Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Protesters in West Palm Beach, Florida, near the Mar-a-Lago resort, participate in a die-in to mark the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Daily Bulletin: ‘We May Be Little, But We Are Fierce,’ Says Anti-Gun Violence Activist, Age 7

Hello, readers. Students turned out yesterday – the two-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting – for another nationwide demonstration. The nation’s largest physicians group backs stiff gun reforms. And something’s up with the NRA’s archive of candidate letter grades. Those stories and more in your mid-week news roundup.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

The American Medical Association endorsed a slate of gun measures at its annual meeting. Frustrated by federal inaction, the nation’s largest physicians group on Tuesday called for licensing and registration for all gun owners, red flag laws to reduce suicides, and a ban on assault-style weapons. The group opposed arming teachers. Many of the organization’s 243,000 members are gun owners or supporters, the Associated Press notes, yet the reform planks passed by solid margins. Also this week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a bipartisan group, adopted several gun reforms, including limits on firearm purchases, bans on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, and laws that hold adults criminally liable when children access their guns.

The attorney general says survivors of gang violence no longer qualify for asylum. Jeff Sessions issued the ruling on MondayMuch of the violence that Central Americans are fleeing is perpetrated with American guns, Alex Yablon reported last year.

They can’t vote out their lawmakers. But now they can practice. WeCan.Vote, a new website developed by three advertising executives, educates children under 18 about their congressional representatives’ gun reform views and National Rifle Association grades, then lets them cast a mock vote. Contributors to the site include recent gun violence survivors, including students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

About those NRA grades… They’ve gone missing from the NRA’s website. The Washington Post‘s Philip Bump noticed that the letter grades the gun group awarded to lawmakers in past elections are no longer accessible to members who log in to the website for the group’s political arm. A spokesperson blamed “an IT glitch,” but an NRA employee, who refused to give his name, said the database had become fodder for “our enemies.” 

Guns that killed two Indiana law enforcement officers this spring were bought by female straw purchasers. Both women were charged with making false statements on their background check forms. Indiana does not require background checks on private sales or a license to buy a gun, making it difficult to crack down on straw buyers.

Google offered details about which gun-related ads it will start banning later this month. In an email last week, the search giant says ads for grips, stocks, scopes, and sights will no longer be allowed under its updated “dangerous products or services” policy. Ads for conversion kits and instructions for 3D printed guns will also be prohibited.

Thirteen Texas school districts have applied for the school marshal program since the Santa Fe shooting. Law enforcement officials revealed the increased demand for the program, which trains school staffers to carry concealed weapons and respond to active shootings, during a hearing before a state Senate committee tasked with studying school safety on Tuesday. Across Texas, 170 school districts, including Santa Fe, have already implemented the program.

Open carry activists are planning a rally in Santa Fe at the end of the month. The organizers of “Carry for Our Kids” want teachers with concealed handgun licenses to be able to carry guns to class without permission from the superintendent or school board.

The FBI agent who unintentionally shot someone after doing a backflip in a bar has been arrested. Chad Bishop, 29, surrendered to police in Denver on Tuesday. Ten days earlier, he was showing off some fancy footwork when his gun fell from its holster. As he picked it up, it fired, sending a bullet into a fellow patron’s leg. The bar’s owners said the victim would have died if a security guard hadn’t applied a tourniquet. Bishop, who was off-duty at the time, is being investigated for second-degree assault.

ONE LAST THING 

Students held die-ins to honor mass shooting victims. School-aged children marked the two-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre on Tuesday by staging protests at state capitols across the country. At the main demonstration on the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C., students — some of them school shooting survivors — spoke about how gun violence affects their communities. The day’s youngest speaker was 7-year-old Havana Chapman-Edwards, who lost her cousin to gun violence. She sounded a note of defiance: “We will not learn poems about lockdown drills or suck on lollipops so we can stay quiet while we hide under our teacher’s desk,” the first-grader said. “I’m here to say, for the kids in elementary school: Enough is enough.”

After reading the names of each Pulse victim, demonstrators lay on the ground to honor the hundreds of people killed in American mass shootings since the June 12, 2016, rampage. A die-in was also staged near Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s south Florida retreat. Following the D.C. demonstration, students advocating for gun reform took over the Capitol Hill offices of Senator Ted Cruz and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. We rounded up the day’s events on Twitter.