Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Daily Bulletin: A Quarter of NRA Board Members Collected Money From the Group

Good morning, Bulletin readers. Having a personal weapon quadruples a service member’s risk of suicide. A squabble over nickels and dimes left one young man dead. And new details on the NRA’s self-dealing continue to emerge. Those stories and more, below. 

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

A quarter of NRA board members have received payments from the gun group. That’s according to a new analysis from The Washington Post, which examined tax filings and other records to find that 18 of the National Rifle Association’s 76 board members received some sort of payment from the organization over a three-year period. It’s not illegal for board members to do business with their organization, as long as proper disclosures are filed, but one attorney who specializes in tax-exempt groups says the extensive payments raise “a threshold question of who the organization is serving. Is it being run for the benefit of the gun owners in the country and the public? Or is it being run as a business-generating enterprise for officers and employees of the organization?” From The Trace archives: Here’s an illustrated guide to other self-dealing and lavish spending at the gun group, a pattern first brought to light by our reporting.

Members of the armed services who have personal weapons at home are more likely to die by suicide, according to new research. The findings, published Friday, come as part of a government-funded effort to understand active duty military suicides, which now cause more service member deaths than combat injuries. The report’s authors found that storing a loaded gun at home or carrying a loaded gun in public for non-military purposes was associated with a four-fold increase in the odds of death by suicide.

Connecticut has a new safe-storage law. Democratic Governor Ned Lamont signed a bill on Friday that requires guns to be locked up if left in unattended cars. He also approved a measure that regulates 3D-printed guns and bans “ghost guns,” unless the person building the weapon from unmarked parts engraves upon it a serial number obtained from the state government.

Five people were fatally shot on a Washington State Indian reservation on Saturday. Four bodies were found at two separate locations on the Yakama Reservation; another person died at a nearby hospital. Police have taken two suspects into custody, and officials — including the FBI, Yakama tribal police and the local sheriff’s office — are continuing to investigate.

Two Florida teens killed a 20-year-old who asked to borrow 50 cents. According to court filings, Tyson Binder asked a pair of 15-year-olds for change; the teens grew agitated when Binder then asked them to ask someone else for him. One of them allegedly retrieved a gun from his sister’s house, trailed Binder, punched him in the face, then shot him three times. The State’s Attorney has charged the teens with second-degree murder and will try them as adults. Binder’s death was the seventh homicide so far this year in Leon County, where Tallahassee is located.

ONE LAST THING

Virginia lawmakers are being called back for a special session on gun violence prevention. Here’s why firearm restrictions usually go nowhere in the legislature. On Slate’s “What’s Next” podcast, Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst reveals what usually happens to gun bills in the GOP-majority House of Delegates: They get shunted to the ambiguously named Subcommittee 2, and quietly rejected in late night or early morning votes. As Governor Ralph Northam has called a special legislative session to act on gun reform following the mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Hurst — whose girlfriend Alison Parker was fatally shot while filming a live television broadcast in 2015 — sheds light on the specific forces and attitudes at play in Virginia’s firearms debate.