Good morning, Bulletin readers. A new complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission is the latest to draw on reporting by The Trace documenting how the NRA’s exclusive political advertising consultant may be functioning as a front for a prominent conservative political consulting firm, bypassing campaign finance laws. That story, published in partnership with Mother Jones, kicks off your Wednesday briefing.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from The Trace and Mother Jones: A watchdog group alleges the NRA has secretly coordinated political spending with another Republican candidate. A new complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission accuses the National Rifle Association and Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley of engaging in “an elaborate scheme designed to evade detection” of campaign finance violations. So far this cycle, the complaint says, Hawley’s campaign has placed millions of dollars of ads through a company also used by the NRA to buy time for pro-Hawley spots. The complaint is the third in the last four months built upon an ongoing investigation by The Trace’s Mike Spies, who lays out how the NRA uses an apparent shell company to circumvent laws barring coordination between political campaigns and the outside groups that support them.
A New Jersey woman may have thwarted a school shooting in Kentucky. Koeberle Bull called 911 last week after receiving a racially charged Facebook threat from a stranger in Kentucky. Police apprehended the suspect just as he was on his way to school with a gun, more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a 100-round magazine, a Kevlar vest, and a detailed plan of attack. “Something in the back of my head was like, ‘this isn’t right,’ like, something’s not sitting well,” Bell said.
Student gun reform activists will take to the streets for a final midterms push. On Saturday, a coalition of activists and survivors will rally at the U.S. Capitol to call on politicians to support preventative legislation and encourage young people to vote in the midterms.
A political action committee launched by Parkland parents is hitting pause. After its midterm fund-raising goals fell short, Families vs. Assault Rifles, a political action committee that hoped to counter the NRA is taking a break. “None of us had a grasp of how difficult this would be,” said the group’s executive director. “We needed more resources, more people.”
A college student was killed by her ex-boyfriend on the University of Utah campus. Lauren McCluskey, a 21-year-old senior, was shot to death Monday evening, prompting a universitywide lockdown. After chasing the suspect to a nearby church, police found him dead with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. McCluskey’s parents said their daughter ended the relationship with the 37-year-old suspect earlier this month after she discovered he had lied about his age and withheld his history of multiple sex crimes convictions. She allegedly told university police that he was harassing her, but they did not notify state parole officials. It’s not clear how he got a gun.
A Texas man terrorized his wife with a gun after her baby shower ran late. Police in Harker Heights, Texas, arrested a man who held a loaded gun to his wife’s head after a baby shower that was supposed to end at 7 p.m. ran late. Police say the man ordered all of the guests to leave before loading the gun and holding it between the woman’s eyes. Reminder: A gun doesn’t have to go off to cause harm in an abusive relationship. In a little-reported facet of domestic violence known as coercive control, men use guns to threaten, manipulate, and traumatize their intimate partners, without ever pulling a trigger.
More Native American tribes can now access the federal gun background check system. On Monday, the Justice Department announced that it will expand access to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, for 25 Native American tribes by the end of next year. The move comes four years after a teenager in Washington State killed four high school classmates with a gun belonging to his father, whose tribal court restraining order was never sent to NICS.
ONE LAST THING
Shooting survivors share what it’s like to live with bullets inside them. Because removing a bullet can cause internal damage, doctors often choose to leave rounds inside shooting survivors. But that can sometimes lead to other medical issues down the road. In this video from The New York Times, mass shooting victims describe how it feels to so literally carry reminders of the trauma they have endured. “I had to reimagine that bullet as lucky, and a little bit of spark of life inside of me,” said Mary Reed, who was among those wounded when a gunman opened fire on former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords at a constituent meeting in Tucson in 2011.