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The Backstory: Our investigation found the ATF goes easy on problematic gun dealers. Here's how we did it.

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In a rare look behind the scenes of gun shop regulation, The Trace and USA TODAY found ATF officials conciliatory and accommodating.

I’m USA TODAY editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll, and this is The Backstory, insights into our biggest stories of the week. If you’d like to get The Backstory in your inbox every week, sign up here.

An Arkansas pawnshop sold a gun to a man who failed his background check because of an active restraining order.

At a West Virginia pawn shop, 600 guns that should have been in stock couldn’t be found, “a red flag for gun trafficking.”

In Ohio, a gun store transferred firearms without conducting required background checks 112 times.

And a Pennsylvania gun retailer received 45 violations and eight warnings from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the agency responsible for policing firearms, but was allowed to remain in business. It went on to sell a shotgun to a man who used it to kill four family members.



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