Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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[Gage Skidmore]

Daily Bulletin: Wealthy NRA Donors Pull Their Dollars, Demand LaPierre Resign

Good morning, Bulletin readers. A slew of NRA developments lead your Wednesday roundup. Program note: The Daily Bulletin will take a short break on July 4th and 5th. Daily newsletter service will resume next Monday morning. Have a happy holiday!.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

A wealthy NRA donor is leading a financial revolt against the group’s leadership. David Dell’Aquila, a retired technology consultant, told The New York Times that a network of top National Rifle Association donors is ready to withhold millions in funds unless the gun group replaces “radioactive” CEO Wayne LaPierre and makes other specific reforms. A second donor told the Times that he’s also suspending his giving. The reasons cited by Dell’Aquila for pulling his money included our story about the organization’s ex- CFO, Woody Phillips, and his alleged embezzlement at a previous job.

More NRA developments

  • An NRA board member said he’s been punished for criticizing NRA executives. Timothy Knight was elected to the organization’s board of directors in 2015. He wrote on his Facebook page that he’s lost committee assignments since he “publicly expressed concern over current NRA management’s leadership.”
  • NRATV employees who want to their health insurance paid for must sign nondisclosure agreementsSeveral staffers of the recently shuttered video streaming channel told The Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski that Ackerman McQueen, the ad firm that produced the network until last week, will pay for their COBRA benefits only if they sign confidentiality agreements that preclude them from speaking out or suing the company. 

NEW from THE TRACE: The NRA steps into the fight against direct democracy. Gun reform activists have achieved significant gains through the referendum process in recent years. Now, the NRA has joined a broader push by members of the GOP’s conservative coalition to curtail ballot initiatives, throwing its weight behind bills in two states that would make it much harder to put policies directly to voters. Alex Yablon has the story.

California gun dealers reported delays in the state’s new ammo background check system. Several retailers said there were glitches in the new online system to conduct the checks. The NRA said it would include these hiccups in its request for an injunction blocking the law.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office lost its accreditation over its handling of two mass shootings. The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation said the unanimous decision stemmed from the sheriff’s response to both the Parkland shooting and the 2017 shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport. Florida’s law enforcement agencies must meet more than 250 professional standards in order to receive accreditation, but can still operate without it.

A man claiming to be a Santa Fe High School shooting survivor was unmasked as a fraud. David Briscoe had told several news outlets that he was a substitute teacher at the Texas high school and offered haunting details from about the incident. But the Texas Tribune discovered that he was an imposter. The real Briscoe is a lifelong Florida resident whose social media channels were hacked.

ONE LAST THING

Elements of the antifascist left are embracing firearms in response to surging white nationalism. The numbers are small, but pockets of the antifa movement have hosted marksmanship workshops in response to the appearance of right-wing militias along the border and other armed far-right groups, The New Republic reports. One such group, the Socialist Rifle Association, is led by a 22-year-old and counts LGBTQ and trans Americans among its members. Another group, the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, was launched after its founder spotted hate graffiti in the park where his child plays. “Two years ago these people would be like ‘Guns? This is terrible,’”

 he said. “That’s not the reaction now.”