Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Wayne LaPierre at the NRA Convention on April 26 in Indianapolis. [AP/Evan Vucci]

Daily Bulletin: The NRA Is Paying Its Law Firm Nearly $100K a Day, Leaked Documents Say

Good morning, Bulletin readers. Leaked letters provide yet more detail on the NRA’s runaway spending. A judge dismissed most of the gun group’s claims against New York state officials. And a Florida man was killed by a stray bullet that traveled more than 1,000 feet.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Leaked documents contain new details on NRA boss Wayne LaPierre’s lavish spending. Word of the six-figure travel and clothing expenses that LaPierre charged to longtime marketing firm Ackerman McQueen surfaced late last month. Now we have specifics on where the money went, thanks to attachments included in a pair of April letters from ousted National Rifle Association President Oliver North to the organization’s audit committee. A source told The Wall Street Journal the documents appear authentic. The transactions they cover include:

  • shopping sprees at the Beverly Hills location of Ermenegildo Zegna that twice reached as high as $39,000
  • a 2013 trip to Italy and Hungary that rang in at $44,750
  • $13,800 in rent for a summer intern

Meanwhile, the documents also tally the NRA’s mounting legal bills: Since bringing in lawyer William A. Brewer as outside counsel, the NRA has paid his firm approximately $24 million — or nearly $100,000 a day.

The NRA’s lawsuit against New York authorities suffered a setback on Friday. A U.S. district judge dismissed the NRA’s claims that the state’s Department of Financial Services and Governor Andrew Cuomo violated the group’s rights by selectively enforcing the state’s insurance laws and pressuring banks and insurance companies not to do business with the organization.

The Denver area has experienced four school shootings since Columbine. That’s from a New York Times analysis of a shooting database that determined the frequency of incidents in which shooters plan their attacks and fire indiscriminately, like the shooting last week at the Highland Ranch STEM school in Colorado. The analysis, which does not include incidents at colleges, found that there have been 111 such attacks since 1970. Last year was particularly violent, with 29 people killed and 48 injured in just three such shootings. The Times captured the increasing frequency of school shootings in this chart:

One person was killed and two others were wounded by stray gunfire from a shooting in Florida. A 43-year-old man was sitting in his car when he was hit in the head by a bullet, which apparently traveled more than 1,000 feet from the scene of a shooting outside the Trump International Beach Resort in northeast Miami-Dade County. A 19-year-old woman and a 5-year-old boy also sustained injuries from the bullets. Police have taken multiple suspects into custody.

Two Georgia teens pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on their school. Alfred Dupree and Victoria McCurley were arrested in October 2017 when they were both 17, after police received a tip of their plan. Authorities found the pair’s “kill list,” plus explosive chemicals and weapons at their homes. They pleaded guilty to six charges of attempted murder.

ONE LAST THING

“We cannot challenge and chastise other nations for the security of their people, when we allow our people to be randomly murdered for the lack of spine to call out the problem.” So argued Democrat Stacey Abrams, the former gubernatorial candidate in Georgia and a potential 2020 presidential candidate, speaking at a conference aimed at developing progressive foreign policy. Her point was furthered by Mitch Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans, who said: “When we say ‘homeland security,’ you actually have to secure the homeland. Not just from people that might be coming this way militarily to hurt us, but actually on the streets, every day, all the time.”