Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

Daily Bulletin: Before Deadly Shooting Spree, a Gunman Tried to Buy a Silencer

Hello, readers. A Texas man has been arrested for killing one and injuring two in a shooting spree — after he tried to buy a silencer. The National Rifle Association is throwing its weight into Georgia’s divisive GOP gubernatorial runoff. And a prominent NRA lobbyist in Florida has filed suit over alleged harassment and threats. Those stories and more in your Monday morning roundup.

Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here.

WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

A former state political staffer has been arrested for a shooting rampage in South Austin, Texas. Charles Curry, 29, attempted to buy a gun suppressor shortly before he opened fire on a highway last Wednesday, injuring two women. (An employee told officers Curry was turned away because he was acting “very strangely.”) Curry has also been charged with the shooting death of his neighbor, 32-year-old Christian Meroney, earlier in the week. Since he moved to Texas two years ago, Curry had worked in three different political posts in the Capitol, and was fired from all of them. Curry is not the first serial shooter known to have sought silencers for his arsenal: South Carolina murderer got his hands on silencers through a straw purchaser, and a Louisiana man arrested for killing black pedestrians was waiting for his silencer application to be processed at the time of his arrest.

Maryland school shooting survivors are partnering up with Capital Gazette survivors for a gun-reform rally next weekend. In March, Jaelynn Willey was fatally wounded by her ex-boyfriend when he opened fire at their southern Maryland high school. Three months later, five Capital staffers were fatally shot in their newsroom about 70 miles away. Now, Willey’s classmates and other students across the state are planning a rally for this Saturday, calling on Republican Governor Larry Hogan to pass a law requiring gun owners to keep their weapons locked up, among other measures. Capital reporter and shooting survivor Selene San Felice will speak at the rally.

After a police shooting sparked protests in Chicago, police rush to show the victim was carrying a gun. Tense demonstrations erupted across the city on Saturday night; by the next day, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson ordered the release of a portion of body cam footage appearing to show that Harith Augustus, 37, was armed during the confrontation with patrol officers that ended with him fatally shot. Police watchdogs praised the Chicago Police Department’s release of the footage, but said a full review will be necessary in order to determine whether the use of deadly force was justified.

Prominent NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer has filed a $1 million lawsuit against four individuals she claimed harassed and threatened her. The defendants include a California-based mediator named Lol Sorensen and others who allegedly emailed her profanity-laced threats and graphic images of shooting victims, according to the claim. The alleged harassment occurred after the Parkland shooting, and includes accusations from private individuals that she was responsible for the students’ death, the lawsuit states. In an email to the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper in April, Hammer said she’s long been the subject of death threats but “it is so ugly this time.”

The new president of the NRA spent the weekend campaigning for  Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle of Georgia, who’s hoping to clinch the GOP gubernatorial nomination in a runoff. Cagle secured the NRA’s endorsement back in April, after he successfully opposed a large tax break for Delta, which is based in Atlanta, because the airline decided to stop offering discounts to NRA members amid the #boycottNRA movement that took off in February. Incoming NRA president Oliver North stumped for Cagle — whom he said “stood with the NRA when we were under attack by the far left” — at three events on Saturday in advance of the July 24 runoff, when Cagle will face Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

A judge ruled that the FBI agent whose gun discharged in a Denver bar after he did a backflip can continue to carry his service weapon. Chase Bishop turned himself in after he was charged with one count of second-degree assault for the early June incident, in which another bar patron was injured by the errant bullet. A video of the accidental shooting went viral. Pending trial, Bishop’s protective order has been amended to allow him to carry his FBI-issued gun on and off the job.

A Connecticut man was arrested for fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend in the Bronx. Juan Flores, 49, was shot in the lobby of his apartment building on Saturday morning, as he was heading out to take his dog on a walk. Police identified the suspect as Jose Quinones using the building’s surveillance camera footage. Quinones was arrested on Sunday and police are continuing to investigate the incident.

ONE LAST THING

She voted for Trump. Now she’s looking for a candidate who pledges to fight for tougher gun laws. In a report about a special election in an Ohio Congressional district held by Republicans for three decades, the New York Times captured an exchange between the Democratic candidate, Danny O’Connor, and one member of a fascinating constituency worth watching as midterm races heat up: suburban women who broke for Donald Trump in 2016 but now make gun reform a litmus test. From the article, lightly condensed for brevity:

“When [Lisa] Halliday asked him his stance on gun control, things got brighter fast. Mr. O’Connor said he favored an assault weapons ban, along with preventing people with domestic violence records and mental illness issues from having guns.

‘Do you take money from the N.R.A.?’ she asked. ‘No,’ Mr. O’Connor replied. ‘I have an ‘F’ rating from the N.R.A.’

With that, Ms. Halliday said she would vote for Mr. O’Connor.”