Read through Massachusetts gun purchasing contracts
Since the beginning of this year, the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism has examined hundreds of state purchasing agreements, for everything from heavy crime-fighting equipment to consumables for laser printers. Now we’re teaming up with MuckRock and the Emerson College Engagement Lab to bring the investigation to the next level. Of the many contracts that caught our attention, the weapon purchasing free-for-all that goes on in our state has stood out as especially dubious, with entities on all sides operating in an unchecked fashion. Vendors are making millions of dollars off the state with no accountability. For most of those procurements, there was no competitive bidding. And the process is far from transparent.
We are posting here (and will continue uploading) a variety of documents we have unearthed in our reporting process—from internal emails between vendors and state-side purchasers, to purchase orders and contracts, to policies and guidelines, to studies, to memos. We need your help digging through this stuff. For example, the state has tried to redact the types of weapons it buys and for how much—but if you look at all the docs, you’ll find the places where they forgot to black out the text. In another example of something juicy that came out of these docs, in one case we found a state trooper mocking the attorney general in an email with a gun seller.
Here are some prerequisites you may want to read before getting started: