Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday that the Justice Department was redoubling efforts to combat gun violence and illegal weapons trafficking.
The DOJ was marshaling all of its resources to partner with state and local governments and disrupt violent crime, especially when perpetrated by guns or gun traffickers, he said.
“We are cracking down on the criminal gun trafficking pipelines that flood our communities with illegal drugs,” Mr. Garland said. “We have instructed our federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents to prioritize prosecutions of those who are responsible for the greatest gun violence.”
The new focus on gun violence follows a series of mass shootings that shocked the nation and prompted Congress to take up new gun-control laws.
Mr. Garland said his department had established strike forces to target gun trafficking networks all across the country. His federal prosecutors were focused on locking up repeat offenders while the department pushes more grants to state and local governments for diversion and gun violence prevention programs.
“If you put illegal guns on our streets or into the hands of violent offenders, the Justice Department will spare no resource to hold you accountable,” Mr. Garland said.
As proof of his commitment, Mr. Garland announced the indictment of a Texas man for illegally selling firearms. The individual is alleged to have purchased 92 firearms with the intent to resell them without a license. Weapons allegedly purchased by the man were linked to multiple shootings throughout north Texas, according to prosecutors.
“The Justice Department is committed to doing our part to end the plague of gun violence,” Mr. Garland said.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of Senators on Sunday agreed to a framework for the most ambitious change to gun laws in nearly two decades.
The proposed deal includes financial incentives for states that adopt “red flag” laws, more funding for school security, investments in mental health treatments and an expansion of the background check system to include youth felony records.
Mr. Garland said that he supported the framework, but that it was part of a larger offensive against gun violence led by the Biden administration.
“As our agents and prosecutors work to get crime guns out of our communities, we are also committed to doing everything we can to support the bipartisan gun safety negotiations that are taking place in Congress as we speak,” Mr. Garland said.
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