Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Daily Bulletin: A $9.8 Million Shot in the Arm for Gun Violence Research

Good morning, Bulletin readers. For social media platforms, restricting 3D-printed gun sharing continues to look a lot like a game of Whack-a-Mole. That story leads your Thursday round-up, below.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

NEW from THE TRACE: As social networks crack down, gun activists take plans for 3D-printed firearms to new platforms. Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and Facebook have implemented bans on digital blueprints for 3D-printed guns, which can be manufactured at home from plastics and lack serial numbers. But the anarchists, libertarians, and anti-regulation trolls promulgating DIY ghost guns are now migrating to new platforms, including an encrypted chat app launched by the founders of dating site OkCupid. Champe Barton, The Trace’s accountability fellow, has the story.

Gun violence researchers just got a major influx of private funding. The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research announced $9.8 million in initial grants, one of the largest awards for scientific study of the issue in decades. The 17 projects receiving backing will look at some of the central unanswered questions surrounding gun violence, including whether a gun in the home affects the safety of residents, the effect of concealed carry laws on rates of shootings, and the variables that may determine the effectiveness of universal background checks. The research collaborative was established through a $20 million donation by the philanthropic organization Arnold Ventures and is managed by the RAND Corporation. You can find the full list of funded studies here.

Oregon’s governor signed a bill that closes a potentially deadly loophole. Democrat Kate Brown signed a law on Tuesday that requires people convicted of domestic violence or stalking to turn in their guns, even if they skip a court hearing.

An anti-violence program in one Pennsylvania town ran out of funding just before a deadly shooting streak. Zero Youth Violence, a nonprofit in the former steel-manufacturing city of Allentown, had to lay off staff and cut programming after a state grant expired last month. The city has logged 26 shootings since June 1. Zero Youth Violence’s director lamented the timing, “We can’t be everywhere if we don’t have the funding or the staff.”

A group of concerned Chicago parents opened a pizza place to fund anti-violence efforts. Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings, or M.A.S.K.is opening Peace of Pizza to provide employment training for at-risk teens who want job skills. A quarter of the restaurant’s revenues will go to programs aimed at addressing violence, housing instability, and food insecurity in the Englewood neighborhood.

Texas is leading the nation in unintentional child shooting deaths this year. According to two gun safety groups that have been tracking such incidents, 19 children have died because of unsecured guns in the Lone Star State since January. Tennessee is second with 18 child fatalities.

A lapse in background check procedures allowed prohibited persons to purchase firearms in Alabama. Under federal law, licensed concealed gun carriers can use their permits in lieu of a going through a background check when buying guns. But in Alabama, some sheriffs weren’t properly vetting permit applicants, issuing licenses to people banned from guns because of their records. The ATF said Alabama must stop accepting concealed carry licenses as an alternative to background checks “effective immediately.”

ONE LAST THING

An advocate of arming teachers is 2019’s “Sheriff of the Year.” The National Association of Sheriffs bestowed the honor on Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, Florida, this spring. A commentary piece in The Appeal tracks the elected lawman’s rise to national prominence, fueled by his dogmatic and sometimes graphic advocacy of allowing classroom teachers to be armed. Gualtieri twice appeared on NRATV before it ceased new programming.