Good morning, Bulletin readers. With a new fight for universal background checks afoot in Washington, a Trace analysis shows that unregulated private sellers remain a problem. That story and more in your Monday morning roundup.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: Records show unlicensed gun sellers still rarely face penalties. A 2016 executive action by President Barack Obama was intended to crack down on people who “engage in the business” of selling firearms without a federal license, a loophole that allows unlicensed sellers to offload numerous weapons without running background checks. But the order did not stipulate a threshold at which a private seller must get licensed, making its implementation murky at best. An analysis by The Trace’s Sean Campbell reveals that there has been no increase in the relevant federal prosecutions. Prosecutions of other gun charges have jumped 50 percent, but those charges tend to target gun possessors rather than gun sellers. Read Sean’s full story here.
The governor of Florida removed the Broward County sheriff from office over his department’s handling of the Parkland shooting. Investigations into how Sheriff Scott Israel and his deputies acted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School showed that Israel had failed to discipline deputies who were slow to enter the school while shots were being fired. That hesitancy may have been in part due to lack of know-how: Despite responding to a mass-casualty shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport a year earlier, some deputies said they could not recall when they were last trained in active-shooter response.
South Dakota lawmakers pushing to allow concealed guns without a permit hope the third time’s the charm. The state’s former governor, a Republican, vetoed a permitless carry bill in 2017. Another try failed in 2018 under threat of a veto. But the new GOP governor indicated during her campaign that she’d support the measure, which was introduced in the state Legislature on Friday.
Meanwhile, Oregon lawmakers want to require that individuals obtain a permit before buying a gun. The measure is part of an omnibus gun safety bill that would also require background checks prior to purchasing ammunition, limit ammo purchases to 20 rounds per month (with exemption for ammo bought and used at shooting ranges), and ban magazines that hold more than five rounds. It also includes safe storage and theft reporting provisions. According to the bill’s cosponsor, the ideas were borne out of conversations with March for Our Lives activists last year.
At least four people were injured in two separate mall shootings over the weekend. On Friday evening, gunfire broke out in the food court of Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City. Two victims took themselves to the hospital for treatment. Police have not apprehended any suspects. Then on Sunday afternoon, a man and a woman were shot near an entrance to Fashion Place Mall in a suburb of Salt Lake City. No suspects have been detained in that incident, either.
ONE LAST THING
A passenger made it through TSA while carrying his gun — but it probably wasn’t because of the shutdown. While en route from Atlanta to Tokyo, the passenger notified the airline about the firearm and was met by Japanese authorities upon landing. Thousands of Americans bring their weapons to airport security checkpoints every year, usually because they forget they still have their guns with them. In 2017, the Transportation Security Administration seized 3,391 guns at airports, or more than nine per day. But occasionally, TSA misses something: A series of tests conducted by Homeland Security agents in 2015 found that airport security failed to detect hidden guns or fake explosives 95 percent of the time. The agency says its failure to spot the gun in Atlanta was not due to screeners calling in sick rather than work without pay during the government shutdown.