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Lee’s Note: This is my recent email exchange with an employee of the Trace

Hi Champe,

Since you invited me to share my thoughts, here they are:

Anyone who works at the Trace and describes himself as a “reporter” is either delusional or a bold-faced liar. Which one are you?

You, sir, are not a reporter. What you do is certainly not journalism. You are nothing more than a paid anti-gun activist working at the propaganda arm of billionaire Mike Bloomberg‘s anti-gun empire. In fact, calling yourself a reporter is an insult to the hardworking men and women — real reporters — I have worked with and led over the years, who sacrificed everything to inform readers about real goings on, sans spin and activism free.

Your “newsroom” as the Trace likes to call itself, which always causes me to chuckle, is nothing but a propaganda factory. Your content is designed to infringe upon our civil rights. It is certainly not news or even newsworthy.

Professionally, I wish you nothing but failure and remorse. I hope someday you realize what a poor career choice you have made — misleading the public into believing they are better off unarmed than armed.

Personally, you need to wake up. You’re nothing but a carbuncle on Tiny Mike’s inflated posterior. He’s using you, man, for political hits. Bloomberg has become your pimp, so to speak.

The notion that I would help you with a story is the height of absurdity. If you were laying on the sidewalk on fire, sir, I would simply walk around.

With warmest regards,


Lee Williams
Cell/Signal: 941-284-8553
Personal website: thegunwriter.substack.com
Twitter: twitter.com/HT_GunWriter


On 2022-06-06 14:35, Champe Barton wrote:

Hi Lee,

My name is Champe Barton — I’m a reporter at The Trace. I read your story from the 2A Foundation Investigative Journalism Project last month, about there being a 500% increase in FFL revocations.

I was curious if you’d be able to share where you got that data. It looks from the data published on ATF’s site detailing inspection results from October 2021 to present that revocations haven’t increased at that rate: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearms-compliance-inspection-results. (About 40/5823 inspections resulted in revocation in 2020. About 37/3444 inspections resulted in revocations from October 2021 to April 2022.)


Were you given more detailed data from the ATF? Or did the ATF announce to industry folks that revocations were up 500% at some point? This new data shows an obvious increase over 2020 — .68% revoked vs .1.07% revoked — but it seems like that jump is significantly smaller in scale than the one discussed in your story. I imagine I might be missing something, or that the ATF has announced some stuff at industry events that isn’t visible in the data.

I’d love to know if you have any thoughts!

Feel free to call me at (929) 269-4462 if you wanna discuss, or you can reply to this email.

Thanks in advance


Champe Barton
Reporter | The Trace