What To Know Today
Another bank pauses business in Texas over new gun law. Goldman Sachs joined Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup in halting its municipal bond underwriting business because of a new law that blocks state and local governments from giving contracts to banks with policies that limit business ties to the firearms industry. Municipal bond underwriting, in which banks act as third parties to set up public financing for local governments, is a multibillion-dollar industry in Texas. Goldman was the nation’s sixth largest public finance underwriter last year, and the others were the top three. Barclays, TD Securities, and Wells Fargo are among the banks still reportedly operating in the state.
NRA board member, North Carolina lieutenant governor refuses to resign after calling LGBTQ+ communities “filth.” Last week, Right Wing Watch posted videos of Mark Robinson, the state’s Republican second-in-command, speaking at a church in June. “I’m saying this now, and I’ve been saying it, and I don’t care who likes it: Those issues have no place in a school,” Robinson said in the video. “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality — any of that filth.” Multiple state Democrats have called for Robinson’s resignation.
The U.S. government will argue in defense of a pivotal New York gun law. The Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that the nation’s acting solicitor general will be allowed to participate in oral arguments, alongside the lawyer for New York state, in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. The case will be heard on November 3. The lawyer for the NYSRPA, Paul Clement, was solicitor general arguing for the plaintiff in District of Columbia vs. Heller, in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment conferred an individual’s right to have guns in the home. As we reported, in considering a challenge to New York’s policy requiring people applying for handgun licenses to demonstrate a pressing need to carry concealed firearms, the court will decide to what degree the Heller decision extends to the public sphere.
More on a unique program bringing trauma “resilience skills” to anti-violence workers. Last week, we covered new federal funding for gun violence research that will support READI Chicago, a program that offers paid transitional employment, training, and cognitive behavioral therapy to men at the highest risk of being victims and perpetrators of gun violence there. WBEZ caught up with the two city academics who spearheaded the grant program as well as READI Chicago’s outreach workers. Many of them were previously incarcerated or scarred by gun violence, and as part of their day-to-day work, they regularly encounter trauma. In the words of one staff member: “By teaching positive emotion skills, you don’t have to take away those difficult things [trauma and difficult situations]. But you give people skills that they can use to kind of offset those, and power through.”
A far-right church known for worshiping with AR-15s buys another large parcel of land. The Rod of Iron Ministries is a fringe sect founded by Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon and Kook-jin “Justin” Moon, sons of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The brothers also run the gun manufacturer Kahr Arms. In May, the group bought a 40-acre property in Texas, and Vice’s Tess Owen published an investigation into the church’s purchase of a new 130-acre plot of land in Tennessee that’s meant to be a training center and “spiritual retreat.” Related from The Trace: Last October, The Trace’s Champe Barton reported on their annual Rod of Iron Freedom Festival, a gathering of far-right ideologues and gun activists who boosted election conspiracy theories last year and met again over the weekend — this time featuring at least one person running for Congress.
$300 million — the value of a defamation suit ShotSpotter launched against Vice over a series of articles, published on the media outlet’s Motherboard vertical, that questioned the controversial gunshot detection company’s effectiveness and reliability. [The Daily Beast]