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Challenges to the ATF’s pistol brace rule are mounting: In North Dakota, the National Foundation for Gun Rights and SB Tactical — with NRA backing — are suing the agency; Gun Owners of America filed its own suit in Texas with state Attorney General Ken Paxton. And late last month, the Firearms Policy Coalition also sued in a Texas district court. [National Foundation for Gun Rights/NRA/Gun Owners of America/Firearms Policy Coalition]

From Our Team

Five months after the Sandy Hook massacre, the National Rifle Association held its annual meeting, where CEO Wayne LaPierre boasted that the group had reached a record membership of over 5 million and predicted that “the NRA must and will be 10 million strong.” New financial documents show that goal has never been further from reach.

For much of the last decade, membership levels have hovered around 5 million or just above, and began to shrink after The Trace broke the story of lavish perks and NRA cash going to LaPierre and other insiders. A recent report from The Reload, based in part on an internal financial statement, indicates that the organization has lost roughly 1 million members since 2018 — despite a surge in gun purchasing during the pandemic.

Read more from The Trace →

What to Know Today

Families of victims of the Santa Fe High School massacre in Texas reached a settlement with two companies, LuckyGunner and Red Stag Fulfillment, that sold and shipped more than 100 rounds of ammunition to the alleged gunman, who was 17 at the time of the shooting. Licensed dealers are prohibited from selling ammunition to people younger than 21. [Houston Chronicle] Context: Ammunition isn’t regulated like guns — but it used to be. Advocates and lawmakers say it’s a missed opportunity.

The NRA asked the Supreme Court to consider a case it lost alleging that New York’s former top financial regulator, Maria T. Vullo, had coerced insurers into not doing business with the gun group. [New York Law Journal] Context: One of the attorneys on the case, William A. Brewer III, has been accused of imperiling the gun group by prioritizing the interests of Wayne LaPierre. 

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins confirmed that her office is dropping a case against a police officer who shot and killed a man while on duty, and blamed her predecessor, Chesa Boudin, for bringing charges for “political reasons.” The case was considered the first time a San Francisco police officer faced criminal charges for killing someone while on duty. [BuzzFeed News]

Oregon lawmakers want to crack down on paramilitary activity and violent extremism. The state House is considering legislation that would strengthen laws regarding private militias — and though lawmakers say it’s “not a gun bill,” it would criminalize gun-carrying members of paramilitary organizations if they interrupt government proceedings or engage in public patrols, among other activities. [OPB]

The 9th Circuit is taking up a fight, for the third time in the past decade, between the Center for Biological Diversity and the U.S. Forest Service over the disposal of lead bullets on public lands in Arizona. The conservation group says the spent ammunition adversely hurts not only the big game that hunters target, but also scavenger birds like the endangered California condor. [Courthouse News]

The man who killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 pleaded guilty to 90 federal hate crime and weapons charges. He will be sentenced in June. [El Paso Matters]

Atlanta Police released body camera footage of their response to the deadly January 18 shooting of an activist protesting the proposed site for a public safety training facility dubbed “Cop City.” Attorneys for the activist’s family said earlier this month that a private autopsy showed that he had been shot at least a dozen times. [WABE]


‘Kitchen-Table’ Gun Dealers Rack Up ATF Violations”: Although the ATF inspects few firearms dealers each year and rarely revokes licenses, some of those who face the strictest penalties are home-based sellers, records show. The ATF calls them “kitchen-table” dealers and, based on some estimates, they hold a majority of all gun shop licenses. Home-based sellers run afoul of ATF rules when they don’t record their sales and inventory properly, fail to perform background checks on buyers, and sell off-premises, illegally — from parking lots to out-of-state gun shows. (May 28, 2021)

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