What To Know Today
New York AG says the NRA’s “evasion of accountability” has “continued unabated.” In a new amended complaint reaffirming her intent to dissolve the National Rifle Association, Attorney General Letitia James alleges that since she first filed her suit last August, the group’s leadership has failed to change its ways. “[CEO Wayne] LaPierre, and [General Counsel John] Frazer have continued the same course of misconduct in violation of New York law, IRS requirements for exempt organizations, NRA bylaws, and internal policies and procedures without objection from the NRA Board,” the complaint reads. The update also points to new details about lavish spending and executive mismanagement that came to light in the NRA’s failed attempt to seek Chapter 11 protection and relocate from New York to Texas. The Texas judge hearing that case ruled that the NRA relied on bogus arguments while improperly attempting to evade James’ lawsuit. “It is now more evident than ever that the NYAG’s action is a politically motivated attack,” NRA outside counsel Willilam Brewer said in a statement reacting to the amended complaint.
But that’s not all: There were two other notable developments in NRA-land.
- A federal judge will allow the Ackerman McQueen case to proceed: A District Court judge ruled that the NRA’s erstwhile PR firm could continue with the majority of its claims against the gun group — specifically, allegations of breach of contract, civil conspiracy, defamation, and fraud. The trial is expected to begin in the fall.
- The organization’s license to raise money has expired in North Carolina: Per NPR reporter Tim Mak, the NRA failed to meet a filing renewal deadline of August 15.
NEW from THE TRACE: Missouri’s “Second Amendment Sanctuary” law could complicate police efforts to solve gun crimes. Ten other states this year have enacted laws that prohibit state and local police from enforcing federal gun restrictions. But Missouri goes further by allowing fines of $50,000 dollars for agencies whose officers violate the statute. City and county officials have said that the law may stop police from testifying against gun offenders in federal court, tapping federal resources to solve local shootings, or working with federal agents to disrupt firearms trafficking. Meanwhile, victim advocates and law enforcement officials say it could hamper attempts to disarm abusers and prevent local authorities from reporting stores for failing to run background checks. Jennifer Mascia has more on the state’s new law, which goes into effect on August 28.
A new bill would train health care providers in youth suicide prevention, lethal means counseling. The suicide rate among people aged 10 to 24 increased by 56 percent from 2007 to 2017, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The crisis has increased at an even greater rate for nonwhite youths. So Democratic Representatives Lauren Underwood of Illinois and Kim Schrier of Washington State introduced the Child Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety Act. The bill would create a federal grant program to provide health professionals with education, training, and resources on youth suicide prevention; establish a separate grant program to include youth suicide prevention and lethal means counseling in the curricula of schools for health professionals; and create a resource hub for information about suicide prevention and lethal means. Related: Underwood, a registered nurse, had a lethal means provision scrapped from a bill last year that addressed the suicide crisis among veterans.
Domestic violence also spiked during the pandemic. A look at Michigan’s largest county shows how severe the problem has been. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says cases are on pace to be higher than last year’s surge: “We usually handle between 6,000 and 8,000 domestic violence cases each year. Last year, there were 10,000. This year, we’re on track to have 12,000,” she said. “We normally handle seven to 12 domestic violence homicides a year; there were 24 last year, and 19 this year.” Related: Worthy highlighted the problem after Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan to spend $75 million of the state’s stimulus funds on public safety, including hiring more police officers, targeting illegal guns, and funding community-focused programs.
Image of the day. Philadelphia Tribune city editor Sharyn Flanagan shares Sunday’s edition of the paper remembering gun violence victims, featuring images from the Philly Obituary Project.
$7 billion — the estimated annual cost of the police and criminal justice system in Chicago, according to an estimate by Arne Duncan. The former education secretary leads a nonprofit effort in the city to increase spending on non-law-enforcement public safety options to the tune of $400-500 million per year. [The Chicago Tribune]