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Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Out of the 13 mass shootings that have killed 10 or more people over the past decade, eight of the perpetrators used credit cards to stockpile firearms they otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford, the New York Times' Andrew Sorkin reports.

The big picture: The Times' investigation found that those eight shooters, who killed a combined 217 people, left behind "a rich trove of information" online — red flags that might have been acted upon had there been a system of more rigorous financial scrutiny in place. "They can fine-tune their own systems," one anti-money laundering expert told the Times, "Because in these cases the suspicious purchasing patterns could have been picked up on and quite frankly should have been picked up on.”

  • Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, used six credit cards to buy $1,837.29 worth of weapons.
  • James Holmes, who killed 12 people at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, used credit to buy $11,000 worth of weapons and military gear.
  • Stephen Paddock, who killed 58 people and injured more than 800 at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, spent nearly $95,000 on firearms the year before — at least some of which was spent online.

Virtually none of the bank and credit card executives the Times' spoke to were willing to go on the record "for fear of upsetting gun-rights advocates and politicians invoking the Second Amendment."

  • Some invoked a slippery-slope argument, and said that if they were to start policing gun sales, they might have to do the same for people who bought large quantities of alcohol in order to prevent drunk driving.

Go deeper: The deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history

Go deeper

31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals, hours from leaving office early Wednesday, hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

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