The Department of Justice launched gun trafficking strike forces in five cities across the United States on Thursday to eradicate the growing gun violence.
Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco launched the strike forces during a trip to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) headquarters in Washington D.C.
“All too often, guns found at crime scenes come from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. We are redoubling our efforts as ATP works with law enforcement to track the movement of illegal firearms used in violent crimes,” Garland said. “These strike forces enable sustained coordination across multiple jurisdictions to help disrupt the worst gun trafficking corridors.”
“The Department of Justice will use all of its tools — enforcement, prevention, intervention, and investment — to help ensure the safety of our communities — the department’s highest priority,” the Attorney General said.
The gun trafficking strike forces will be in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. The agencies will work with the ATF to collect data on patterns, leads, and suspects in gun crimes.
“We all know that our job is to go after those that pull the trigger and end up critically injuring and, in some cases murdering innocent people,” Monaco said. “But our job is also, of course, to go after the sources go those guns, the corridors that they travel in and the networks that feed those funds to the places where they are doing the most violent crime.”
The strike forces represent one important, concrete step in implementing the Department’s Comprehensive Violent Crime Reduction Strategy, which was announced in May.
According to a study from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, gun violence rose by 8% in 2020.