In a big defeat for the NRA and gun manufacturers, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that they would stop selling assault weapons in all of their stores, raise the age minimum to 21 for all gun purchases in their stores, and stop selling high capacity magazines. The chief executive, Edward Stack, also appeared on Good Morning America, saying that his company was moved to act after it was discovered that they sold a handgun to the Florida shooter (even though the handgun was not used in the massacre). The company even went a step further, calling on Congress to take action on a series of gun reform policies, including banning assault weapons and ensuring universal background checks.
While we applaud the action of Dick’s Sporting Goods, FedEx still is refusing to cut its ties to the NRA—and now, we may know why. Reporting by Think Progress discovered an internal FedEx memo, which “outlines in great detail precisely how FedEx has secretly agreed to bend its own rules on gun shipments for powerful forces in the gun industry, including all major gun manufacturers and the NRA itself.” Keep up the pressure on FedEx and the remaining companies with ties to the NRA to put children’s safety above profits.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Stop the Cover-Up. Yesterday, Hope Hicks, the White House Communications Director, testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors. But reports indicate that she evaded any questions regarding any events or interactions after the inauguration. It’s more important than ever that Trump sit down with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and tell the truth, especially now that Mueller is investigating the president’s business dealings. Sign our petition here. If 50,000 signatures are collected, we will personally deliver this to Trump’s lawyers.
Downgraded. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his top advisers, had his security clearance downgraded yesterday. This means that he should no longer have access to top-secret intelligence, including the president’s daily briefings, in any way, shape, or form. The decision comes from Chief of Staff John Kelly, who recently announced changes to security clearances at the White House. But a new Washington Post report indicates that the revoking of his clearance may have come a bit too late. The investigation finds that “at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner…by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience.” What remains to be seen is if any of those countries actually acted on those conversations.
Expensive Tastes—on the Taxpayer’s Dime. It seems that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and former HHS Secretary Tom Price aren’t the only ones in the Trump administration with extremely expensive tastes. A new report finds that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) purchased a $31,000 dining set for Secretary Ben Carson’s private office. This extravagant purchase was in addition to a planned $165,000 purchase of “lounge furniture.” These purchases are particularly egregious considering Trump is trying to cut $6.8 billion from its budget—a cut that would hurt lower-income individuals and homeless people.
UNDER THE RADAR
Prolonged Detention With No Check? Yesterday, the five conservative members of the Supreme Court issued a decision that could pave the way for many thousands of immigrants—including asylum seekers with a credible fear of persecution and long-time lawful permanent residents—to be detained for prolonged periods of time without ever going before a judge for a bond hearing to determine whether detention is even necessary or appropriate. Although the court held that such detention is permissible by statute, the Supreme Court directed the lower court to consider whether such people have a constitutional right to a bond hearing. So the question remains: does the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees due process to all persons, sanction prolonged detention in “American gulags” without any independent review at all?