Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Protesters demonstrate at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Monday, April 20, 2020, demanding that Gov. Tom Wolf reopen Pennsylvania's economy. [AP Photo/Matt Slocum]

Daily Bulletin: Michigan Braces for Fresh Quarantine Protests

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

NEW from THE TRACE: Gun shops defied state orders to shut down. Five states — Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, and Washington — ordered gun dealers to close in April under their stay-at-home orders. But an analysis of FBI background check data and calls to more than 50 dealers reveals that many stores were open for business. Read our new investigation, published in partnership with USA TODAY.

Michigan braces for fresh quarantine protests — and lawmakers issue a warning. Right-wing militia groups are among those planning to protest later today at the Capitol building in Lansing, the latest in a series of demonstrations against Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s statewide closure order to stem the pandemic. Two weeks ago, armed anti-quarantine demonstrators entered the Senate gallery and angrily confronted lawmakers. The state’s attorney general warned protesters that openly carrying guns could be interpreted as brandishing. The Republican Senate majority leader agreed, denouncing recent threats against Whitmer and calling for the arrest of anyone who brandishes a gun during a protest.

Republicans refuse to extend emergency domestic violence protections in Washington State. An emergency order signed by Governor Jay Inslee last month allows subjects of temporary restraining orders to be served electronically, and lifted a requirement that a hearing must take place within 14 days. (In Washington, a temporary restraining order can trigger a gun ban.) The order expired on Sunday, and Inslee cannot renew it on his own. That requires the majority and minority leaders in both chambers of the Legislature to agree to it. Democrats support extending the order for another month. But the Senate minority leader, a Republican, balked. His Democratic counterpart called the move “incomprehensible.”

DOJ awards $61 million to police departments in high-crime cities. The new allocations are part of Operation Relentless Pursuit, an initiative to combat crime in cities with violent crime rates several times the national average. More than $51 million will be used to hire more than 200 law enforcement officers in seven cities, including Albuquerque, Memphis, and Milwaukee. Another $10 million will go toward hiring prosecutors and funding multi-agency investigations.

Social distancing spat leads to shooting in Texas. A man was refused service on a San Antonio bus Tuesday morning because of unspecified pandemic-related restrictions, police said. The licensed concealed carrier proceeded to shoot and critically injure a passenger who got off the bus to confront him. Police charged him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Meanwhile, police in the Dallas area are investigating a man who threatened gun violence at a Whole Foods supermarket over its mask policy.

Florida college student arrested over mass shooting threat. Police say the 36-year-old man emailed a manifesto to the student newspaper at the University of Florida and threatened to open fire at Virginia Tech, which was the site of a mass shooting in 2007. He was charged with written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. College officials had already been investigating him for “endangering behavior” and sexual harassment.

DATA POINT

15 of 20 — the number of gun stores in Michigan that reported being open despite the state declaring them nonessential businesses. The Trace