Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed Thursday that the Justice Department would crack down on gun trafficking corridors as part of a broader approach to tackling rising gun violence that also includes funding community intervention programs and other neighborhood groups.
Garland returned to her hometown of Chicago, where shootings escalated this year, as the Justice Department launched strike forces to counter the increase in gun violence in five US cities – Chicago, New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Before leaving Washington, Garland met with agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and said he expected Senate President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the agency to help with the federal effort against gun violence. Will confirm. David Chipman’s nomination has stalled as Republicans and the National Rifle Association work to sink it. Chipman is a two-decade veteran of the ATF, having served as an advisor to a major gun control group and will be the first formal leader since 2015.
In Chicago, Garland visited a local police compound, observing that police officers showed him real-time surveillance video capabilities and how they use ShotSpotter, gunshot detection software, to respond to shootings. He also met with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Superintendent of Police David Brown, and later visited a nearby church to meet with a group committed to violence prevention and intervention.
“I feel it especially in my hometown,” he said, calling gun crime an ongoing tragedy.
Garland said federal prosecutors in Chicago and other cities were “connected” with federal prosecutors in the jurisdiction, particularly in places where guns are legally purchased and later in major cities with more restrictive gun laws. are smuggled in.
Garland said law enforcement also needs to work with community organizations to make Justice Department initiatives a success, and those organizations need to rely on law enforcement.
“We can’t expect to solve this problem without some of the two,” he said, referring to both community intervention and law enforcement.
Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco met with ATF agents in Washington before heading to Chicago.
“We all know that our job is to go behind the trigger pullers,” said Monaco outside the ATF. However, he added, “Our job is certainly to go into the sources of those guns, the corridors they travel and the networks that feed those guns to the places they’re committing the most violent crimes, and that’s it.” That’s what this series of Strike Force efforts is all about.”