Hello, readers. Today’s sign that the battle over gun safety remains pitched even if the subject no longer holds the front pages: Another Republican governor signs a gun reform package, while the National Rifle Association’s political arm counts a record one-month haul. Those stories, and more, below.
Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here.
WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Illinois lawmakers want to close a loophole that rearmed the Waffle House shooter. The state is one of a handful to require a license for gun ownership, and the suspected gunman had his revoked after he was charged with unlawful entry at the White House in 2017. But Illinois law also allows people who lose their gun licenses to transfer their weapons to a family member. The Waffle House shooter gave his to his father, who at some point later gave them back. The bill proposed by an Illinois state senator would require the person taking possession of guns from a newly banned person to sign an affidavit saying they know it’s a felony to transfer a gun to someone who couldn’t lawfully own one. RELATED: A red flag law that would have allowed law enforcement to more effectively disarm the shooter has been sitting in the Illinois Legislature since last year. The bill stalled amid opposition from the NRA.
The NRA’s political arm received record-breaking donations after Parkland. In the NRA Political Victory Fund’s first full month of political fund-raising following the February 14 shooting, the gun group raised $2.4 million, according to the Federal Election Comission. The Miami Herald notes that the sum is the group’s largest single-month haul since at least June 2003, the last reporting period for which electronic records are available. By comparison, March for Our Lives has raised $3.5 million via GoFundMe.
On the other hand: The NRA doesn’t speak for all gun owners. The New York Times interviewed a dozen gun owners from around the country and found many wearying of the obstructionist tendencies of the gun lobby. “What put me over the edge was this series of recent tragedies, both in schools and in other areas, and they just never budged,” said a 73- year-old multiple gun owner from Vermont who supported the reform package that recently passed there.
Fifty percent of domestic violence homicides by gun also ended in the perpetrator’s suicide, according to an analysis of North Carolina homicides between 2004 and 2013. Researchers noted that because suicidal batterers are not deterred by the threat of punishment, preventative measures — including restricting gun access — are especially important. As The Trace has reported, murder-suicides are common nationwide. In most cases, the shooter is male, and the vast majority of cases involve current or former romantic partners.
A standoff between police and an armed man sent IKEA shoppers fleeing in Texas. Scared shoppers were ushered into an underground storm shelter on Monday after police in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie opened fire on a man armed with a rifle near the store.
Two police officers and a civilian were shot near a Home Depot in Dallas on Tuesday. The officers were critically wounded. The condition of the other victim was not known as of this morning. “Please pray for our officers and their families,” the Dallas Police Department posted on Twitter.
A 13-year-old Ohio boy killed his 11-year-old brother on Monday with a gun stolen from his grandfather, local officials said. The 13-year-old is facing aggravated murder charges for what police believe to be a premeditated attack.
Maryland’s Republican governor signed a package of gun reforms. The legislation signed Tuesday by Governor Larry Hogan includes a red flag law, a bump stock ban, a requirement that convicted abusers surrender their firearms, stronger prison sentences for repeat gun offenders, and increased funding for gun violence intervention programs.
Survivors of mass shootings are increasingly finding kinship through support groups. “The Rebels Project,” launched by Columbine survivors in 2012, now includes more than 770 members. It’s one of a growing number of similar groups that are helping mass shooting victims feel less alone.
STATS OF THE DAY
Researchers calculate the inequalities of gun violence.
The Trace has reported frequently on “murder inequality,” the fact that homicide, like wealth, education, and incarceration, is not evenly distributed among geographic areas and demographic groups. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine takes a broader look at disparities within both gun homicides and suicides, producing some stark findings.
We’ve long known that black men face elevated risks of fatal shootings. The study shows just how much: Black men suffer 27 more homicides per 100,000 people than white men. For suicide, the imbalance runs in the other direction: Among white men, there are nine more firearm suicides per 100,000 people than among black men.
What surprised researchers most was the pronounced variance in gun homicide and suicide rates by state. “We knew going into it that whites would have a higher rate of suicide and that black men would have a higher rate of homicide, but to see that level of variation in the rates across states was surprising,” the study’s lead author told CNN. “Any time I see variations so large like that, that can’t be due to chance.”