Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

Placeholder Image

[AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane]

Daily Bulletin: America Is Flooded With Foreign-Made Guns

Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing: New tax records from the National Rifle Association show a sharp decline in income. An analysis reveals how much of the American gun market is powered by overseas corporations (some of which are helping the NRA stay afloat). And new information has emerged on the gun used by the Thousand Oaks shooter.

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

WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

The NRA reported a $55 million dip in income last year, according to its latest tax filing. The group says it took in $98 million in 2017, a significant drop from 2016, when it reported $125 million in contributions. The records also capture a decline in membership dues previously revealed through an audit of the group, which we reported on in September. (Possibly) Related: The NRA’s election spending plummeted in 2018. FAQ: What we know, and don’t, about the NRA’s financial health.

Home is the most dangerous place for women around the world. That’s the conclusion made by researchers from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which found that of the approximately 87,000 women killed last year, more than half died at the hands of intimate partners or family members. Women in Africa and the Americas are most at risk of being killed by people they know, the study found. Guns make intimate partner violence even deadlier. 2003 study found that the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed.

More than 30 percent of guns available for sale in the United States come from overseas, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News. Foreign companies rely on America’s civilian gun market — the largest in the world — and our permissive gun regulations. Money from international gun companies often ends up in the war chests of American lobbying groups like the NRA: Glock, Beretta, and SIG Sauer are all members of the Golden Ring of Freedom, an elite club for those who donate a million dollars or more to the group.

New details on the Thousand Oaks shooting have emerged. At a press conference, the Ventura County sheriff said that the Borderline Bar shooter, a former Marine who served in Afghanistan, fired more than 50 rounds from a Glock modified to fire rapidly. He also said that police were called to the home of the gunman in April following an outburst about money, but they did not seek a gun violence restraining order because he never displayed a gun, mentioned a gun, or threatened anyone with a gun.

The FBI will begin collecting data on police use-of-force incidents. The National Use-of-Force Data Collection will kick off in January, the bureau announced last week. But experts say the database will probably be incomplete because participation among local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies is voluntary.

Florida is looking to transfer oversight of concealed weapons permits. Following reports that the Florida Department of Agriculture mishandled background checks for concealed-carry permits under former Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican who once called himself “a proud NRA sellout,” Democrats in the state Senate moved to shift oversight of the gun permitting program to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. And now that a Democrat has been elected to the agriculture commissioner’s office, the NRA is also pushing for a change: The state’s top NRA lobbyist, Marion Hammer, wants the program moved under the state’s chief financial officer, who is a Republican with an A-rating from the NRA.

Elsewhere in the Sunshine State: A proposed ballot initiative would ban assault weapons. The proposal was posted this month after advocates raised nearly $410,000 in support since March. The political committee behind the initiative, called Ban Assault Weapons Now, needs to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures in order get the iniative onto the 2020 ballot.

Accused Russian agent Maria Butina has been moved to solitary confinement, according to new court filings. Butina’s lawyers say she has been held in isolation for several days after she gave her lawyer’s phone number to another inmate. Federal prosecutors contend that Butina is a covert agent for the Russian government who infiltrated the NRA’s upper echelons in an attempt to access GOP lawmakers.

An 8-year-old boy was grazed in the face by a stray bullet in Philadelphia. The boy was reportedly playing with his twin sister when the bullet came through the wall of his home Sunday night. His mother says the boy is too scared to return home. “I just got to get out of this city,” she said. 

ONE LAST THING

More states are eyeing laws allowing guns to be carried in public without permits or training. In Texasnewly introduced legislation would allow any gun owner to carry in public, no permit required. Similar legislation was just put forward in South Dakota, where Republican lawmakers have tried and failed to pass “permitless carry” laws several times, only to see them vetoed by a Republican governor. The bill is much more likely to become law under the state’s new, more conservative governor. In Georgia, a state representative also pre-filed legislation to do away with concealed permits. The bill would further loosen that state’s already skimpy gun restrictions: A 2014 law allows concealed carriers to bring guns into bars, churches, school zones, government buildings, and certain parts of airports.

Last year, we published an explainer on the self-designated “constitutional carry” movement and its broader context.