Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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[David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP]

Daily Bulletin: Gun Violence in America’s Murder Capital Is Getting Even Deadlier

Good morning, Bulletin readers. Welcome back from the holiday weekend. Your Monday roundup continues below. 

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

A maddening holiday ritual: Celebratory gunfire again grazed Fourth of July revelers. In Florida, a father and a two-month-old baby were struck by rounds fired into the air in separate incidents on July 4. As The Trace has reported previously, Independence Day weekend is the year’s busiest for celebratory gunfire, which can be deadly.

Gun violence in St. Louis is getting deadlier. That’s according to researchers from the University of Missouri-St. Louis who analyzed decades of police data. Among their findings: 94 percent of homicides in 2015-2016 involved a gun, compared to 78 percent in 2004. Robberies and assaults are more likely to end in homicides compared to eight years ago. Researchers believe the uptick is partially driven by an increased use of high-caliber bullets. Context: Chicago’s violence may capture more attention, but St. Louis is the repeat homicide capital of America.

The governor of Virginia outlined his goals for a special session on gun violence. Writing a guest column in The Virginian-Pilot, Democratic Governor Ralph Northam said he would use the General Assembly session that starts Tuesday to ask lawmakers to ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, pass universal background checks, and enact extreme risk protection orders, among other measures. Polls show: A bipartisan majority of Virginia voters support specific gun control policies.

NEW from THE TRACE: The NRA opposes a gun regulation it accidentally inspired. A new California law requires gun and ammo buyers who lack a REAL ID (a form of ID that meets stricter federal standards) to present a birth certificate or passport when undergoing a background check. While it was in the works, the National Rifle Association asked what gun sellers should do if presented with an older ID. The state’s Department of Justice cited the query when imposing the higher standards. You can read Alex Yablon’s item here.

The Alabama woman who was shot while pregnant won’t be charged for the death of her fetus. Prosecutors have decided not to pursue a manslaughter case against Marshae Jones, whose ordeal had attracted national attention after a grand jury blamed Jones for “initiating a fight knowing she was five months pregnant” while dismissing charges against the shooter.

A tech startup jumps into the security market created by school shootings. Aegis Al, a company based in Chicago, raised $2.2 million in venture capital funding, according to TechCrunch. The company says its software helps existing security cameras spot firearms and provides alerts almost instantaneously. “We can take over the role of a security guard with much higher accuracy at a much lower cost,” said the co-founder.