Guns Found Here

When there’s a gun crime in America, there’s only one place that can trace the weapon in question back to its owner: Martinsburg, West Virginia. That’s where the ATF’s National Tracing Center handles roughly 8,000 active gun traces per day — all while inside a government-mandated time-capsule that makes compiling a true (and much more efficient) database of gun owners impossible. And with more gun stores in the U.S. than McDonald’s, Starbucks, and supermarkets combined, there’s a lot of paperwork to manually sort through (so many pages, in fact, that they spill out of the building and into twentysomething shipping containers in the parking lot). That’s where the fun begins.

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