Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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People react during a rally to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick Georgia. [AP Photo/John Bazemore]

Daily Bulletin: ‘Citizen’s Arrest’ Laws Aren’t a License to Kill

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Armed protesters join another rally against shutdown orders, this time in Las Vegas. Some of the anti-quarantine protesters carried rifles as they assembled at City Hall on Saturday. The group, which numbered about 60, were escorted by police as they waved signs supporting President Trump’s re-election and demanding the recall of Governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat. In North Carolina, a group of anti-quarantine protesters marched around downtown Raleigh armed with guns (and possibly some prop weapons, as well). Photos captured by a News & Observer photographer went viral.

A primer on the two Georgia laws at play in the Ahmaud Arbery shooting. Ryan Grenoble at HuffPost explains what helped delay an arrest in the unarmed black jogger’s February killing: the state’s 14-year-old stand-your-ground law, which says residents have no duty to retreat before using a deadly weapon in self-defense; and its citizen’s arrest law, which authorizes a civilian to detain someone if they believe that person is attempting to flee a felony. A Georgia defense attorney told Vice News that the latter does not allow the use of unreasonable force. And stand-your-ground laws have been found to yield racial disparities: According to the American Bar Association, a white shooter who kills a black victim is 350 percent more likely to be found justified in the use of lethal force than if the same shooter killed a white victim.

A group of white men with guns tried to force its way into a black family’s home in North Carolina. The group was reportedly looking for a missing 15-year-old girl (later found safe) when they descended on the house in Wilmington on May 3, demanding to speak with a black male teenager who does not live at that address. The sheriff’s deputy who led the men has been relieved of his duties.

The ATF’s former acting director wanted to regulate ghost guns. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives does not consider the parts used to assemble homemade, untraceable weapons to be guns and therefore does not regulate them. In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired this Sunday, Thomas Brandon, who led the ATF for four years, said he tried to get his Justice Department superiors to reclassify ghost gun assembly kits as firearms, but nothing ever came of it. A current ATF official told the news show that the agency is still working on the issue. From The Trace archives: The ATF told Alain Stephens last year that ghost guns comprised 30 percent of all weapons recovered by the bureau in California.

Five people were shot during Baltimore’s first virtual ceasefire weekend. Two men were killed and three others were wounded in separate incidents between Friday and Sunday, while Baltimore Ceasefire Weekend was holding its quarterly anti-violence event online for the first time. A study last year found that ceasefire weekends were associated with a more than 50 percent reduction in shootings. Behind the scenes: In March, The Trace’s J. Brian Charles checked in with the organizers as they made plans for adapting to social distancing. The big picture: Baltimore was one of the big cities where shootings had been falling during state stay-at-home orders, but not as much as other categories of violence crime.

There were at least three mass shootings over the weekend. Five people, including a child, were wounded outside a market in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday. Later that day in Fort Worth, five people were wounded during a party in a park that drew an estimated 600 people. On Saturday, four people were wounded by a shooting during a violent day in St. Louis that also saw eight others shot, two fatally. In Delaware, an elderly couple was killed in a cemetery by an active shooter. The victims, 85 and 86, were killed at a burial ground for veterans on Friday morning. The suspect, 29, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a six-hour standoff with officers.

A Texas man was arrested for threatening a mass shooting. The FBI says it received a tip that a 29-year-old Horizon City man posted a photo of a gun with the hashtags “#watchoutwalmartimcoming #droplikeflys.” Horizon City is 20 miles southeast of El Paso, where a gunman killed 23 people at a Walmart last August. “Anyone who makes a social media post threatening be a potential active shooter should expect to be identified and prosecuted,” an FBI official said

DATA POINT

There have been at least 245 anti-quarantine protests between April 1 and May 3, drawing between 35,000 and 47,000 people, according to an estimate. [Vox]