US Garland launches gun trafficking strike forces in 5 cities
Federal gun trafficking strike forces launched in five cities
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday officially launched federal gun trafficking strike forces in five U.S. cities as part of the Biden administration's efforts to reduce gun violence by disrupting illegal sales. The DOJ said that the start of the effort, which was unveiled last month, will be a cross-jurisdictional partnership between the U.S. Attorneys, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and state and local law enforcement "to focus enforcement against entire trafficking networks, from the places where guns are unlawfully obtained to the areas where they are used to commit violent crimes.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is launching an effort in five cities in the U.S. to reduce spikingby addressing illegal trafficking and prosecuting offenses that help put guns in the hands of criminals.
Attorney Generalwill launch the gun trafficking strike forces in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The effort will include stepped-up enforcement in so-called supply areas — cities and states where it’s easier to obtain firearms that are later trafficked into other cities with more restrictive gun laws.
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Across the country there is a long list of ideas on how to best reduce gun violence during this nationwide surge. California Assemblymember Marc Levine, a Democrat, is working on a bill that would place a 10% tax on guns and 11% tax on ammunition sales in California. © Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 19: A person holds a "Stop the Violence" sign during the "Stand Up Against Gun Violence" press conference and rally at Bronx Borough Hall on July 19, 2021 in South Bronx in New York City.
Besides prioritizing gun crimes, the strike forces will embrace intelligence sharing and prosecutions across jurisdictions, Justice Department officials said. Authorities have also embedded federal agents in homicide units of police departments across the U.S., have been deploying additional crime analysts and are conducting fugitive sweeps to arrest people who have outstanding state and federal warrants for violent crimes.
Violent crimes, particularly homicides and shootings, are up in many cities around the country, andhas sought to aid communities hamstrung by violence. But the initiative launched this week differs from other recent federal efforts to address violence, because it is not sending agents or prosecutors into cities with crime spikes. Justice officials say the strike forces are targeted prosecutions meant to be a longer-term effort to combat gun trafficking.
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There is no federal gun trafficking law, so federal agents often must rely on other statutes, like lying on a firearms purchase form, to prosecute gun trafficking cases or stop straw purchasers, people who buy weapons legally to then provide them to others who can’t legally have them.
Officials hope the new plan will mean federal prosecutors in some of the supply cities will be more likely to bring charges in those cases.
But if the effort sounds familiar, it is. In 2017, Chicago police, federal agents and prosecutors launched a similar initiative — the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force — to try to stem the flow of illegal firearms in the city and curb rampant gun violence.
The Justice Department said that strike force was formed in response to a surge in firearm violence and its work is continuing, but it has been focused locally in Chicago on reducing violence and not on gun trafficking from other jurisdictions that put the guns in the hands of criminals. That’s been the case with similar gun task forces, too, including in New York.
Two Arrested in Murder of Texas Woman, 60, Shot to Death Inside Daughter’s New Home
Two people have been arrested for the alleged murder of a 60-year-old woman in Texas who was killed in an apparent home robbery while helping her daughter move in to her new home. Kvaughandre Presley, 20, and Gabriela Torres, 21, have been arrested and are currently in custody in connection with the death of Patricia Eifert, 60, Garland police announced Thursday. The post Two Arrested in Murder of Texas Woman, 60, Shot to Death Inside Daughter’s New Home first appeared on Law & Crime.
“These previous approaches generally surged resources to specific areas, without a sustained focus on cross-jurisdictional trafficking,” the department said. “Now we are formalizing and standardizing coordination between districts. This strategy is focused on trafficking -- keeping firearms out of the hands of those who will pull the trigger.”
Police statistics released earlier this month showed that fewer killings were reported over the first six months of 2021 in Chicago compared with the same period last year, but the number of shootings and people shot increased.
While crime is rising in many U.S. cities, violent crime overall remains lower than it was a decade ago or even five years ago.
Experts say this year’s spike in crime defies easy explanation and point to a number of potential causes, including, worries about the economy and large gatherings after months of stay-at-home orders.
Tx. Mom Helping Daughter Move into New Home Is Found Shot to Death Days Before Retirement .
Kvaughandre Presley of Dallas and Gabriela Liliana Torres of Garland are wanted for allegedly killing Patricia EifertMurder warrants have been issued for Kvaughandre Presley, 20, of Dallas, and Gabriela Liliana Torres, 21, of Garland.