Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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[Finlay Mackay]

Daily Bulletin: Philadelphia Trauma Surgeons Say ‘Everyday Mass Shootings’ Are Routine in Their ERs

Good morning, Bulletin readers. A gang database once touted by the Chicago Police Department gets slammed by an internal watchdog. A one-week respite from California’s high-capacity magazine sales ban sparked a flurry of sales. And a toddler in Georgia killed his sister with an unsecured gun. Your end-of-week wrap-up starts below.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

The Chicago Police Department’s gang database is too flawed to provide an effective tool for fighting gun violence. That’s according to a stinging 160-page audit released yesterday by Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General. The OIG concluded that the methods by which people are labelled gang members “raise significant data quality concerns,” and noted that there’s no procedure in place for people on the list to contest their inclusion. The lack of transparency around the database, which has grown to more than 134,000 names, is eroding community trust. The OIG’s report includes numerous recommendations for fixing the problems.

Philadelphia doctors released a study of the city’s “everyday mass shootings.” City hospitals recorded 54 “clustered arrivals” of gunshot patients, in which four or more people came to the emergency room within 15 minutes, between 2005 and 2015, according to a study by Temple University Hospital trauma surgeons. For hospitals, simultaneously treating several gunshot victims creates acute stress and challenges regardless of whether one or multiple culprits caused the harm. The surgeons hope their research brings greater media coverage and public outcry to community gun violence.

Twelve percent of adults in Florida have concealed gun permits. As of March 31, a total of 1,971,997 people were licensed to carry concealed weapons in Florida, which already has the highest number of permits in the country. That number grows by about 17,500 per month, according to the state. If the rate holds, permits will hit two million by the end of May.

Hundreds of thousands of high-capacity magazines may have been sold in California after a judge temporarily halted a state ban. Gun industry sources reported a run on ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds between March 29, when a federal judge ruled that the 18-year-old ban on sales of the devices violated the Second Amendment, and April 5, when that decision was stayed pending an appeal. The California Rifle and Pistol Association trumpeted the window as “freedom week.”

The Texas Senate passed a bill that would remove a cap on the number of armed employees in schools. Under current law, schools can designate either one marshal for every 200 students or one marshal per building. Meeting for their first legislative session since 10 people were killed at Santa Fe High School, the state Senate moved to eliminate that limit in a party-line vote. The ex-lawmaker who drafted the current policy expressed concern that having too many armed employees in a school could confuse police, who might “lose track of the good guys versus the bad guys.” The legislation now moves to the state House.

A 4-year-old Georgia boy fatally shot his 6-year-old sister. On Monday, Millie Drew Kelly was unintentionally shot by her brother, who found a gun in the center console of a car parked in their family’s driveway. Police said no charges would be filed against her mother, who’d gotten out of the car right before the gun went off.

ONE LAST THING

Teen gun reformers are advocating for better mental health care in schools. Two leaders of March For Our Lives Arizona write in The Nation that they worked with state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to craft a bill that would require school districts to outline a plan for how to respond to students in mental-health crises. The legislation — “written by students, for students” — also calls on schools to develop partnerships with outside agencies where students can be sent when campus counselors are unable to provide long-term care. The authors, high-school seniors Jordan Harb and Emma Rowland, point out that Arizona has the worst student-to-counselor ratio in the country — 900 to 1, far higher than the national recommendation of 250 to 1. “We are tired of overworked counselors too busy to meet with students; we are tired of not being listened to,” they write.