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News and notes on guns in America

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Daily Bulletin: House Panel Allocates $50 Million in Federal Funds for Gun Violence Research

Good morning, Bulletin readers. As investigators circle, the NRA’s leader receives the board’s unanimous backing. Ohio’s Republican governor wants to pass a red flag law. And a high school senior was shot while protecting her little sister from gunfire. 

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

NEW from The Trace: NRA’s Wayne LaPierre receives board’s full backing. Our Brian Freskos chronicled the tumultuous National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis, which was capped on Monday afternoon by the board’s unanimous re-election of LaPierre as executive vice president. The weekend was marked by internal debate about the group’s financial practices and a public power struggle that led to the resignation of its president, Oliver North.

Trump: NRA needs to “get its act together” amid external threats. In a tweet yesterday, Trump also accused Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, of “illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy” the organization. ICYMI: James announced Friday that her office was launching a probe into the NRA’s tax-exempt status following our reporting on the gun group’s finances. It’s one of seven active investigations facing the organization.

House panel allocates $50 million in federal funds for gun violence research. A House appropriations bill introduced yesterday would provide $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $25 million to the National Institutes of Health. The CDC hasn’t significantly studied gun violence in more than two decades because of a notorious spending provision that has sharply constrained the agency’s ability to research the problem. Last year, Republicans in Congress agreed to clarify that the ban on funding applied only to research promoting gun reform.

Ohio’s Republican governor is pushing for a red flag law. Mike DeWine will submit a bill to the state Assembly that would allow for removing legally purchased guns from people deemed an immediate threat to themselves or others. DeWine has pledged to help craft a bill that can pass the state’s GOP-controlled Legislature. A similar effort by his Republican predecessor, John Kasich, failed last year.

U.S. Border Patrol reportedly knew for weeks about a militia rounding up migrants. Last week, the FBI arrested the leader of an armed group in New Mexico accused of illegally detaining migrants near the Mexican border. But videos and audio posted by the group on social media show that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol were cooperating with the militia.

The FBI is also investigating left-wing activists at the border. report from the bureau warns of “anti-fascist activists” who sought to buy guns from Mexican drug cartels as part of a plan to “stage an armed rebellion” near the border. Two people named in the report deny the allegations. “It doesn’t make any sense that someone from the United States would purchase guns in Mexico,” one of them said.

Seven people were killed in a shooting spree in Tennessee. Law enforcement officials said Monday that a 25-year-old man with a history of arson and mental health issues shot his mother, father, uncle, and five others in Sumner County over the weekend. The one surviving victim remains in the hospital with critical injuries.

A high school senior was fatally shot while protecting her little sister from gunfire. Marilyn Cotto Montanez, 18, was struck by a bullet on Thursday as she pushed her 9-year-old sister to safety during a shooting near their Yonkers, New York, home. “She’ll always be my hero,” their brother said.

A 3-year-old girl kept her baby brother alive after their parents died in a murder-suicide. The Los Angeles Police are calling the girl a hero after she took care of her 2-month-old brother for three days following the death of their parents. Investigators said the two children were trapped in their home after their father fatally shot their mother and then killed himself.

ONE LAST THING

A short film tells the story of a first-grader who witnessed a school shooting. The animated VR video from The Washington Post follows 6-year-old Ava Olsen as she deals with the playground murder of a boy she knew. It’s based on a Post story published in 2017 as part of a series on gun violence as seen through the eyes of children. The Trace’s Elizabeth Van Brocklin spoke with the reporter after that story came out about how young people process gun violence. “When a kid goes through a moment of trauma like that, it frames so much of their world because they have really limited life experience,” the reporter, John Woodrow Cox, said. “So much of the world became dangerous to them.”