What To Know Today
A largely quiet weekend in American cities transformed into citadels. Following intelligence warnings about the possibility of armed marches in all 50 state capitals and Washington, D.C., “promised right-wing protests, at least on Sunday, were reduced to a whimper,” reports The New York Times in a detailed wrap-up. Small groups of demonstrators, including gun-carrying followers of the boogaloo boys, did show up in a handful of cities including Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Salem, Oregon; and Lansing, Michigan, but in many places they were outnumbered by journalists, not to mention law enforcement and National Guard members. “We have gone to an extreme amount of trouble to prepare for what we hope doesn’t happen,” said one law enforcement official in Kentucky, echoing a sentiment shared nationwide.
Today, the potential flashpoint is Virginia, where gun-rights activists are organizing a convoy to the Capitol. Authorities say they are cautiously monitoring for any threats associated with a pro-gun caravan expected to descend on Richmond later today. The event is hosted by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which put together a large rally in response to new state gun reforms this time last year. There’s some indication that fallout from the U.S. Capitol attack could chill turnout: Leaders of several self-described militia groups have said they’ve decided to stay away.
More gun arrests in D.C. Shortly after midnight on Sunday, a 22-year-old Virginia man was stopped by officers near the Capitol after they noticed his holstered Glock handgun. The man’s social media activities indicate he is a Trump supporter, and his aunt told a reporter that he’s “one of those open carry people” and was known to almost always be armed, “just because he can.” He was arrested for carrying a gun in the District without the required permit, as well as illegal possession of a high-capacity ammunition magazine. A separate firearm bust became less unsettling as more details emerged. On Friday, a private security guard was arrested after presenting unauthorized credentials at a checkpoint. Capitol Police officers said they found a firearm and ammo in his truck, which bore a bumper sticker with the message “If they come for your guns give ’em your bullets first.” But The Washington Post reports that investigators determined the man had no known extremist ties and later released him on a single charge of possessing an unlicensed gun. The man says he had accidentally forgotten to leave his weapon at home and had gotten lost before showing up at the wrong spot.
Experts say the NRA’s rosy spin on its bankruptcy could backfire. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre has cast the Friday court filing as a way to “streamline legal and financial affairs” and assured members that the NRA was “not insolvent.” After publishing our initial story on the gun group’s move — which also involves attempting to relocate to Texas from New York, where Attorney General Letitia James is seeking to dissolve the organization over its pattern of financial misconduct — Will Van Sant spoke with additional sources who say the way the NRA is positioning its Chapter 11 only raises further questions about whether the filing was made in bad faith. “Usually the debtor tells a story about a perfect storm of financial distress or the breakdown of negotiations among creditors,” one bankruptcy law specialist told Will by email. “The NRA seems to claim the opposite — that they are financially doing great. They are filing just to dump New York. So they have announced that they are using bankruptcy for an improper purpose: just to avoid this state law. That is a strange way to start. And it could end up with the case getting kicked out.” You can read the updated story here.
At least 17 — the number of states that deployed the National Guard this weekend amid threats of violence and armed marches. [The New York Times]