Good morning, Bulletin readers. The Trace will be closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day, so your next daily briefing will arrive in your inbox on Tuesday. In the meantime, staff writer Will Van Sant will be monitoring the situation in Virginia.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
With risks of violence in Virginia, the FBI arrested three suspected members of a white supremacist hate group. “Although the charges were not directly linked to the Richmond rally, law enforcement officials said the three men had discussed attending” the anti-gun control demonstration scheduled for the Capitol on Monday, The New York Times reported. One of the men is a former reservist in the Canadian Army who is said to have entered the country illegally; another served as a soldier in the U.S. Army. Two of the three had built a “functioning assault rifle,” according to prosecutors. They were seen at a Maryland gun range firing the gun as a fully automatic weapon. The three men were charged with various federal crimes, including transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony.
A judge upheld a temporary gun ban imposed outside the Virginia Capitol. Citing public safety concerns, the state’s governor has declared a state of emergency and temporarily banned weapons — including firearms — from public areas outside Richmond’s Capitol building. Yesterday, gun groups — including one of the organizers of Monday’s rally — filed suit to block the ban, but a state judge rejected the injunction request. The groups say they will appeal the decision.
Meanwhile, the Virginia General Assembly is pressing ahead with gun reform. The state Senate passed a universal background check bill on Thursday, as well as a one-handgun-per-month purchasing limit and a measure that allows cities and towns to enact their own gun laws.
Gunshot survivors report longer-lasting physical and psychological pain than car crash survivors. Researchers found that between six and 12 months after their injuries, gunshot survivors were more than twice as likely to experience daily pain and about three times as likely to suffer from PTSD. “Our study shows that injury, and especially firearm injury, casts a long shadow over the lives of those who survive,” said an author of the findings, which were published in Annals of Surgery.
American Outdoor Brands booted its CEO over unspecified misconduct. The parent company of Smith & Wesson said James Debney “engaged in conduct inconsistent with a nonfinancial company policy” but did not provide specifics. Debney had run the company since 2011.
Tuesday’s school shooting near Houston was unintentional, prosecutors said. The 16-year-old boy who shot his 19-year-old classmate at Bellaire High School “did not intend to kill his friend,” the district attorney said Thursday. A police official said the boy had brought the gun from home. The teen was charged with manslaughter.