Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

Placeholder Image

[Photo illustration: Daniel Nass]

Daily Bulletin: The NRA’s Biggest Individual Donor, Revealed

Good morning, Bulletin readers. The NRA closely guards its list of benefactors, but The New York Times identified more than 1,000 of them. A revelation from that list leads your midweek roundup.

Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here.

WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

The NRA may be having trouble tapping its biggest bequest. The late magazine publishing magnate Robert Petersen is the largest known individual donor to the gun group, having given a total of $56 million through his family foundation. But there are two catches, the Times reports: Much of those gifts are in the form of rare and antique firearms that have to be sold when the NRA wants to liquidate them. And those sales have not been happening recently, possibly because the committee that approves them includes Tony Makris, an executive at Ackerman McQueen, the longtime National Rifle Association ad firm now embroiled in a legal battle with the organization.

A longtime NRA member called on top leadership to resign. In an open letter, Dr. Michael S. Brown wrote that “mismanagement and self-enrichment” threaten to “completely destroy the organization.” (CORRECTION: A previous version of the Daily Bulletin incorrectly identified Brown as an NRA board member. He is a member and contributor to Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership.)

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died. The liberal jurist died Tuesday at the age of 99. In May, he wrote that the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision establishing an individual right to gun ownership was “unquestionably the most clearly incorrect decision that the Supreme Court announced during my tenure on the bench.”

A Presbyterian church ordained a “minister of gun violence prevention.” Working through the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, Reverend Deanna Hollas of Dallas will will coordinate a network of over 800 Presbyterian gun violence prevention advocates in all 50 states.

A two-day summit in Washington State is addressing gun violence from a public health standpoint. Physicians, public health experts, lawmakers, and others gathered in King County on Tuesday to develop strategies that medical professionals can use to better identify patients most at risk of committing gun violence and raise awareness about existing prevention tools, like extreme risk protection orders. Seventy percent of gun deaths in the county, which includes Seattle, are from suicide.

An Iowa city abandoned its push for a high-capacity magazine ban. Local officials in the Des Moines decided on Monday not to adopt the regulation, along with a bump stock ban, after a city councilman pointed out that they would run afoul of the state’s pre-emption law and likely trigger lawsuits. The bigger picture:  Forty-five states have laws prohibiting local governments from passing gun ordinances stricter than those adopted by their state legislatures.

Two Sandy Hook families lost a negligence lawsuit. The parents of Jesse Lewis and Noah Pozner had sued the city of Newtown, Connecticut, claiming inadequate school safety measures helped contribute to the deaths of their children. On Friday, the Connecticut Appellate Court upheld a lower court’s ruling siding with the town.

A Democratic state lawmaker in Illinois urged Chicago residents to arm themselves. State Representative La Shawn Ford represents parts of Chicago, where his car was struck by bullets this weekend in a shooting that killed a 22-year-old man. He told a local shock jock, “I’m working with a concealed carry instructor and we’re going to go through the neighborhood and we’re going to encourage people to get their concealed carry license, because it makes no sense for people not to have the protections that they need.

ONE LAST THING

One reporter’s chronicle of the fallout from the Charleston church shooting. Jennifer Berry Hawes, who covered the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for the Post and Courier, spent more than two years in the South Carolina city exploring how the 2015 rampage impacted the survivors, the community, and the church itself, which was sued over how it handled donations intended for victims’ families. Profits from the resulting book, Grace Will Lead Us Home, will go toward paid internships for young journalists of color. Hawes told Pacific Standard magazine that she has come to see mass shootings as “a rock being thrown into a pond — you see the initial splash where the rock hits the water, and then these rings form and form and form and spread across the surface of the water … It affects so many people.”