Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "Gun permits" ...

  • The Henry Pratt Mass Shooting

    On the afternoon of Feb. 15, disgruntled warehouse employee Gary Martin opened fire during a termination hearing at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Ill., killing five people and wounding several police officers before being fatally shot by law enforcement. Before police publicly identified Martin, the Tribune learned his name from sources and began investigating his background. One thing quickly became clear: Martin, a convicted felon who had served prison time for attempting to kill his girlfriend, never should have been allowed to purchase the gun used in the shooting. This discovery – aided by carefully worded Freedom of Information Act requests, unparalleled sourcing and a review of extensive court records – prompted the Illinois State Police to disclose hundreds of pages of documents related to Martin’s firearms license and gun purchase within days of the shooting. It was an unprecedented release of information, in terms of both expediency and subject manner. Illinois law expressly prohibits the disclosure of records related to firearm owner’s identification cards or concealed carried permits, but Tribune reporters were able to convince law-enforcement officials that Martin’s firearms history should be exempt from such protections because he fraudulently obtained his license by lying on his permit application. Upon receiving this information, reporters submitted further FOIAs in an effort to understand the depths of the state’s problem. A reporting project that started within hours of a mass shooting grew into an investigation that found 34,000 Illinois had their gun permits revoked – and that the state has no idea what happen to their guns. That meant 78 percent of people stripped of their gun licenses failed to account for their weapons. The responsive records – some of which required difficult fights and keen sourcing to obtain - exposed serious flaws in the national databases relied upon to conduct criminal background checks, as well as the state’s failure to ensure that people surrender their weapons after their Firearm Owner's Identification cards are revoked. In an analysis of data released for the first time, the Tribune found as many as 30,000 guns may still be in possession of people deemed too dangerous to own firearms. The Tribune also was able to create an online-lookup that allowed readers to look up how many people in their town had their gun permits stripped, the reason for the revocation and how many times that person had made a serious inquiry about purchasing a gun.
  • Gun permit loopholes

    Nobody Denied is an unprecedented review of how a change in Iowa law two years ago resulted in nearly 150,000 people obtaining permits to carry guns in public, including people who are blind or registered as sex offenders. The law change was prompted by the desire to standardize Iowa’s weapon permit system, which had been riddled with disparities between counties. But the quickly passed law also contains loopholes that had been previously ignored or overlooked. Noteworthy in this series is the massive number of public record requests the series required. This investigation involved two separate record requests to each of Iowa’s 99 counties in addition to many records requests of the state’s public safety department.
  • Gun permits drop 25% in Bay State

    "That gun ownership, especially in urban areas had dropped dramatically over the past six years, driven by more restrictive laws, higher licensing fees and cultural changes."
  • Gun Show Nation

    This investigation explores how and why guns have entered national politics. The author traveled to gun shows, gun stores and gun rights meetings in order to chart America's attachment to guns. She shows how that attachment "affected our democracy by undermining our belief in collective solutions for human security."
  • Licensed to Carry

    This CAR investigation looks into how many people possess gun permits in Allen County, IN. The article exposed several public figures who had gun permits, including those who were major advocates for gun safety and protecting the youth from violence. The investigation also went on to outline the current gun permit laws, and create profiles of permit holders--based on race, gender, and political affiliation.
  • How One Texan Got a License, Then Killed 2

    The Los Angeles Times examines "how the state of Texas has granted hundreds of concealed-weapons permits to citizens with questionable backgrounds."
  • Number of Gun Permits Increases

    The Gazette finds the number of concealed weapons permits in Montana has doubled in the last five years, analyzes exactly who in the state has applied for the permits.
  • Armed and Dangerous?

    All across the country, state legislatures are making it easier for their citizens to carry concealed weapons. In Tennessee more than 32,000 people have gun permits. Often these permits require a safety course, but Williams' investigation discovered that state-certified instructors were willing to cheat on those safety classes.
  • License to Carry

    The Journal Gazette's computer-assisted investigation analyzed the state's 300,000 handgun permits to see who is licensed to carry handguns in public. Demographic information found that 7% of the state's population had a handgun permit, including at least 15 state legislators and additional local government officials.
  • (Untitled)

    The Hartford Courant looks at the loopholes that allow felons to have gun permits. A new computer system designed to improve oversight of gun permit holders will automatically flag state police when a permit holder is arrested or convicted of a serious crime. (April 2, 5, 1995)