Good morning, Bulletin readers. Online posts by NRA board members are the latest sign of turmoil within the organization. Senator Cory Booker proposes new legislation to reduce gun suicides. And California investigators used a heat map to bust an illegal gun ring. Those stories and more, in your mid-week briefing.
Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here.
WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
An NRA board member calls for Wayne LaPierre to step down. In a Tuesday blog post, former U.S. Representative Allen West decried the “cabal of cronyism” within the organization, and accused the chairman of the National Rifle Association’s audit committee, Charles Cotton, and NRA President Carolyn Meadows of “outright lies” when they said this week that the entire board was fully aware of new details about LaPierre’s lavish spending. A second NRA board member also says directors weren’t informed of its financial issues. “I certainly did not know all those things being leaked nor do I believe that the whole Board was aware,” Colorado businessman and activist Timothy Knight wrote in a Facebook post. New York Times headline on its new ticktock of the infighting: “At the NRA, a Cash Machine Sputtering.”
Gun rights advocates are suing the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. In a class-action lawsuit filed Monday, the gun rights group Florida Carry alleges that customers are facing delays far longer than the state’s new minimum three-day waiting period for gun purchases. Last year, state lawmakers passed a bill extending the statewide waiting period to at least three days or until the background check is completed (whichever is later) in order to allow law enforcement sufficient time to complete an evaluation.
Senator Cory Booker proposed federal legislation to reduce gun suicides. The Democratic presidential candidate on Tuesday released a five-point plan that would encourage laws allowing family members to petition a judge to temporarily block a suicidal person from obtaining guns. It also includes safe storage requirements, a gun licensing program, expanded suicide prevention training for health professionals, and a new senior-level White House staff position focused solely on gun suicides.
Last month’s UNCC shooting had little impact in Washington. The April 30 attack left two students dead and four others injured at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, yet had little impact in the halls of Congress, an analysis by McClatchy found. No major press conferences, marches, or vigils were scheduled, and no bills were introduced in response. “It’s almost become commonplace around here,” said Representative Alma Adams, a Democrat who represents Charlotte.
Growth in undocumented populations does not lead to higher local crime rates. New Pew Research Center data analyzed by The Marshall Project and The New York Times shows no sign of a link between undocumented immigrants and crime. Previous research has found that immigrants are less likely to engage in criminal activity than the general population.
Two 4-year-old boys were killed by guns in two days. In Ohio, the son of a state trooper unintentionally shot himself Sunday with his dad’s unsecured “back-up” weapon, authorities said. The shooting was ruled accidental but State Police are investigating because the weapon was state-issued. The next day, a boy in Illinois was one of two shooting victims found in a parking lot outside an apartment complex. Police have no information on possible suspects.
ONE LAST THING
Baltimore’s “war on guns” is primarily waged against poor black citizens. In a New York Times op-ed, two Baltimore reporters draw a link between the city’s aggressive policing of gun possession and the war on drugs. The city’s Gun Trace Task Force, a unit whose members were indicted on federal racketeering charges in 2017, primarily targets black neighborhoods, where residents have said they already feel “overpoliced and underserved.” The strategy hasn’t yet significantly lowered the city’s shooting rate. “It is a city waging war on its own citizens,” they argue. “And it doesn’t work.”