The Gunfighters

13 Stories

An ongoing series investigating the National Rifle Association’s influence on state policy and politics.

Featured Story

I Spent a Year Reporting on NRA Lobbyist Marion Hammer. Read Her Emails With Florida Officials.

Thousands of pages of correspondence reveal a lobbyist who not only shapes bills, but creates them.

By Mike Spies

Latest Stories
The Reasonable Killing of an 89-Pound Boy
December 28, 2016

The Reasonable Killing of an 89-Pound Boy

A child is gunned down for stealing change in heavily armed St. Louis, and Missouri gets a taste of what justice looks like when the NRA calls the shots.

The NRA’s Straight-A Students
November 4, 2016

The NRA’s Straight-A Students

National polls show openness to tougher gun laws, but state lawmakers keep expanding gun rights and blocking reforms. One little letter explains why.

April 17, 2016


A legendary NRA lobbyist declared war on Florida officials who tried to stop a gun range from raining metal shot on a public park. A trove of emails and text messages reveals why it was never a fair fight.

Lead Reporter

Mike Spies

Mike Spies covered the NRA for The Trace from June 2015 to June 2019. He is now a reporter at ProPublica.

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Stories in this series have been published in partnership with Newsweek, Rolling Stone, the Tampa Bay Times, and the New York Daily News.

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