Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

Daily Bulletin: Facebook Users Still Sidestepping Platform’s Gun-Sale Ban

Good morning, Bulletin readers. We conceived Since Parkland as a way to empower teen journalists to report on how gun violence is affecting their generation. Together, the students we worked with profiled more than 1,000 children and teens killed by guns. But when the project launched, some of those stories felt incomplete. Below, our effort to fix that. —Champe Barton, accountability fellow

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NEW FROM THE TRACE

Since Parkland: The Hardest Stories to Tell. When our Since Parkland project went live in February in partnership with the Miami Herald, McClatchy newspapers, and NowThis News, the nearly 1,200 profiles it contained were organized in categories that showed children and teens lost to guns as more than just statistics: They were athletes, musicians, siblings, college-bound seniors, young parents, community volunteers, dancers, artists, and more. But one category, “Stories Left to Tell,” housed profiles of more than 100 young victims, mostly black and Latino, whose hobbies, talents, and aspirations remained unknown — partly due to scant media coverage. Over the summer, we assembled a team of 10 of the teen journalists who powered Since Parkland to try to correct that. They’ve added humanizing detail to 85 profiles, resulting in stories like that of Abaas Mohamed:

Katina Paron and Akoto Ofori-Atta led this important follow-up reporting, with Daniel Nass building the feature page. The full update can be found here.

Despite his criminal record, Cody Wilson is back in the 3D-printed gun business. The self-described anarchist and figurehead of the 3D-printed gun movement led investigators on an international manhunt last year before being arrested and charged with having sex with a minor. In August, he struck a deal with Travis County prosecutors in Texas, pleading guilty to injury to a child, which is a felony. The charge prohibits Wilson from carrying a handgun in public, and from buying and selling weapons at gun stores. But a loophole of sorts in the plea deal leaves alive a narrow possibility that the state wipes his felony charge. And while on probation, Texas does not view him as prohibited from gun ownership. Alain Stephens has the story, in partnership with KUT in Austin.

WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Facebook users are still sidestepping the platform’s ban on gun sales. An investigation this summer by The Wall Street Journal showed that users were selling guns on the social network, advertising them as empty gun cases. ABC11 in North Carolina found that the practice continues, with dozens of falsely labeled firearms for sale on Facebook’s marketplace. A spokesperson reiterated the company’s ban on guns and said users are encouraged to report suspicious sellers.

GOP Missouri lawmakers omit gun measures from 2020 crime-reduction plan. The plan Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt laid out addresses topics like carjacking and police hiring requirements. But it excludes gun violence-specific reforms, to the frustration of advocates and state Democrats. “We don’t want to infringe on anyone’s Second Amendment rights, buy what outstate legislators must understand,” said Democratic State Senator Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis, “is that while they use guns to hunt animals and deer, we have young black men and women being hunted by guns in the city of St. Louis.” Context: Since 2014, St. Louis has led the country in homicides per 100,000 residents, making it the country’s murder capital.

A Virginia university cancelled events and classes after a gun threat. Someone left a voicemail on a University of Mary Washington phone line saying he would bring a gun to campus early Tuesday afternoon. The person was later arrested and is now facing criminal charges, according to a school official.

The Oklahoma Walmart shooting was likely domestic-related. Police positively identified the victims in a double murder suicide carried out Monday in a Walmart in the town of Duncan. “It appears right now to be a domestic dispute,” said lead the lead police investigator.

Gunmaker Stag Arms is moving its business operations from Connecticut to Wyoming. The AR-15 rifle-maker first mentioned plans to leave the state in June, saying it preferred a state that would offer “significant support for the firearms industry.” Other states have been trying to woo the firearms manufacturer ever since more restrictive gun reforms took effect after Sandy Hook, said the mayor of New Britain, the city Stag Arms leaves behind.

DATA POINT

Twenty-six children under the age of 10 have been shot in Philadelphia, five fatally, since the beginning of 2015. All of them were black or Hispanic. [Institute for Better Gun Violence Reporting]