Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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[Nate Kitch for The Trace]

Daily Bulletin: A New Injection of Private Funding for Gun Violence Research

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Congressional Dems probe role of ex-gun industry lobbyist in repeal of silencer sales ban. Earlier this month, the Trump administration rescinded a rule preventing exports of silencers to private companies or individuals in other countries. According to The New York Times, the effort was led by a White House official who used to work for the American Suppressor Association, a firearms trade group. House Democrats have now asked the Office of Management and Budget to furnish documents and emails between the official, Michael B. Williams, three gun industry groups, and government officials.

Research collaborative announces new round of gun violence studies. The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research awarded $7.5 million to 15 projects exploring issues like the effect of ‘gun-free zones’ on gun violence reduction; how officer-involved shootings inform training and de-escalation policies; and how the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown affected birth and pregnancy outcomes of Black mothers. It’s the second round of research projects backed by the collaborative; last summer, it awarded nearly $10 million in grants.

What the data tells us about how Maryland’s red flag law is being used. The law, enacted in October 2018, allows police, family or household members, and some healthcare workers to petition a court to legally disarm gun owners. Temporary orders, which last up to seven days, were granted about 60 percent of the time, according to an analysis of state data by Jake Charles, the executive director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law. Final orders, which last up to a year, were granted in two-thirds of cases. Charles offered two takeaways: The number of hearings for gun removals has remained steady over the last year. And that the data “does not support the notion that judges are rubber-stamping petitions,” a frequent criticism by gun-rights groups.

More gun violence prevention groups call for a repeal of ‘sand your ground’ laws. A new report from Giffords Law Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund argues that the self-defense laws have “been used to justify murderous vigilantism, especially against Black men” in the 27 states that have adopted them. The groups are calling for their repeal. As J. Brian Charles reported in May, the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery prompted several other groups, including Amnesty International and the Community Justice Action Fund, to assemble a multistate repeal push.

Chicago Police official dies by suicide at work. Friends said Dion Boyd, the deputy chief of criminal networks, had been traumatized by the shooting death of an officer under his command in 2018. Boyd is part of a steep rise in suicides among Black residents this year. Police Superintendent David Brown pleaded with officers to “always remember to take care of ourselves and each other. There is no shame in reaching out for help.”

DATA POINT

12 — the number of shootings we’ve identified with a strong connection to pandemic-related public health restrictions like social distancing, mask requirements, and occupancy limits. The most recent took place in a New Orleans convenience store on July 26. [The Trace]