Hello, readers. As we all headed into the holiday weekend, the latest scoop dropped on the National Rifle Association’s links to Russia during the lead up to the 2016 election: The FBI is reportedly in possession of Spanish wiretaps that include a conversation that resulted in a brief meeting between a now-sanctioned Russian banker and Donald Trump Jr. at the NRA convention. Today’s briefing gets you caught up on that story, and more.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
A major doctors group is weighing an “unprecedented” slate of gun reform policy recommendations. The superlative is per American Medical Association president Dr. David O. Barbe, as quoted by a Forbes contributor. Among the positions that physicians have submitted for consideration at the AMA’s annual policy-making meeting in June: expanding background checks; increasing the legal age to purchase firearms and ammunition; and banning bump stocks, assault weapons, and high-capacity magazines. “It is clear that today, more than ever before, America’s physicians want to lend their voice and their considerable political muscle to force lawmakers to examine this urgent health crisis and implement evidenced-based solutions,” Barbe said. From The Trace archives: Full-throated cries for action on gun violence have been mounting from top medical groups since the Las Vegas massacre.
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas is expected to announce new school safety proposals today. More than 100 suggestions, ranging from hiring more school counselors to providing firearms training for teachers, were provided at three days of roundtable meetings last week.
Students at Santa Fe High School in Texas returned to class Tuesday for the first time since a gunman killed 10 people on campus. The school district announced an additional police presence, as well as mental health resources. Students will have just three days of classes before the start of summer break. “I hope by the end of the day today I’ll be able to look at the school and not cry, not feel hate,” one student said. Related: On Sunday, three students from the school, along with other teen activists from Houston, launched “The Orange Generation,” an organization dedicated to enacting gun legislation, starting “constructive dialogue” on the issue, and providing counselors and post traumatic stress disorder clinics to survivors and their families.
The FBI has wiretaps of a Kremlin-connected banker at the heart of the Russia-NRA intrigue. The recordings were provided by a Spanish anti-corruption prosecutor who investigated and sought to arrest Alexander Torshin as part of an organized crime and money laundering sting. Yahoo News, which broke the story on Friday, reports that the tapes include conversations that led to a brief meeting between Torshin and Donald Trump Jr. at the 2016 NRA convention. The wiretaps are the first clear sign that the bureau may be investigating Torshin.
The mayor of Stockton, California, wants to test a universal basic income program for potential shooters. For 18 months, the pilot program would give people in the community deemed likely to commit violence a $500-a-month stipend to use however they wish. Related: Similar programs are already in place in two other California cities, where high-risk youth can receive payments, funded by private philanthropy, for completing certain goals.
Chilean authorities broke up an arms-trafficking ring reselling imported weapons from the United States. A criminal group known as “Los Pachucos” took advantage of lax American gun laws by purchasing weapons stateside and hiding them in imported electronics and vehicles. The big picture: Last week, experts on gun policy and Latin America urged Capitol Hill lawmakers to address how American guns are fueling soaring crime south of the border.
Four people in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, died in a murder-suicide by gun on Monday. Police say the gunman shot and killed his wife, father-in-law, and stepmother before killing himself. Last week, the suspect was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation after police were called to his home in response to concerns that he may have been suicidal. There were at least two other murder-suicides by gun over the Memorial Day weekend.
A man died in a shootout with Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officers in Colorado. According to law enforcement, two officers were approaching a van in the desert in western Colorado on Sunday when shots broke out between the officers and the man inside, who police have identified as 67-year-old Eugene Baylis. In 1995, Baylis was acquitted of first-degree murder in a mass shooting two years earlier, in which two people were killed and two others injured at a Colorado bar.
ONE LAST THING
Police in Louisville, Kentucky, are trying to reunite stolen guns with their owners. Each year, Louisville police officers recover hundreds of guns from crime scenes, raids, and arrests. Although many of these guns are likely stolen, authorities are able to match only a fraction back to their rightful owners, WFPL reports. That’s because of a problem that our own investigation of the deadly consequence of rising gun theft found across the country: most firearms stolen in the city are never reported missing by their owners, who often don’t know the serial numbers even when they do notify police.
Only 11 states and Washington, D.C., require gun owners to file a police report if a gun is lost or stolen. Kentucky is not one of them.