix its numbers.
The NRA retroactively approved celebrity board members’ big-ticket transactions. Among the transactions, which were revealed in board meeting minutes from April obtained by The Wall Street Journal, is nearly half a million dollars’ worth of collectible guns the actor Tom Selleck sold to the National Rifle Association in 2018. Selleck quit the group’s board of directors last year.
Judge rules that the Trump administration illegally allowed 3D-printed gun sharing. A federal judge concluded that the State Department didn’t give sufficient reason when in 2018 it overturned an Obama-era policy that blocked the company Defense Distributed from disseminating its online gun blueprints. “Given the agency’s prior position regarding the need to regulate 3D-printed firearms and the CAD files used to manufacture them, it must do more than simply announce a contrary position,” Judge Robert Lasnik wrote.
Colorado gun stores are still selling high-capacity magazines, despite a 2013 ban. 9News filmed gun store staffers selling the device’s disassembled components in order to circumvent the state’s prohibition on ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.
The University of Virginia discontinued its 21-gun salute. The school said the ceremonial gunfire, which has marked Veterans Day on the campus for more than a decade, might startle students and teachers. “Unfortunately with gun violence in the U.S., there was some concern that we would cause a panic if someone heard gunshots on grounds,” the UVA president said.
Chicago Police have failed to make an arrest in 85 percent of the violent crimes committed with guns that have taken place in the city since 2001. —The Trace’s Sarah Ryley, from FIRSTHAND: Gun Violence