Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

Placeholder Image

Daily Bulletin: A ‘Red Flag’ Law Disarmed a Middle School Student Who May Have Been Plotting a Shooting

Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing: Gun rights advocates are already going to court to try to stop the federal bump stock ban. Law enforcement in Vermont used a new law to remove weapons from a possible school shooter. And a Republican governor laments the lack of that tool in his state. 

Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here.

WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Gun groups are suing the Trump administration over its bump stock ban. Just hours after a rule banning the devices was announced Tuesday, three gun rights organizations and a bump stock owner filed a federal lawsuit to block it, saying it was implemented by “executive fiat.” Related: The National Rifle Association is “disappointed” by the bump stock ban. A spokesperson for the group said the federal government should provide amnesty for bump stock owners instead of requiring them to get rid of their devices.

John Kasich vetoed a gun bill. On Wednesday, the Republican governor of Ohio (and possible presidential aspirant) rejected a proposal that would have allowed out-of-state gun rights groups to sue cities and towns that enact their own firearm regulations. The bill also would have shifted the burden of proof in self-defense cases to the prosecution. Kasich has been pushing for a “red flag” law since February, but Republican lawmakers have refused to take up the measure. “The possibility of somebody coming through that door and shooting us exists,” Kasich said. “And we can’t do anything due to rotten, stinking politics.”

An extreme risk protection order may have helped prevent a school shooting in Vermont. A middle schooler tipped off police after he overheard another student saying he planned to steal a gun from a relative and shoot a classmate and “anyone else.” Prosecutors then issued an extreme risk protection order to remove guns from the relative’s home. Vermont passed its red flag law in response to the Parkland school shooting earlier this year.

The City Council in Washington, voted to outlaw high-capacity magazines. The measure, passed on Tuesday, also prohibits bump stocks, which the Justice Department banned on the same day. Anyone in possession of the items can now be charged with a felony and face up to three years in prison.

The top cop in Memphis is calling on legislators to make guns in cars illegal. In a speech to lawmakers, Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings asked for a ban on guns in cars because they’re easy targets for thieves. There have been more than 1,200 guns stolen from cars in Memphis this year, compared to fewer than 600 a few years ago. Still, the largely pro-gun state Legislature is unlikely to pass such a bill. From The Trace archives: Guns are stolen in America once every minute. Owners who leave their weapons in cars make it especially easy for thieves.

A Florida deputy shot and killed his family and himself. After he murdered his wife, daughter, and 6-year-old granddaughter, the man announced what he’d done over a police radio, then went to a local high school and killed himself. The deputy, who retired two years ago, had been hired back for security at a local elementary school after Parkland. His granddaughter attended the same school. Murder-suicides are a daily occurrence in America. In 2018, there have been at least 576 incidents, resulting in 1,300 deaths, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

After a teen was murdered in Virginia, police are searching for her dad. The mother of 18-year-old Vanessa Zaman said the young woman was excited to finally get to know her estranged father, whom she had tracked down a year earlier. But last week, the man allegedly shot her and another teenager to death in what investigators say was a fit of rage. Vanessa Zaman leaves behind a 9-year-old stepsister and a 2-year-old half-brother.

ONE LAST THING

After a spurt of violence in Chicago, a slow road to justice. During one weekend in August, at least 75 people were shot in Chicago. Since then, The Chicago Tribune has been reporting on what happens to the culprits.

The short answer is: Often, not much. Chicago identifies, apprehends, and prosecutes violent criminals at an abysmally low rate. In 2017, the city solved only 15 percent of nonfatal shootings. As a result, victims and their families face a depressingly long road to closure. Cases can drag on for years, and many are never resolved. Even when police do arrest a suspect, victims often say they feel exhausted and disappointed. “It’s not comforting at all,” said a woman who has been following the court case of the man who killed her son in August. “I lost my son. I’m glad they found someone for his murder, but it’s hard going to court.”