Guns & America

Guns & America is a groundbreaking national reporting collaborative in which 10 public media newsrooms train their attention on a singular issue: the role of guns in American life.

Over the course of two years, the 10 stations, representing a diverse range of communities all over the country, will report on how guns impact us as Americans, from the cultural significance of hunting and sport shooting, to the role guns play in suicide, homicide, mass shootings and beyond.

Operating across broadcast and online platforms, the Guns & America team will approach the topic of guns with nuance, accuracy, imagination, and innovative cross-platform storytelling. Expect to see our reporting online and to hear memorable stories on a public radio station near you.

The 10 public media stations participating in Guns & America:

  • WAMU - Washington, D.C.
  • WNPR - Hartford, Connecticut
  • WUNC - Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • WABE - Atlanta
  • ideastream - Cleveland
  • KCUR - Kansas City, Missouri
  • KERA - Dallas
  • KUNC - Greeley, Colorado
  • Boise State Public Radio - Boise, Idaho
  • OPB - Portland, Oregon

The reporter for Guns & America at KUNC is Leigh Paterson.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is leading a coalition of 21 states, including Oregon, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., in a federal lawsuit against the Trump Administration over newly announced arms export rules. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, argues the new rules fail to meaningfully regulate 3D-printed guns.

The lawsuit is the most recent in a long string of legal twists and turns over the issue.

Over 60,000 people head to Las Vegas each year for a gun industry juggernaut: The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s “SHOT Show” a Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show that is the main event for the $6 billion industry.

“This is to the firearms and ammunition world what the Detroit auto show is to the car world,” said Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

Hundreds of mayors convened in the nation’s capital on Wednesday to address the challenges facing their communities, with the issue of gun violence at the top of mind.

City leadership from Washington, D.C., Dayton, Ohio, and across the country spoke to reporters and implored Congress to more aggressively address illegal guns, ghost guns and gun violence on a federal level.

“We are seeing no movement out of the capital, and our communities are begging for this change,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.

A Packed, Peaceful Protest: Activists Descend On Virginia’s Capitol For Pro-Gun Rally

Jan 20, 2020

In the shadow of looming concern from state officials, the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL)’s annual lobbying day event and rally Monday went as organizers planned with 22,000 in attendance, only one arrest and no notable issues (with the possible exception of the frigid temperature.)

There’s been a massive wave of public resistance in Virginia to gun regulations proposed by the recently-elected and Democratic-dominated state legislature there.

Gunshot survivors experience chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and other physical and mental health challenges at rates higher than survivors of other traumatic injuries, according to a new study by researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNC

In most American cities, gun homicides are on the decline. But Durham, North Carolina, saw its homicide rate rise in 2019. While the community copes with feelings of chronic violence, one outreach worker is dedicating his time to ending the cycle.

While some cities such as Los Angeles and New York have seen a long downward trend in gun violence, others remain stubbornly atop annual lists of most-violent American cities.

In Missouri, Kansas City is going after the people — and companies — officials see as responsible for the ready availability of guns.

Last year the city experienced near-record levels of violent crime. Police say guns were used in more than 90% of the city’s 148 homicides. Another 500 people were injured in nonfatal shootings.

We often look to the number of firearm background checks to estimate gun sales in the U.S. And new data shows that number jumped in 2019. But the real story behind those numbers is more complicated.

Every time someone buys a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer their name is run through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

A lawsuit by families of victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has the potential to significantly change what the world knows about how the gun industry thinks and operates. After years of delays, the lawsuit is moving forward, which may force the gun industry to make public what it considers private.

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