The Trace: One of My Favorite Gun Sites


The Trace: One of My Favorite Gun Sites

I’m going to say something that will probably cause half the audience to click “unsubscribe,” but I don’t care: the Bloomberg-funded anti-gun site has turned out to be of my top 5 favorite gun sites.

Why? Because they do actual reporting. They collect and crunch numbers, they interview people, and they hustle to dig up stories. There is more honest-to-God reporting about guns and the gun industry on The Trace than on any other gun site on the Internet, this one included. Everyone else is doing product reviews, press releases, opinions on matters of importance, political takedowns, think pieces, discussion starters, hunting stories, bits of history, and general information. All of this is wonderful and essential. But who, apart from the folks at The Trace, routinely picks up the phone and calls someone to interview them about some news story? Nobody, that’s who.

You want to know how I know that the caliber wars are over on the streets of Chicago, and that 9mm has clearly won? Because I read this awesome breakdown of guns that have been used in crimes in Chicago, and then I read this great companion piece for it.

How do I know that open carry is blowing back on Texas concealed carriers, just as many of us feared that it would? Because I saw this piece on the Trace that summarizes the discussion going down on a popular Texas concealed carry forum.

Want to read a good story on ammo hoarding? We’ve run a few here, and if this very good one from The Trace had been submitted by one of our writers, I’d have been thrilled to run it.

When the White House claimed that you could buy a gun over the Internet without a background check, they were basically wrong–but it turns out that there are some ways in which you can sort of do that, specifically if you live in a state that doesn’t require an FFL for private party transfers and you arrange a private party sale in an online forum and then ship the gun in-state using the USPS. I learned all that from this really good article at The Trace.

Did you know that the team that Obama uses for has now been tasked with revamping the background check system? I didn’t, and I have about a billion gun sites in my RSS feed. But then I ran across this piece on The Trace.

Here is another thing about The Trace: I read a lot of really, really stupid things about guns at various news outlets, where this or that reporter clearly knows nothing about firearms and has gone off the deep end, but I never read this kind of stuff at The Trace. They appear to have people on staff that actually know about guns–the difference between “fully automatic” and “semi automatic,” the fact that the “AR” in “AR-15” does not stand for “assault rifle”, and so on.

Yes, the people at The Trace are pro-gun-control, so the fact that I’m talking it up here will upset many readers (heck, it’ll probably upset 100% of our readers). But if you’re a gun person, what you should really be upset about is the fact that The Trace is crushing every other outdoors- and gun-related site on the Internet in the “old-fashioned journalism” department. It’s advocacy journalism, for sure, but in so many ways they’re covering the gun business better than the actual gun press.


So why write this post? First and foremost, I’m hoping to shame everyone, AllOutdoor included, into doing better. We have to do better. And second, I’m saying this because I plan to start linking up their work here when it’s relevant and interesting, and I want to be able to point to this post when I get the inevitable hate mail asking why we’re linking to an anti-gun site.

Now, where did I leave my asbestos jumpsuit. 🙂

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Jon Stokes is Deputy Editor at

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