Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Daily Bulletin: 1999 – 2017: 610,000+ American Gun Deaths

Good morning, Bulletin readers. A new research paper puts numbers to the recent, national surge in gun deaths. We cover this issue every day, but the total still staggered us

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

America’s rate of gun deaths began to rise in 2015 after remaining relatively flat for nearly two decades. From 1999 to 2017 (the most recent year for which federal data is available), more than 610,000 people died in the United States as the result of a firearm, researchers calculate. Nearly a quarter of those deaths occurred between 2015 and 2017 as firearm fatalities jumped by 13.8 percent. Only four states — Arizona, California, Nevada, and New York — showed a decrease during that time. North Dakota, Missouri, Ohio, and New Hampshire recorded the most pronounced increases. The findings were published by the journal Health Affairs in a special issue on violence.

An encrypted messaging platform used by white nationalists features guides for plotting mass shootings. More than two-thirds of the 150 rightwing extremist channels on the Telegram platform were created this year, according to an analysis by Vice News. “There is a definitive shift toward encrypted or smaller platforms where the messaging is both more vile and violent,” one expert said. More from the article: “Many of the channels that have cropped up in the last six months promote an extremely violent philosophy known as accelerationism,a belief that the fastest way to establish a new white civilization is to commit violent acts and undermine social stability.”

Florida’s red flag law has been used on dozens of minors. Of the 2,500 people who have been served with risk protection orders in the year and a half since the law took effect, at least 100 have been under 18, WFTS reported. The youngest child was 8. A GOP state senator called it “an overstep,” but the Polk County Sheriff defended the practice.

The ATF shut down an Indiana gun shop and confiscated the inventory. Federal authorities seized 390 guns worth $224,000 from G2 Sport Products in Indianapolis following a months-long investigation into the firearms dealer, which is accused of selling guns to a prohibited person and falsifying records. A man who said he handled most of the operations for G2 was himself barred from owning firearms. The store’s owners agreed to surrender their federal firearms license and get out of the gun business altogether.

Two more Nevada cities are circumventing domestic violence gun bans. Last month, the state Supreme Court ruled that defendants in misdemeanor domestic violence cases are entitled to a jury trial. Faced with an overload of cases, officials in Las Vegas proposed a bill that would establish a misdemeanor offense without triggering a gun ban. Now, North Las Vegas and Henderson are weighing similar ordinances. Each jurisdiction handles about 1,000 domestic violence cases per year.

A Colorado DA says judges resist efforts to follow up on domestic violence gun surrenders. George Brauchler, a prosecutor in Arapahoe County, says he’s tried seven times in the last year to obtain search warrants for domestic violence defendants who didn’t show documentation that they properly surrendered their firearms. Each time, Brauchler says, he was rejected by county judges. One of those defendants killed his 10-year-old son and himself on September 21. “I think the law right now has proved to be completely ineffective,” the prosecutor said.

A California man was found guilty of cyberstalking grieving Parkland families. The 22-year-old Santa Ana man used Instagram to issue kidnapping and gun violence threats. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

A University of Georgia student accidentally shot herself on campus. The unidentified student shot herself in the leg in a chemistry building on Tuesday. It’s unclear if she had a concealed carry permit. A 2017 law allows people with concealed gun permits to carry guns on public college campuses.

DATA POINT

There have been at least 607 shootings in New York City so far this year, a 5.9% increase from the same period in 2018, during which the city set record lows for violent crime. [Newsday]