Washington – The Justice Department is launching five anti-gun trafficking strike forces on Thursday to tackle gun violence and curtail the supply of illegally trafficked firearms in key areas of the country, the latest in a series of measures taken by the Biden administration to deal with an upsurge in violent crime.
Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco will unveil the five interjurisdictional strike forces during a visit to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Later Thursday, Garland will travel to Chicago, one of the strike force’s cities.
How to watch Garland’s ad today
- What: Attorney General Merrick Garland announces the launch of five task forces to address gun violence in major US cities.
- Dated: Thursday July 22, 2021
- Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in Washington, DC
- Online feed: Watch live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
The five key regions are: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sacramento area, and Washington, DC Led by U.S. attorneys in each of the regions, prosecutors will work with the ATF and national and local law enforcement agencies to identify trends, leads and possible suspects in violent gun crime.
The ATF also integrates officers or task force officers with more than 45 local homicide units to coordinate efforts to tackle violent crime.
“Too often, guns found at crime scenes come from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. We are redoubling our efforts as ATF works with law enforcement to track the movement of illegal guns used in violent crimes, ”Garland said in a statement. “These strike forces allow for sustained coordination across multiple jurisdictions to help disrupt the worst gun trafficking corridors.”
Strike forces intend to take advantage of existing resources to disrupt important traffic corridors and ultimately the entire network, from which guns originate and flock to where they are. are used to commit violent crimes.
A justice ministry official told reporters the effort is not a “short-term injection of resources” but a coordinated and sustained multi-jurisdictional strategy. The new effort prioritizes intelligence sharing between source areas and market areas, where firearms are used in crimes, and connects law enforcement and prosecutors in places where violence takes place with officials in the jurisdictions from which the firearms originate, the official said.
Trafficking in firearms is not a crime, but those involved in the schemes are prosecuted under other laws, such as conspiracy, prohibited possession or misrepresentation, an official said. ATF to journalists.
The Justice Department and President Biden have launched a series of initiatives aimed at tackling gun violence and curbing the flow of guns used to commit violent crimes. Last month Mr. Biden and Garlandwould crack down on federal firearms licensees who violate major regulations. The president also encouraged cities to use money left over from COVID-19 pandemic aid for community policing funds or employment programs for teenagers.
In April, Mr. Bidento propose a new rule to stem the increase in so-called ghost weapons and to review the use of stabilizer reinforcements used to convert pistols into short-barreled rifles.
The latest Justice Department decision comes as cities across the country face a spike in violent crime. A study by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice examining crime rates in 34 cities found that homicide rates were 30% higher in 2020, while aggravated assault increased by 6 % and assaults by firearms by 8%.