Justice Department implements new plan to help curb illegal gun sales across the US.
The US Justice Department has put a new plan in place to reduce violent crime across US cities. Five federal strike teams will start working with local police in some of the most populous cities with the goal of stopping illegal gun traffickers.
The five major cities of focus will be New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Northern California, and Washington, D.C. The Justice Department identified the cities as significant gun trafficking corridors.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland visited Chicago, one of the five cities, to bring light to the plan and help show how the Biden administration plans to curb the illegal firearm trade. Garland’s visit came following the shooting of two Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents who had been working undercover in Chicago.
“The gun violence tragedy now facing the country, needless to say, affects our communities and our security and safety, but it also affects our law enforcement officers,” Garland said.
This specific task force will focus on learning from past federal efforts, including the Project Safe Neighborhoods, a similar initiative during the Trump administration.
However, the current strike force will focus on gun trafficking corridors. This means the group will not only look for illegal guns in the main cities, but the routes said illegal guns are moved along to get to more rural areas.
Garland also stressed the importance of community organizations. These groups would be vital for the task forces and building and maintaining trust between the communities and officers.
While Garland visited a local police precinct in Chicago, he also spoke with Evelyn J. Diaz, the president of Heartland Alliance, which is a global anti-poverty and human rights organization. Diaz would be one of the many people the task force needed to earn support from.
Diaz and her colleagues have worked with men involved in gun crimes to provide them with jobs, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other resources intended to help them change their lives.
Diaz said she wanted Garland to, “leave Chicago with some sense about what the Department of Justice can do, what our federal government can do to help Chicago, help us reduce shootings and homicides in our communities.”
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