What To Know Today
Domestic violence increased during pandemic lockdowns. Early in the pandemic, experts told us that economic strain, surging firearm sales, and the isolation that comes with social distancing could have grave consequences for victims of intimate partner abuse. Now data is confirming those fears: Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Omaha looked at police records on domestic violence calls in six jurisdictions under stay-at-home orders last spring and observed an immediate and large uptick in five of them. As lockdown orders were lifted, calls declined.
3 of the 5 busiest weeks ever for gun background checks occurred during the aftermath of the Capitol siege. FBI data shows background checks spiking during the week of the insurrection (January 4 — January 10) and remaining near all-time highs the two succeeding weeks. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System launched in 1998, and background check volume is a commonly used proxy for gun sales, albeit an imperfect one, since totals include checks run for purposes other than gun purchases. In our own updated tracker, we estimated that January was the third highest month on record for gun sales.
Judge stays DC AG’s case against the NRA due to bankruptcy filing. The District’s attorney general, Karl Racine, is suing the National Rifle Association for improperly using millions of dollars from its affiliated foundation while its trustees failed in their governance duties. A docket on the D.C. court website says that a judge has stayed the AG’s case, but the order itself had yet to be posted as of last night. For the gun group, seeking Chapter 11 relief hasn’t been cheap. Separate records show that the NRA paid its outside law firm Brewer Attorneys & Counselors $800,000 in connection with the bankruptcy case before it was filed in Texas on January 15. The firm also got a $2.5 million retainer. The NRA paid bankruptcy counsel Neligan LLP $450,000 before the filing, plus a $1 million retainer. Context: You can read more about Racine’s case against the NRA Foundation here.
Five FBI agents shot, two fatally, in Florida. The incident occurred early Tuesday morning at an apartment complex outside Fort Lauderdale as agents were serving a search warrant in a child endangerment case. Officials said a suspect who holed up inside the building was found dead. The shooting was one of the deadliest for the bureau and the first time an agent has been fatally shot in the line of duty since 2008. A multiple mass casualty day: Also early Tuesday, five children and an adult — all relatives — were killed in a shooting at a residence in Muskogee, Oklahoma, 50 miles southeast of Tulsa. A relative was apprehended and taken into custody, police said. Bullets in a blizzard: Six people were shot in New York City on Monday as a major snowstorm blanketed the five boroughs; all are expected to survive. The victims included a 16-year-old boy, shot twice in the back during a midday altercation, and a 24-year-old woman, nicked by a stray bullet that tore through her apartment wall.
ICE deported a witness in the El Paso, Texas, Walmart shooting after she was arrested for old traffic citations. An undocumented woman identified only as Rosa was cooperating in the federal case against the gunman charged with killing 23 people in the 2019 attack that targeted people of Mexican descent. “This decision amounts to a re-victimization of this young lady, who only came forward to help build the case against the shooter in the racist attack,” one of her legal representatives told local KVIA news. Rosa’s lawyers have appealed her deportation.
House will fine lawmakers who defy new security measures. The party-line vote means that members who bypass metal detectors installed outside the House of Representatives chamber will be subject to penalties starting at $5,000 for the first offense. Some House Republicans have decried or ignored the security measures. Capitol Police recently prevented one GOP member from bringing a gun onto the House floor.
Listen Ann Givens went on WDET’s “Detroit Today” to talk about her story on the death of nursing student Rosemary Reilly, who was killed by her abusive boyfriend after a judge declined to order him to give up his gun. Michigan is one of 13 where a judge decides whether an armed abuser is allowed to keep their firearms when subject to a temporary restraining order, a policy that can result in fatal inconsistencies.