Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Daily Bulletin: SCOTUS Sets Date For Potentially Major Gun Case

Good morning, Bulletin readers. After the Dayton mass shooting, Ohio looked like it might be a state where senior Republicans embraced changes long sought by gun violence prevention groups. Yesterday, Governor Mike DeWine put forward a plan that follows a more predictable political script. That story and more in your Tuesday roundup.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

The Supreme Court is moving forward with its first gun case in nearly a decade. The justices on Monday set oral arguments for December 2 in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York City, a challenge to the city’s ban on transporting a licensed handgun to a home or shooting range outside the five boroughs. The NYPD, which issues firearm permits to city residents, scuttled the ban after the case was filed, but the Supreme Court declined to dismiss the challenge. From The Trace archives: A legal scholar breaks down the significance of the case, which gives SCOTUS’s conservative majority a chance to weigh in on whether or how far private gun rights extend to public spaces.

Ohio governor abandons earlier support for significant new gun safety laws. Days after the mass shooting in Dayton, Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, proposed a multi-pronged plan to reduce shootings that indicated he  was willing to defy the NRA by extending gun background checks to private sales and endorsing red flag orders for removing guns from lawful owners presenting clear threats. On Monday, DeWine unveiled a legislative package, sponsored by a Republican state senator, intended to turn his ideas into law. The bill includes increased penalties for illegal gun possession, straw purchasing, and selling guns to minors and persons barred from owning firearms. But it’s what’s missing from the bill that’s drawing the most attention: DeWine’s proposal would make background checks on private sales voluntary, rather than mandate them. It also does not include language creating red flag orders, and instead calls for expanding a state program under which persons deemed mentally ill can be detained in psychiatric facilities for 72-hours to include those with substance abuse disorders. USA Today boiled it down: “Ohio would lock up its residents instead of their guns.”

NEW from THE TRACE: The art of surviving. New York City’s Coler Hospital provides long term care to more than 500 residents, including men injured in shootings. In 2016, some of those men launched Open Doors, an arts collective that promotes creativity and leadership among people affected by gun violence. Elizabeth Van Brocklin profiled the group, which has helped survivors reinvent themselves after devastating injuries.

Funding for research into child shootings does not reflect their lethality, a new study found. Guns are the second-leading cause of death among children under 18. Yet research investigating pediatric gun violence receives just $88 million in federal funding each year. That’s $323 million less than the third-leading cause of death, cancer, and $76 million less than the leading cause, car crashes. The study, from a team at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, is one of several from a special issue of Health Affairs focusing on violence and health. Another study linked community violence with higher rates of loneliness and social isolation in Chicago residents.

The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods says pulling back from the gun business has cost the company a quarter of a billion dollars. Ed Stack told CBS Sunday Morning that he doesn’t regret his decision to stop selling guns to anyone under 21 and pull AR-15s from the shelves of his Field & Stream stores in the wake of the Parkland shooting. “If we do these things and it saves one life, don’t you think it’s worth it?”

A bipartisan bill in Congress aims to compel states to report domestic violence convictions to the background check system. The “Bipartisan Domestic Violence Reporting Act,” unveiled Monday by a Democratic representative from New York and a Republican representative from Ohio, would provide federal funding for states that forward domestic violence convictions and orders of protection to the federal background check system.

A school shooting may have been thwarted by a concerned mother. Police in Washington State say a 17-year-old planned to attack his high school with guns and pipe bombs on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, but his mother found his journal and called police, prompting his arrest. “I know I made the right choice,” she told a local news station through tears.

A high school teacher in Iowa was suspended for posting a veiled shooting threat on Facebook. The chemistry teacher in Waterloo wrote on Facebook last week that he wouldn’t attend an Iowa City rally featuring teen climate activist Greta Thunberg because he didn’t have his “sniper rifle.” He was placed on administrative leave.

A family of five was shot to death in Massachusetts. The victims include a couple and their children, 9-year-old twins and an 11-year-old girl. Police have not ruled out murder-suicide.

DATA POINT

The 13 children killed by guns in St. Louis since April represent a total of 818 years of lost life, based on estimates of life expectancy. [The Guardian]