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Maryland Governor Wes Moore unveiled a proposal to establish a gun violence prevention center under the Department of Health, answering a call from the Biden administration to recreate the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention on a state level. The proposal is part of a larger public safety package that Moore argues would help hold young people accountable for violence while keeping rehabilitation in mind. [The Washington Post/The Baltimore Banner]

Bang for the Buck

At a meeting in the summer of 2009, the treasurer of the National Rifle Association worked out a plan to conceal luxury expenses involving its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, according to audio of the meeting obtained by The Trace’s Mike Spies. The recording shows, in real time, the NRA’s treasurer enlisting the group’s longtime public relations firm to obfuscate the extravagant costs.

“We just have to be careful,” said Woody Phillips, then the gun group’s top financial official, “because Wayne wants to get through this whole year saying he hasn’t used private aircraft.”

The recording was unknown to the New York attorney general, who is pursuing the NRA, LaPierre, and other top officials over a range of alleged financial misdeeds in a trial that began this week. The Trace, in partnership with ProPublica, is sharing the revelatory audio today.

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What to Know Today

Years before he allegedly killed his parents and four others, the suspected perpetrator of a gun rampage across Central Texas was investigated by the Army for spousal abuse, a military report shows. No charges were filed under military law, per an Army spokesperson; the accused shooter, a commissioned officer, was discharged early the following summer. [The Texas Newsroom

What do active-shooter drills for police and emergency responders look like? A photo essay offers a front-row seat to a training session in Massachusetts. [The Boston Globe

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach is among the growing number of public officials targeted in a “swatting” incident. Dettelbach was reportedly swatted over the holidays. [ABC

Leading criminologist Richard Rosenfeld died this week at the age of 75. Rosenfeld was a founding professor of the criminology doctorate program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and previously served as the president of the American Society of Criminology. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A group of Oakland, California, residents led by a retired judge and a former member of the city’s Police Commission are beginning a campaign to recall Mayor Sheng Thao, accusing Thao of creating a public safety crisis by “systematically dismantling” the police force. The mayor’s chief of staff said the effort is “led by losers.” [The Oaklandside

In the recent book “Rust Belt Union Blues,” authors Theda Skocpol and Lainey Newman examine how political orientations in Western and Central Pennsylvania transformed from being largely aligned with the Democratic Party to supportive of the right wing. One trend they identify: In towns where local unions collapsed, gun clubs became the most prominent community organizations. [The American Prospect]


Violence Prevention Programs Aim to Reach Young People. They Have to Earn Their Trust First: Organizers are trying to help Chicago’s kids and teens process the trauma that comes from their exposure to gun violence. But some young people don’t even know about the resources available to them. (September 2023)