WEEK IN REVIEW
June 11 – June 15, 2018
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Annual Dinner
Thursday evening, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence hosted its 25th Anniversary Dinner. This year’s honored guest was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her work to reduce our country’s gun violence. Secretary Clinton’s unwavering calls for stronger gun laws from our country’s most prominent stages have inspired a nation and helped propel today’s long-overdue reflection and conversation about this deadly epidemic.
Student activists whose lives have been impacted by gun violence, including students from Parkland and Chicago, were also be recognized at the event. Each year, Giffords Law Center’s Anniversary Dinner honors the exceptional efforts of key individuals who have shown outstanding leadership in the gun violence prevention movement and pays tribute to the victims of the mass shooting at 101 California Street on July 1, 1993.
Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords called Wednesday for political action against gun violence, during an Ohio appearance for a Democratic congressional candidate. She was introduced by Abbie Youkilis, the aunt of 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg, who was among 17 people killed in the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The girl’s grandparents sat just in front of Giffords. “We must stop gun violence,” said Giffords, a Democrat who was severely wounded in a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people. “Protect our children, our future. Let them lead the way … make our country a safer place, a better place.”
Hillary Clinton received a standing ovation during her appearance at a gun violence prevention even in San Francisco on Thursday night. The former U.S. Secretary of State under President Barack Obama spoke at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence 25th anniversary dinner, where former Rep. Gabby Giffords awarded Clinton the Courageous Leadership Award for her ongoing efforts to strengthen common sense gun laws. Clinton said her gun safety position made her a target of the gun lobby during her campaign for president. “The gun lobby spent about $30 million against me, not having the guts to take on specific gun proposals,” Clinton said. “In fact, their ads had nothing to do with guns. They were just outright lies.”
The inventor and manufacturer of the bump stock is suing the bank that once processed its online sales, claiming the financial institution is holding a sizable sum of its money “hostage” as a result of the Las Vegas massacre. Experts say the dispute could have implications for the way financial firms deal with clients from the firearms industry. In a federal lawsuit filed in May, Slide Fire Solutions alleges that Utah-based Merrick Bank improperly withheld more than $1.6 million in a reserve fund following the mass shooting. Merrick Bank retained the money after the two companies dissolved their business relationship in December 2017.
If it seems unusual for Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to handle concealed weapons permits, that’s because it is unusual – nearly every other state gives the job to police or courts. But Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner has the job because the National Rifle Association wants him to have the job… That the Department of Agriculture, and not police, would be responsible for issuing the permits has been difficult for people to comprehend. “When I first learned about this, it’s one of my most mind-boggling things that I keep coming back to,” said Robin Lloyd, director of government affairs for Giffords, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit that advocates for tougher gun laws. “It makes no sense whatsoever.” The organization identified just three other states – Georgia, Delaware and Michigan – where someone other than police issue concealed carry permits. But in Georgia and Delaware, the courts issue the permits, and in Michigan, county clerks have the job. No state has a central office unrelated to law enforcement, like Florida’s Department of Agriculture, issue the permits, according to Giffords. The history of Florida’s unusual process is a testament to the influence of the state’s gun lobby.
With frustration mounting over lawmakers’ inaction on gun control, the American Medical Association on Tuesday pressed for a ban on assault weapons and came out against arming teachers as a way to fight what it calls a public health crisis. At its annual policymaking meeting, the nation’s largest physicians group bowed to unprecedented demands from doctor-members to take a stronger stand on gun violence — a problem the organizations says is as menacing as a lethal infectious disease.
An emotional, rain-soaked rally on the eve of the Pulse anniversary Monday evening was mixed with anguish and raw anger over the lack of progress on gun reform and gay rights in Florida and the sheer number of mass shootings that have happened since. “Six hundred and twelve days,” said Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the 2016 Pulse shooting and organizer of the Pulse Rally to Honor Them with Action at Orlando City Hall. “That’s how long it took for Pulse headlines to become Parkland headlines. … That’s how long it took for 49 lives lost to become 17 more. And in those 612 days, nothing changed.”
In the two years since the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., there have been at least 700 mass shootings — defined as involving four or more victims — across the United States. Yet mass shootings represent just a fraction of the nation’s gun violence. On an average day, 96 Americans die by firearms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About two in every three of those are suicides. Mass killings garner more attention because they are, by definition, so horrific. They also often shatter celebrations at clubs or music festivals, or violate sanctuaries like high schools or churches. Each massacre prompts national soul searching and reignites debates over gun regulation. In no other country does this kind of violence take place so frequently.
Under the Radar
Several gun-related businesses were suddenly — and without warning — disrupted in recent weeks when Intuit stopped processing credit card payments because sales were gun-related, The Post has learned. Some of the payments stopped didn’t even involve firearms, but simply T-shirts and coffee mugs and gun safety classes, according to small business owners. As a result, the businesses had to scramble to track down customers to get them repay their bills after Intuit credited back to customers’ accounts the purchases — even if the T-shirt was already shipped or the class already taken, one businessman told The Post.
With the toll from mass shootings on the rise in the US, Congress has yet to coalesce around any kind of solution, and so some members have turned to providing training sessions to teach Capitol Hill staffers how to prevent victims from bleeding out. A hundred staffers have signed up to participate in Stop the Bleed sessions Monday, filling the sessions to capacity. They’re workshops taking place in the capital of a nation where gun violence has dominated headlines and has also hit close to home; the first anniversary of the shooting at a Republican baseball practice is Thursday.
President Donald Trump’s oldest son is no stranger to creating controversy, especially on social media. In the most recent case, Donald Trump Jr. posted a photo of a belt on Instagram over the weekend — but it wasn’t just any belt. It had a (small) firearm in its buckle, and Trump Jr. seemed pretty proud of it.
Data and Reports
Think Progress: Gunmakers have the successor to the bump stock lined up
- Gun manufacturers have used the law’s technicalities to create guns that are just as powerful, and deadly, as restricted weapons but without the added tax and strict regulations.
- Franklin Armory’s Binary Trigger System fires two rounds with every shot — one when the trigger is depressed and one when it’s released, doubling the rate of fire. Like bump stocks and stabilizing braces, binary triggers aren’t currently regulated under the National Firearms Act.
Gov. John Carney on Thursday signed into law a bill to ban bump stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire at a fast rate. The bill signing occurred about an hour after the Delaware House passed, without debate, the final version of House Bill 300, which was designed to prevent would-be mass shooters from spraying bullets into crowds.
New Jersey already has a reputation for having some of the tightest gun laws in the U.S. But gun control advocates may soon be able to boast the Garden State is the most stringent of any state. Gov. Phil Murphy signed a half-dozen new measures into law Wednesday — which will reduce magazine capacity, ban armor-piercing bullets, make it tougher to obtain a permit to carry a handgun, expand background checks on private gun sales, and keep firearms out of the hands of people deemed a threat to themselves and others in New Jersey. “We are going to be a leader in the fight for common-sense gun safety,” the Democratic governor declared at the bill-signing ceremony at the Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton. “New Jersey will lead.”
New York: ‘Red Flag’ bill passed in State Assembly
Governor Cuomo’s “Red Flag” gun protection bill passed in the State Assembly Wednesday. The bill would give legal standing to teachers, school administrators and parents to ask a judge to evaluate a child they believe is a threat to themselves or others. A judge would then be allowed to order the confiscation of firearms in the child’s home. Cuomo calls the bill “common sense” and even blasted Washington’s inaction in the face of the growing number of school shootings across the country. Although Cuomo knew would cause severe pushback from Republicans and the NRA, he also knew it was wrong not to try.
At a time when gun control is constantly in the news and on people’s minds, it’s mind-boggling that something like this could happen. Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling it “disturbing” that Florida failed to do certain types of background checks used for those seeking a concealed weapons permit. For more than a year, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s office did not do one of the national background checks used to decide if someone can carry a concealed weapon. The lapse resulted in the state revoking nearly 300 permits.
TOP SOCIAL MEDIA
Today marks the 4 month anniversary of the shooting at our school, Tomorrow we begin the #RoadToChange in Chicago at the Peace March #ChicagoStrong We cannot move forward without the help of Each Other.
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) June 14, 2018
Today’s sweeping gun safety measures send a strong and clear message to President Trump, Congress, and the gun lobby.
New Jersey is going to be a leader in the fight for common sense gun safety laws whether or not the federal government takes action. pic.twitter.com/bcF2OY3m7i
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 13, 2018
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) June 15, 2018
BIG NEWS: Delaware signs bump stock ban. Thanks to Gov. Carney and the Delaware legislature for having the courage to enact legislation that puts the lives of Delawareans first! https://t.co/Si1KBReKh9
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) June 14, 2018