Good morning, Bulletin readers. A fresh document raises new concerns about improprieties by NRA insiders. That scoop leads your mid-week roundup.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: Former NRA executive claims top lawyer for the group stymied internal financial probes while racking up fees. In a newly obtained document, former National Rifle Association accountant Emily Cummins raised ethical and billing concerns about outside counsel William A. Brewer III, whose fees totaled $24 million over a 13-month period. In the written statement, Cummins accuses Brewer of trying to intimidate, deceive, and silence NRA staff who were processing his bills while growing increasingly troubled by the organization’s financial mismanagement. Here’s the story, published in partnership with ProPublica and The New Yorker.
Democratic candidates spent 10 minutes debating responses to gun violence during the first night of the party’s second 2020 primary debate. Two takeaways from the discussion:
- Moderator Don Lemon’s question on the issue mentioned Sunday’s mass shooting in Gilroy, California, alongside multiple-victim incidents of community violence this weekend in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. And candidates Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Steve Bullock each referenced the full scale of gun violence or the epidemic’s public health implications. The focus on gun violence as a whole was a small sign of a political evolution away from a fixation on mass shootings at expense of the everyday violence that disproportionately harms people of color.
- Democrats see gun violence prevention as a way to stump for campaign finance reform and bigger structural overhauls. In her remarks, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota promised to take the fight to the NRA, prompting several of her rivals to pivot to broader calls for purging Washington of special-interest money. Buttigieg went one step further, using the moment to plug his plans for changing the electoral college and creating an ideologically balanced Supreme Court.
For more on where the 2020 candidates stand on guns, check out our handy guide.
Hundreds gathered in Brooklyn to protest against gun violence. Anti-violence activists and concerned residents gathered at a recreation center in the Brownsville neighborhood on Monday, two days after a dozen people were shot at a block party there. At the march, New York State Senator Roxanne Persaud said: “Everyone says, ‘Thoughts and prayers for the people of California. We are here with you.’ When the shooting happens in Brownsville, what did people say? ‘That community is prone to violence.’”
Five New York City police officers have fatally shot themselves since June. Sergeant Terrance McAvoy, 30, died at his Staten Island home on Saturday. Four other officers have died by gun suicide since June 5. According to the department, an average of five officers have died by suicide each year since 2014. More officers die by suicide per year than are killed in the line of duty, according to The New York Times.
New York banned 3D-printed guns. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law on Tuesday that prohibits the possession, sale, and transport of undetectable firearms made of materials that do not set off metal detectors, including 3D-printed guns. (Correction: An earlier version of this item incorrectly described the New York law as a broader ban on ghost guns, which are untraceable firearms that lack serial numbers.)
Florida’s attorney general is trying to keep an assault weapon ban off the 2020 ballot. Republican Ashley Moody has asked the state Supreme Court to prevent a constitutional amendment to ban assault-style rifles from going before voters. The court must sign off on the wording before the initiative makes it onto the ballot.
A gun group is suing to overturn Maryland’s concealed carry laws. Maryland Shall Issue says the state’s mandate that residents provide a “good and substantial reason” to get a concealed carry permit is unconstitutional. Maryland is one of 10 “may issue” states that give authorities more discretion to deny applicants.
ONE LAST THING
Mass shootings you may have missed. This week we’re using this space to highlight recent incidents of gun violence in public spaces that have not drawn national media coverage. On July 5, six people were wounded when someone opened fire outside a house party in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. The victims — three men and three women ranging in age from 25 to 35 — had just come from the party when they were struck. A nearby resident said of the violence: “I don’t know how you stop it. It seems like there are more guns on the street now than before.”