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Off Target

In a sweeping investigation, The Trace and USA TODAY found that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bends over backward to go easy on wayward gun dealers, sometimes allowing weapons to flow into the hands of criminals.

Full Coverage

Lead Reporters

  • Brian Freskos

    Brian Freskos is a Chicago-based staff writer who covers the Midwest. His work has primarily focused on gun trafficking and community-based violence prevention.

  • Alain Stephens

    Alain Stephens is The Trace's West Coast Correspondent. A military veteran and gun owner, Alain did tours at inewsource and Texas Standard, where his investigations led to important public safety, civil rights, and criminal justice reforms.
  • Nick Penzenstadler

    Nick Penzenstadler is a reporter on the USA TODAY investigations team, focusing primarily on firearms and consumer financial protection. Contact him at [email protected] or @npenzenstadler, or on Signal at (720) 507-5273.
  • Daniel Nass

    Daniel Nass is The Trace's associate editor for data and graphics. He analyzes data, creates graphics, and builds interactives for The Trace's investigations and daily coverage.