Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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In this May 12, 2017 photo, Beth Roth, director of the Safe Tennessee Project, a grassroots organization that addresses gun violence in Tennessee. [AP Photo/Mark Humphrey]

Daily Bulletin: Women Are Driving Public Support for Stronger Gun Laws

Good morning, Bulletin readers. Congress reconvenes today. Here’s everything you need to get caught up on where things stand with the gun safety measures lawmakers may consider.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Women are driving support for stronger gun laws. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds a striking gender gap on gun safety measures, with women 20 percentage points more likely than men to say they are confident that stronger restrictions on firearms would reduce mass shootings. Women also trust Democrats in Congress more than President Trump to handle the issue. Consistent with other surveys, solid majorities of respondents support specific proposals like universal background checks, red flag laws, and assault weapon bans. But on those questions, too, support was strongest among women, whose votes will be critical to the outcomes of 2020 races.

Pressure grows on Trump to spell out the gun safety measures he would sign. Over the weekend, Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri reiterated the position of the Senate’s GOP leadership: We won’t bring up any bills Trump hasn’t backed. (Blunt added that Trump needs to “step up.”) Top Democrats sent the president a letter saying he has a “historic opportunity to save lives” and urged him to defy the National Rifle Association and give his blessing to a universal background check bill passed by the House. And today, a bipartisan group of mayors will be in Washington to meet with lawmakers and White House officials to press for action on gun violence.

Here’s what’s on the table as Congress reconvenes. The final package is TBD. But as a guide to the coming debate, we put together this rundown of the most significant measures in the mix, and the political actors who will shape their fate.

Another retailer asked customers to stop openly carrying guns in its stores. Supermarket chain Albertsons joined Kroger, Walmart, Walgreens, and Wegmans in asking shoppers to refrain from the practice in states where it’s legal. Last week, CVS asked customers not to bring guns into its stores, whether openly carried or concealed.

A top NRA lobbyist got illegal loans from the nonprofit she runs. That’s according to the politics news site Florida Bulldog, which reported Friday that the gun group’s longtime Florida lobbyist, Marion Hammer, obtained several loans over the years from Unified Sportsmen of Florida, the nonprofit she founded and runs. The arrangement is a violation of state law. The most recent loan was for $200,000 in 2017; according to the group’s regulatory filings, Hammer used it to “refinance and purchase” real estate.

An absolutist opponent of gun regulation created a 3D-printed 30-round magazine. Deterrence Dispensed posted a video on Friday announcing the device, and directed users to Keybase, the encrypted chat app the company uses to communicate.

A Florida man was arrested after threatening to shoot Jewish people. A friend of the 25-year-old suspect contacted the FBI after receiving text messages containing violent threats. Among the texts: “I bought a gun with my first paycheck,” and “I told you how much I hate Jews, right? There’s a chabad near me.” The suspect was arrested at his job on August 27.

The Justice Department wants Apple and Google to disclose users of a gun scope app. The DOJ applied for a court order last Thursday to compel the tech companies to hand over the personal data of users of Obsidian 4, which allows users to calibrate their gun scopes from their phones, Forbes reported. The request is part of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into violations of weapons export regulations. Agents hope to track illegal shipments of the scopes by narrowing down who has used the app.