Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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[Emmett Till Interpretive Center]

Daily Bulletin: Ole Miss Frat Bros Pose With Guns in Front of Bullet-Ridden Civil Rights Shrine

Good morning, Bulletin readers. A Mississippi civil rights monument that’s been repeatedly defaced was found riddled with bullets. Now a trio of college students face a possible federal probe.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Ole Miss fraternity brothers posed with guns in front of a lynching memorial. The photo, obtained by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica, shows one University of Mississippi student holding a shotgun and another with an AR-15 in front of a plaque honoring Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy who was kidnapped, tortured and lynched in 1955. The marker had been riddled with bullets. The U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Mississippi referred the case to the Justice Department for a potential civil rights investigation. The students were suspended from their fraternity, but a spokesperson for the university — which has been aware of the photo for months — said the photo does not violate the school’s code of conduct.

Federal prosecutors in Ohio continue domestic violence crackdown. The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, which includes Cincinnati, has taken on more than 40 gun-related domestic violence cases so far in 2019, up dramatically from the handful it has pursued in past years. Context: As The Trace has reported, Ohio is one of eight states where federal prosecutors are accepting cases targeting armed abusers, which have typically been the remit of local authorities.

Several news outlets asked a judge to unseal search warrants from the Poway synagogue shooting. The Associated Press and other media organizations want to know whether the suspect in the April 27 shooting, which left one person dead and three others wounded, obtained a hunting license to legally purchase his gun.

Democrats in Congress reintroduced a bill that would require fingerprinting with gun background checks. Representative Bobby Rush and Senator Tammy Duckworth, both of Illinois, unveiled the legislation that would also create a federal registry for gun sales and prohibit gun transfers without a valid firearms license. Fingerprints may catch more people banned from guns than standard checks. “We know that, so why aren’t we doing it?” an ex-ATF official told The Trace’s Brian Freskos earlier this year.

Columbine High School won’t be torn down after all. Community opposition compelled a Colorado school district to abandon plans to demolish the building, which has attracted thousands of trespassers in the two decades since the mass shooting there.

Parkland parents went to Capitol Hill to speak about school security. Members of Stand With Parkland, an advocacy group formed after last year’s shooting, appeared before the  Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The group, which says it’s pursuing a bipartisan approach, has focused mainly on hardening schools rather than push for new gun restrictions.

ONE LAST THING

Gun violence in Philadelphia is keeping police up at night. A summer shootings spike has inundated detectives in part of the city. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Mike Newall shadowed Frank McIlhenny, the commanding officer of the Northwest Detective Division, as he grappled with 16 shooting victims in 14 days. Even though the 53-year-old is a veteran officer, some things he’s seen this year have shocked him. “It’s always been bad,” McIlhenny told Newall. “But right now it’s really scary.”