Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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[AP Photo/LM Otero]

Daily Bulletin: Two Mass Shootings Result in at Least a Dozen Casualties

Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing: A new analysis from The Trace and FiveThirtyEight reveals problems with the CDC’s gun injury data. Two mass shootings yesterday afternoon left at least 12 casualties. And a Republican senator seeks revenge on banks that have taken stands against gun violence. Those stories and more, below.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Seven law enforcement officers were shot, one fatally, while serving a warrant in South Carolina. The shooting occurred in the small city of Florence in the northeast part of the state. “These officers went there unknowing the firepower this suspect had,” the local sheriff said through tears. “He had an advantage. The officers couldn’t get to the ones that were down” until an armored vehicle was brought in. Forty-three law enforcement officers have been killed by gunfire this year, according to Officer Down Memorial Page.

At least five people were injured in a drive-by shooting outside a Philadelphia shopping center. Police say at least two gunmen opened fire from a vehicle outside a Dollar General in the Germantown neighborhood of the city on Wednesday afternoon, firing a total of 18 shots and wounding five people. The victims were between the ages of 19 and 23. Yesterday’s incidents in South Carolina and Philadelphia were the 272nd and 273rd mass shootings (defined as four or more people killed or injured) so far this year.

Hard-won protections for domestic violence victims are headed to the governor’s desk in Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, the State Senate approved a bill requiring people convicted of domestic abuse or subject to final restraining orders to surrender their firearms to a gun dealer or lawyer within 24 hours, down from the 60 days they have under existing law. Governor Tom Wolf has said he plans to sign the measure, which is the swing state’s first tough gun law in years.

Alex Jones, the Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist, is suing PayPal for “viewpoint discrimination.” Last month, PayPal announced it would stop processing payments for Jones’s website. On Monday, Jones filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that the decision was discriminatory.

A Republican senator is pushing a bill to stop banks from imposing conditions on gun-industry clients or taking other positions based on “social policy considerations.” Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana says his legislation is a response to moves by banks like Citigroup, which announced after the Parkland massacre that it would not finance companies that sell guns to people under 21, as well as Bank of America, which has refused to do business with assault-weapon manufacturers.

Parkland’s school district received a million-dollar school safety grant. On Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced the first recipients of the federal school safety grant program signed into law by President Trump after the Parkland shooting. Broward County, Florida, where February’s massacre took place, is one of the districts that’s received funds for school security, mental health training, and threat assessments. The grant money cannot be used to purchase guns for teachers.

A federal judge sided with a white-collar felon who wants his gun rights back. Gregory Reyes, the former CEO of a tech company, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2010 for felony violations of the Securities Exchange Act. Because federal law bans people convicted of felonies from owning firearms, he was turned away from several gun shops after his release. Last week, a judge denied the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss Reyes’s lawsuit, which argues that the lifetime ban shouldn’t apply to his business-related crimes.

The former CEO behind a California gun range pleaded guilty to gun trafficking charges. Chad Clay Kipper, the former head of a nonprofit that owned a gun range, pleaded guilty on Monday to the “unlicensed purchase and transportation of firearms,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The federal charges come after a local news station reported that the range was operating without a permit.

New Mexico could get a child access prevention law. State Rep. Linda Trujillo, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that she plans to introduce a bill that would penalize adults when guns they fail to properly secure end up in the hands of children and lead to injury or death. All about CAP laws: A handful of other states already have child access prevention laws on the books. Here’s how they work.

Cleveland has recorded 100 homicides this year, 84 of which were shootings. In all of 2017, Cleveland tallied 130 homicides, giving it the sixth largest murder rate per capita of any U.S. city, ahead of more notoriously violent places like Chicago and Newark.

ONE LAST THING

The CDC says gun injuries are on the rise. But there are big problems with its data. An analysis by The Trace’s Sean Campbell and Daniel Nass along with Mai Nguyen of FiveThirtyEight found that the agency’s most recent estimates, which suggests a dramatic uptick in gun injuries between 2015 and 2016, is counter to the trends found in other public health and criminal justice databases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own figures, it has more confidence in its estimates of BB gun injuries than it does for injuries caused by real pistols and rifles.

Over a dozen public health researchers reviewed The Trace and FiveThirtyEight’s analysis and said that the inaccuracy of the CDC gun injury data has serious implications for the national-level understanding of gun violence. “No one should trust the CDC’s nonfatal firearm injury point estimates,” said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Read the story here.