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Shanon Williams, director of community education at CeaseFirePA, poses for a photo at the Jeron X Grayson Community Center in the Hill District. Williams was hired to lead the group’s effort to trace the origins of illegal guns in Pittsburgh. (Photo by John Hamilton/PublicSource)

Pittsburgh has a tough time coming clean on illegal guns.

Despite promises of transparency and an embrace of data-driven policing, the city has for years resisted telling the public almost anything about sources of illegal guns.

According to Pittsburgh police: Releasing information on the sources of illegal guns is either banned by federal law. Or state law. Or it simply isn’t compiled.

However, PublicSource learned the bureau does routinely compile information on guns that will be traced, and we were able to obtain firearms seizure data from five other Pennsylvania police departments.



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