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Trace is partnering with local TV stations to report major gun stories

NeimanLab, Ricardo Bilton: – The role of gun thefts in crimes in is a big, complex issue in the U.S., and to cover it, single-topic gun issues news site The Trace needed some help. Last week, the site published Missing Pieces, the product of a deep, yearlong investigation into how stolen firearms have been used to commit crimes. The numbers are staggering: After poring through the data, reporters found more than 23,000 stolen firearms recovered by police between 2010 and 2016 — most of which had been used in crimes, including carjackings, kidnappings, and armed robberies. Gun owners had bought guns to fight off crime, but were unwittingly helping people commit it. The Trace didn’t reach these findings alone. To produce the story, the organization teamed up with over a dozen local NBC television stations, which each took the lead in chasing down data in their respective markets. The partners together collected more than 800,000 records from 1,054 law enforcement agencies in 36 states and the District of Columbia. It’s a valuable, if incomplete, set of data that The Trace hopes other reporters and researchers can build on. Along with its reporting, the organization also uploaded the entire dataset to its website for free…”

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