Hello, readers. A new analysis shows the extent to which Democratic congressional candidates are embracing gun reform in winnable Republican-held districts. How will that affect the National Rifle Association’s spending decisions? Our NRA Campaign Spending Tracker, launched yesterday, will be the first to know. Follow @NRAMoneyBot on Twitter for real-time updates. And read on, please, for your Monday briefing.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NRA moves to deflect criticism of “stand your ground” in the aftermath of Florida parking lot shooting. To recap the case in question: a white gun carrier confronts a young woman occupying a handicap spot; the woman’s boyfriend, who is black, shoves the gun holder; the white guy with the gun fatally shoots the younger black man, in front of his 5-year-old son. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has defended his decision not to arrest the shooter by saying the state’s “stand your ground” law creates a “subjective standard” about use of deadly force. Amid the ensuing controversy, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer has come to the statute’s defense, telling Politico Florida that there is nothing in it that prevents a sheriff from arresting someone if deadly use of force appears to be unlawful. State Republicans who have championed “stand your ground” have echoed that refrain. The upshot: Neither the GOP nor the NRA want a racially tinged “stand your ground” controversy to smolder during an election year already expected to be a referendum on gun laws.
Democratic candidates in competitive House races are conspicuously supporting stricter gun laws. A Reuters analysis finds that 38 of the 59 Democrats included in the party’s “Red to Blue” drive explicitly support gun reform in their campaign platforms. Even more have called for restrictions in separate statements. By this point in the 2016 races, only four of 36 Democrats running in vulnerable Republican districts had officially come out for gun reform.
Three people were fatally shot and seven were wounded when two suspects opened fire at a New Orleans strip mall on Saturday night. Police said the gunmen — one of whom was armed with a rifle — approached a crowd of people at a daiquiri shop and appeared to shoot into it indiscriminately, though witnesses say they pointedly shot one person multiple times. According to the Gun Violence Archive, the fatalities were Kurshaw “Twin” Jackson, 38; Jeremiah Lee, 30; and an unidentified woman. The suspects are still at large.
Pennsylvania blocked its residents from accessing blueprints online for 3-D printing guns. In an emergency hearing in federal court last night, the company behind the blueprints agreed to stop making the plans accessible to Pennsylvanians. In court, the company said it began distributing the blueprints on Friday, and that more than 1,000 people had already downloaded plans for 3-D printed AR-15s.
ONE LAST THING
Police say the shooting spree that left five dead in Texas on Friday was likely a murder-suicide. At a nursing home in the southern Texas city of Robstown, Richard Starry, 60, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the same room where he allegedly shot his 85-year-old father, Ernest Starry, and stepmother, Thelma Montalvo. Montalvo’s 41-year-old son and the couple’s adopted 13-year-old son were found dead at their home down the street.
According to an analysis from The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia, within the first six weeks of 2018, there had been 76 murder-suicides committed with guns, leaving 171 people dead. All but six shooters were men. As was the case in the Texas incident, murder-suicides often claim multiple family members and frequently involve people aged 70 or older.