Some researchers have found their work lim­ited too, according to Glen Pierce, a gun policy expert at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. Pierce says that before Tiahrt, he could access ATF data, down to the dealer level, to be used to under­stand just how the gun trade works. Now, he says, the big data sets are hard to get.

You have to get the approval of police agen­cies or pos­sible entire states to do research with their trace data,” Pierce said. “So if you want to do national studies and you want to look at effects of laws in one state across other states, it becomes very hard to do this in a com­pre­hen­sive manner because you need to get approval from all these juris­dic­tions, which is cost-​​prohibitive. So it effec­tively pre­vents that type of research from being conducted.”

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