Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing: A detailed report on first responders and the Pulse shooting in Orlando includes some devastating revelations. Plus, what hasn’t changed about state gun politics in the wake of Las Vegas and Parkland.
Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here.
WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Sixteen of the victims of the Pulse shooting died of survivable wounds. A new report from ProPublica delves into the Orlando Fire Department’s response to the massacre in 2016. For the three years before, the department had been developing a plan to treat victims at the scene of an active shooting before a gunman is caught. But the plan languished because of bureaucratic inertia.
Republican-held state legislatures remain a central obstacle to gun reform. An AP analysis of the first full legislative year since the Las Vegas shooting examines measures left moribund in GOP-led capitols — even, in some cases, when Republican governors urged action. The notable exception among the states was Florida, which enacted a package of interventions after Parkland, and the notable exception among legislative responses have been the red flag laws and bump stock bans that have drawn bipartisan support. Related: Our red flag tracker shows which states now have those laws.
Governor Jerry Brown of California vetoed a bill intended to reduce gun suicides. The bill would have allowed suicidal residents to voluntarily place themselves on a list temporarily banning them from buying guns. Scholars think such an option could save lives. Brown also proposed expanding the state’s pioneering red flag law to allow mental health professionals and school staff to seek gun violence restraining orders. What Brown did sign: a requirement that applicants for concealed weapons complete at least eight hours of firearms training and demonstrate an ability to safely handle and fire a gun, and a bill clarifying the illegality of bump stocks in California.
The Justice Department gave Indianapolis $1 million to fight gun crime. The majority of the money will go directly to the city’s police department. Indianapolis is not one of the so-called sanctuary cities that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to bar from federal grants. “We’re going to keep supporting you,” Sessions said.
A survivor of this month’s mass shooting in Cincinnati has started a gun reform nonprofit. Whitney Austin, who was shot 12 times in the gun rampage at a busy downtown building, joins a growing community of survivor-activists. On “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, she announced the launch of a nonprofit that will work to end “the current stalemate gripping our country” at the state and local levels. “I can only say that I feel an undeniable force pushing me to tackle gun reform,” she said during the interview.
Two elementary school students were arrested for bringing guns to school after one went off. The boys, ages 9 and 13, each brought a gun to their Baltimore elementary school on Wednesday, a local news station reports. After one of the weapons was fired while the two students were together in a restroom, the school was placed on lockdown and both students were taken into custody.