Data Point

NEW from THE TRACE. The NRA owes the IRS $3.4 million in taxes and penalties. The revelation comes via documents filed in the National Rifle Association’s bankruptcy case — and suggests the organization is facing additional scrutiny from the IRS. The tax agency’s filing shows that more than $1.1 million of the sum owed by the gun group is an excise tax on payments the NRA made between 2014 and 2018. Nonprofits can be subject to excise taxes as a penalty for prohibited transactions, a former Internal Revenue Service attorney told us, though the bankruptcy documents don’t spell out why the NRA was hit with the levy. Will Van Sant has the scoop. 

Police shootings have stirred outrage — but this federal agency is worse. Between 2015 and late 2020, the U.S. Marshals Service and its local task forces shot 177 people, 124 fatally, according to an investigation by The Marshall Project and the USA TODAY network. On average, Marshal task forces shot people at about twice the rate of comparably sized police departments (Houston and Philadelphia, specifically). The investigation attributed the difference in part to the federal agency’s relatively permissive use-of-force standards and a lack of accountability: No task force members were prosecuted during the five-year period the journalists studied. 

🚨Bookmark it🚨: Crime and law enforcement trends, visualized. The bipartisan Council on Criminal Justice’s Task Force on Policing just released a slick primer on the trend lines informing the debate about police and criminal justice reform. Some findings likely to pique the interest of Trace readers:

  • The national homicide clearance rate dropped by 11 percentage points between 1987 and 2018. 
  • From early-90s highs to 2019, the share of violent crimes reported to the police declined by 52 percent.
  • The number of officers killed on the job dropped from 74 in 1987 to 48 in 2018.

Maryland lawmakers override governor’s veto to fund street-level violence interventions. The vote means the state will provide $3.6 million annually to the Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program Fund, which provides financial support for community gun violence reduction strategies. The Democratic-controlled Legislature also voted to override Republican Governor’s Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that will expand background checks to the private transfer of rifles and other long guns.

He was arrested on the way to D.C. with an arsenal of weapons. Feds say he’d threatened to kill Democrats. Prosecutors announced charges against a 71-year-old Pennsylvania lawyer arrested at a gas station the day after President Biden’s inauguration while allegedly carrying two handguns, an AR-15, and a “large amount of ammunition.” Charging documents allege that the man threatened to “murder Democratic United States Senators with the intent to impede and/or to retaliate against them on account of the performance of their official duties.” More from the extremism beat: Federal prosecutors unearthed what they say is further evidence that members of the Oath Keepers militia plotted in advance to attack the Capitol and disrupt the certification of Biden’s election. Five additional members of the far-right Proud Boys were arrested on conspiracy charges related to the insurrection. And in Dallas, a white supremacist who has promoted racist violence was charged with unlawfully selling a gun to felon. 

House Democrats introduced a package of gun reform bills. Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York unveiled the measures, which include stiffer punishments for gun trafficking and straw purchases, mandating background checks for private sales at gun shows, and requiring the FBI to keep records from the National Instant Criminal Background Check system for at least 90 days. The road to any new federal gun safety laws leads through the Senate. Despite Democrats’ tiny majority, prominent members of the caucus told Jennifer Mascia they see a handful of reforms that could pass.

Data Point

39 percent — the share of Republicans in a new poll who said that violence could be justified “if elected leaders will not protect America.” That compares to 31 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats. [Survey Center on American Life]