What To Know Today
Chuck Schumer says the DOJ should investigate the NRA for fraud. During a Sunday news conference with reporters, the Senate majority leader said the National Rifle Association should face serious scrutiny for its effort to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and relocate to Texas while it was facing New York Attorney General Letitia James’s dissolution suit. He said the bankruptcy filing could not be squared with its simultaneous claims that it was in a strong financial position or its recent multimillion-dollar ad blitz and lobbying efforts. “That demands an investigation by the Justice Department,” Schumer said. In May, a federal bankruptcy judge in Texas ruled that the gun group’s bankruptcy filing was not made in good faith.
Separately, the NRA is opposing an attempt by dissident longtime members to intervene in the New York suit. In a July 9 court filing, NRA lawyers argue that Frank Tait, a 2021 write-in candidate for the group’s board of directors, and Mario Aguirre, an NRA life member, have failed to show that they represent enough members to warrant intervention. The NRA also argues that the case is too far along for Tait and Aguirre to intercede. In June, the men filed papers with the court that stated, “to the extent possible, intervenors seek to work with the Attorney General in reforming the NRA’s leadership on behalf of all rank-and-file NRA members, while opposing those demands of the Attorney General that are not in the best interest of the NRA or its membership.” Specifically, the pair support the removal of NRA boss Wayne LaPierre — if James’s allegations prove true — and want to see the organization recover misspent funds. However, they oppose the dissolution of the NRA, a possible though unlikely outcome of the suit. In its response to Tait and Aguirre’s request, also filed July 9, James’s office took no position on whether the men can bring claims against NRA executives named in the case, but argued they lack standing to intervene against the attorney general’s office itself. — Will Van Sant, staff writer
Despite earlier indications, there was no clear, direct link between last year’s gun sales surge and the rise in most shootings at the state level. That’s according to a study published in Injury Epidemiology that looked at a small window of data from March through July 2020. Experts had suspected a tie between the glut of guns going into the market and the increase in gun violence — indeed, that was a connection the researchers of this study previously observed. But their updated and peer-reviewed findings “suggest much of the rise in firearm violence during our study period was attributable to other factors, indicating a need for additional research.” As the study’s lead author told The Guardian, “We need to be looking at other factors, like job loss, economic change, the closure of schools and community organizations and nonprofits, and civil unrest.” The study did report some association between an increase in gun buying and gun injuries stemming from domestic violence in April and May of last year, which could also be because of decreased support services during lockdown. Another researcher told The Guardian that increases in illegal gun procurement are worth considering as homicides increase.
Watchdog: Chicago’s long hiring process keeps women, Black officers off the force. It can take the Police Department more than a year to hire, leading to a disproportionately high attrition rate among Black candidates, especially Black women, according to a report from the city’s Office of Inspector General that looked at hiring from 2016 to 2018. The report cites a recent study from the journal Science, which analyzed three million patrol assignments in Chicago and found that Black and Latinx officers made fewer stops and arrests and used force less often, especially against Black people, compared to white officers. The findings also said women used force less than their male counterparts. “Diversity reforms can improve police treatment of minority communities,” the inspector general report reads. Related: In December, The Trace profiled Marilyn Thompson, a Black police officer in Arkansas who believes policing would be more compassionate — and more effective — if police departments reflected their communities.
Fearing mass shooting, Denver police arrest four men with guns and ammunition stocked in hotel room. Following a tip from a hotel worker, police seized 16 long guns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and body armor on Friday a block away from where the MLB All-Star game is being held. The FBI separately said it has “no reason to believe” the men posed a threat to the game, but local law enforcement said they feared a shooting in the style of the 2017 musical festival attack in Las Vegas, as the room had a balcony overlooking the downtown area. “We don’t know what we don’t know,” the chief of police said.
10,000 — the number of people shot in Philadelphia since 2015, the year the police began regularly posting gun violence data online. The midyear homicide count for 2021 is the highest in at least six decades. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]