In keeping with the Biden administration’s strategy to combat rising gun violence in America, Attorney General Merrick Galrland met Thursday with federal agents and lawyers to launch five new “strike forces” to stop the illegal flow across state lines of firearms.
The Justice Department announced that authorities will work together with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and cities and state governments to combat gun trafficking corridors that divert guns into New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, D.C.
“The DOJ also stated that “the strike force will share information and other collaborate across districts” in order to “focus enforcement against all trafficking networks.”
Garland and Lisa Monaco, Deputy Attorney General, visited ATF Headquarters in Washington on Thursday morning to meet with investigators and bureau leaders before their planned visit to Chicago.
Monaco stated that “We all know that our job is to pursue those who pull the trigger.” She continued: “But, our job also is, of course to go after those guns, the corridors they travel in, and the networks that feed them to the places they are doing the most violence, and that’s what this series is all about.
In a speech last month from the White House, President Joe Biden mentioned the strike forces. He emphasized a “zero tolerance policy” for rogue gun sellers and a renewed focus by the Justice Department on trying to end the illegal sale.
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Federal gun trafficking laws are not federally recognized. Federal agents must often rely on other statutes such as lying on firearms purchase forms to prosecute gun-trafficking cases. They also have to rely on straw purchasers who legally buy guns and then give them to people who don’t have the legal right to them.
Officials believe that the new plan will increase the likelihood of federal prosecutors in certain supply cities bringing charges in these cases.
As some U.S. cities see an increase in shootings and murders, the attorney general’s visit coincides with this year’s travel.