The effort will focus on reducing the flow of illegal firearms in New York City, Chicago, Gli angeli, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C. – all locales where authorities have said many guns used in crimes originate elsewhere.
“Working with our local partners to tackle violent crime is one of the Justice Department’s most important responsibilities,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “Oggi, the department is taking another concrete step to address violent crime and illegal firearms trafficking.”
The strike force teams will coordinate with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Armi da fuoco, and Explosives (ATF) and share information with local and state law enforcement agencies where firearms originate and where they are used to commit crimes in an effort to bring down gun-dealing rings.
The effort comes amid an uptick in gun violence and homicides in several large cities across the United States. The increase began during the coronavirus pandemic and protests against police misconduct and over racial justice.
In New York, the city reported 634 shootings this year as of June 13, rispetto a 386 in the same time period last year. A Chicago, shootings were up from 1,224 a giugno 20 of last year to 1,402 as of Monday. A Los Angeles, 626 people were shot through June 12, rispetto a 397 in the same time frame last year.
“It is staggering. It is sobering,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Tuesday during a virtual town hall with The Police Executive Research Forum. “And it’s something that DOJ is committed to do all we can to reverse what are profoundly troubling trends and a really bad trajectory that we’re on.”
Officials in New York State have said many guns that end up being used in crimes there were purchased in the “Iron Pipeline” – which refers to the I-95 corridor connecting New York City, which has strict gun laws, to Southern states that have more relaxed gun laws such as Georgia and Florida. Nel 2019, the state reported 550 guns used in crimes came from Georgia, 474 from Virginia, 420 from South Carolina., according to an ATF report.
The top source for guns used in crimes in California in 2019 was Arizona with 2,355 armi da fuoco, diceva il rapporto. Quello stesso anno, authorities in Washington D.C., recuperato 662 guns that originated from Virginia and 162 firearms from Maryland. Quasi 1,900 guns used in crimes in Illinois came from neighboring Indiana followed by 485 guns from Missouri, diceva il rapporto.
The Justice Department will release additional details about the initiative Wednesday.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.