What To Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: When protective orders don’t protect. When Rosemarie Reilly filled out the petition for a temporary protective order, she checked two boxes — one saying her ex-boyfriend had firearms, the other saying he had threatened to use them. The 21-year-old nursing student wrote in round bubbly letters: “He told me if I left him that he would kill himself and ruin my life.” A judge in Kent County, Michigan, signed the order, but didn’t check the box that would have prohibited Jeremy Kelley from keeping his guns. In fact, of the 31 women in the county who swore their partners had threatened to shoot them that month, only nine were given gun restrictions on their order. People in abusive relationships are in the gravest danger of being killed in the days right after they get a protective order. Yet in 29 states and the District of Columbia, there is no process in place for taking guns away from the subjects of protective orders. In another 13, including Michigan, a judge decides. That system left Reilly unprotected, and less than a month after getting an order, her ex shot and killed her, before killing himself. You can read my story, a partnership with the 19th, here. — Ann Givens, staff writer

Law enforcement leaders contend with the extremists in their ranks. With more than a dozen off-duty officers under investigation for taking part in the Capitol insurrection, The Washington Post highlights potential reforms police agencies are eyeing, from encouraging cops to report extremist colleagues, weeding out would-be applicants with far-right loyalties, and having the FBI play a bigger role in flagging officers with alarming backgrounds. “They know who these bad apples are,’’ Michael German, a former FBI agent, told the Post. At the same time, advocates and experts are skeptical that agencies will enact sufficient reforms on their own — especially after the problem has gone unaddressed for years.

Memphis becomes the latest city to adopt Cure Violence. The violence prevention organization, which deploys outreach workers to de-escalate street conflicts, currently operates in more than two dozen cities. Now it’s coming to Tennessee’s second largest city, which is contending with a spike in violence that brought a record number of homicides in 2020. “If we invested as much energy in violence as we did in COVID we would move forward,” said the health director in Shelby County, where Memphis is located. 

Texas man arrested in D.C. with guns and ammo allegedly inquired about the White House. The 37-year-old man asked officers if he could park his truck downtown on Friday before telling them that “he needed information about the Oval Office,” court documents reveal. Officers recovered a .40-caliber pistol, two loaded eight-round magazines, and a box of ammunition. He was charged with four gun offenses, including unlawful position of a gun.

NRA magazine subscriptions suggest decline in membership. The true size of the NRA’s membership is shrouded in mystery. But Mother Jones looks at the gun group’s publicly reported magazine circulation data as a clue. Each member receives a free print or digital subscription to one of the group’s four publications. According to the figures, the NRA’s editorial products had 4.1 million subscribers last year. That’s a slight decline from recent years.

Virginia House passes a bill to ban guns at polling places. The legislation now awaits action in the state’s upper chamber. Last fall, we reported that only six states have laws that generally prohibit guns in polling places, and that Virginia was one of five battleground states lacking such restrictions.

Data Point

January 23, 2021 — the date on which non-fatal shootings eclipsed 2,000 for the year. The country reached the same level on January 28 and January 30 in 2020 and 2019, respectively. [Gun Violence Archive]