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News and notes on guns in America

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[Tim Boyle/Bloomberg]

Daily Bulletin: More Guns, More Police Shootings

Good morning, Bulletin readers. Our country has a lot of guns. And also a lot of police shootings. Could the two be related? A new study is the latest to probe a possible connection. That story leads your mid-week roundup. 

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Fatal police shootings may be more frequent in states with more guns. A new study from Carnegie Mellon University compared state-level rates from The Washington Post‘s database of lethal force incidents by law enforcement to estimates of gun ownership. It found a “pronounced positive relationship” between the two. The analysis, published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciencebuilds on earlier research that determined fatal police shootings may be 40 percent more likely in states with more gun owners.

Parsed: Bernie Sanders’s evolution on guns. In a Washington Free Beacon article, political analyst Larry Sabato opines that Sanders recognized during the 2016 campaign that his history as a Second Amendment moderate “could be a real detriment to his presidential ambitions” in 2020. As recently as his last White House run, Sanders maintained his support for the federal law that shields the gun industry from most lawsuits. Sanders told The Trace in June that he would sign a bill repealing the law if elected.

Scuttled: Virginia bill that would have shuttered the NRA’s shooting range. Last month, Will Van Sant reported on a measure that would have outlawed privately owned gun ranges in buildings where 50 or more people work. A pro-gun website could find only one range that fit the criteria: the one at National Rifle Association headquarters. The proposal was clearly meant to “poke the NRA in the eye,” said Andrew Goddard, a prominent gun reform advocate in Virginia who confirmed to The Trace that the bill failed in committee last week.

Members of a white supremacist cell who allegedly planned an attack at a Virginia gun rights rally pleaded not guilty. In a Maryland court, the three men denied the charges against them, which include illegally transporting a machine gun and other firearms with the intent to commit a felony. From The Trace: How the men used unregulated DIY gun kits to build an arsenal, including an AR-15 ghost gun that fired fully automatic.

More from the Old Dominion: Democrat alleges armed intimidation by local Republican official. Delegate Mark Levine, a Democrat who sponsored a failed assault weapons ban, asked prosecutors to press charges against the chair of a local Republican committee after he showed up at Levine’s home in Alexandria to urge him to withdraw the bill while wielding a semiautomatic rifle.

The American Bar Association makes its case for stronger gun laws. The powerful attorneys’ group adopted a resolution urging federal, state, and local governments to ban “ghost guns,” implement permitting and fingerprinting requirements to buy a firearm, and require gun owners to safely store their weapons.

‘Gun girl’ vows face-off with college protestors. Kaitlin Bennett, the Kent State alumna who went viral after posing with an AR-10 rifle in her 2018 graduation photo, was confronted by a throng of jeering students during an appearance at Ohio University on Monday. Bennett vowed to return to the school with “an army of gun owners” to stage a walk through campus while openly carrying firearms.

DATA POINT

Over a 15-year stretch, less than a third of gun suicides in Maryland involved a long gun. But the numbers jumped to 52 percent for those in rural areas and 47 percent for those 18 and younger. — Injury Epidemiology